December 15, 2013

Weekend Studio Estimates DECEMBER 13-15

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Based on Friday’s  and Saturday’s grosses, Weekend #50 of 2013 looks like $139 million for the top 12 films from Friday-Sunday, not as strong as we had forecast and down $5 million from yesterday’s estimate but still up double digits in terms of percent increase over comparable weekends the past several years.  

Opening at 3,903 theaters Friday, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug from Warner Brothers grossed $31.2 million Friday and $24.5 million Saturday and is now on track for a $73.7 million opening weekend (below our $82.5 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast). The film is pacing toward a three-day average of $18,900 per theater for the weekend (3.5 times the $5,333 opening weekend average for all wide-release films the last two years). Critical sentiment is positive but not universally supportive (74% positive overall at RottenTomatoes and 68% positive with top critics). The Hobbit 2 is headed for maybe $254 million total domestic, below the $303.0 million domestic for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey last year.  We’ll see if there is enough extra overseas money to make Desolation of Smaug a billion dollar worldwide grossing film (as was An Unexpected Journey).

Opening at 2,194 theaters Friday, Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas from Lionsgate/Summit grossed $5.7 million Friday and $6.3 million Saturday and is now on track for a $16.0 million opening weekend (way under our $30.0 million forecast and easily the worst opening for a Madea film). The film is pacing toward a slightly above average three-day average of $7,300 per theater for the weekend. Critical sentiment is predictably chilly (20% positive overall at RottenTomatoes and 30% positive with top critics). A Madea Christmas is headed for maybe $45 million total domestic, also the lowest Madea total (see complete historical track below).

Frozen 3D has been re-adjusted to a $217 million domestic total.

Weekend 50: December 13-15, 2013 ($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Weekend Studio Estimates Actual Friday Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug WB [82.5] 73.9 73.7 31.2-24.5 254
Frozen 3D Dis [20.0] 24.6 22.2 5.1-10.2 217
Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas LG/Sum [30.0] 16.1 16.0 5.7-6.3 45
Hunger Games: Catching Fire LG/Sum [12.5] 13.8 13.2 4.1-5.8 408
Thor: The Dark World Dis [2.5] 2.9 2.7 .79-1.2 208
Out of the Furnace Rel [2.5] 2.4 2.3 .75-.98 14
Delivery Man Dis [2.1] 2.0 1.9 .61-.82 33
Philomena Weins [1.6] 2.0 1.8 .56-.70 19
The Book Thief Fox [1.7] 1.9 1.7 .54-.69 20
Homefront ORF [1.8] 1.8 1.6 .50-.69 21
Dallas Buyers Club Foc/Uni [—] 1.2 1.1 .33-.50 20
Best Man Holiday Uni [—] 1.1 1.0 .33-.42 70

Note: The table above summarizes an early look at the weekend. The first column is a reminder of each film’s ShowBuzzDaily Forecast for the weekend (in brackets). The second column, on which the films are sorted, displays the new weekend projection for each film, based on the Friday numbers (the third column). The final column is a preliminary estimate of the ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Total number for the film’s total run in North America. A “++” indicates the Domestic number has been upgraded; a “–” indicates a downgrade.


Tyler Perry Madea Films

Critics Positive ($ millions)
Opening Weekend Domestic Total  Worldwide Total
Madea’s Witness Protection 6.29.2012 PG13 21% 25.4 65.6 66.9
Madea’s Big Happy Family 4.22.2011 PG13 38% 25.1 53.3 54.2
Madea Goes to Jail 2.20.2009 PG13 30% 41.0 90.5 90.5
Madea’s Family Reunion 2.24.2006 PG13 25% 30.0 63.3  63.3


Limited Release

American Hustle from Sony opened at 6 theaters Friday and is headed for an amazing $115,000 weekend average per theater.

Saving Mr Banks from Disney opened at 15 theaters Friday and is headed for a more down to Earth but still solid $28,067 weekend average per theater.

Hours with the late Paul Walker opened at 16 theaters and is on track for only $3,400 per theater.

The second weekend for Inside Llewyn Davis is on track to average $22,933 per theater for the weekend at 15 theaters (down from the phenomenal $101,353 average at 4 theaters last weekend).


Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $139 million total Friday-Sunday, up 12% from the four-year average for the same weekend and up 7% from the same weekend last year.

WEEKEND 50 ($ millions)
Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend (Fri-Sun only)
2013 $139 Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug $73.7, TP’s A Madea Christmas $16.0
2012 $130 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $84.6
2011 $110 Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows $39.6, Alvin and Chipmunks: Chipwrecked $23.2, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol $12.8
2010 $128 TRON: Legacy $44.0, Yogi Bear $16.4, The Fighter $12.1
2009 $130 Avatar $77.0
Avg 2009-12 $124

Check back later for the Worldwide Studio Scorecard and the International Box Office report.

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.