December 23, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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The weekend looks a little stronger than it did yesterday ($102 million for the top 12 films rather than $98 million) but still well below the normal pace for weekend #51 .  The Hobbit is looking a little stronger than it did yesterday, and This Is 40 is a tiny bit stronger.  But everything else continues to look fairly soft this weekend. 

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates for films opening wide this weekend:  Jack Reacher ($85 million), This Is 40 ($72 million), Monsters, Inc. 3D ($60 million), The Guilt Trip ($49 million), Cirque du Soleil: World Apart 3D ($38 million).

Second week film:  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ($260 million, down from the initial $285 million estimate last weekend).

Fifth week films:  Rise of the Guardians ($99 million, up from the $90 million estimate last week, the $85 million estimate in weeks two and three but down from the initial $117 million estimate in weekend one) and Life of Pi  ($92 million, up slightly from $87 million last week and up from the $82 to $84 million estimates the first three weeks).


Weekend 51: December 21-23, 2012 ($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast (Wed) Early Weekend Estimate (Sat am) Studio Weekend Estimate (Sun am) Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
The Hobbit WB [41.5] 34.0 36.7 260
Jack Reacher Par [15.0] 15.5 15.6 85
This Is 40 Uni [14.0] 11.5 12.0 72
Rise of the Guardians Par/DW [5.6] 6.8 5.9 99
Lincoln Dis [5.5] 5.1 5.6 141
The Guilt Trip Par [6.8] 4.8 5.4 49
Monsters, Inc. 3D Dis [9.5] 5.0 5.0 60
Skyfall Sony [4.2] 4.2 4.7 287
Life of Pi Fox [3.7] 3.8 3.8 92
Breaking Dawn Part 2 Sum [3.1] 2.7 2.6 287
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away Par [3.0] 2.3 2.1 38
Wreck-It Ralph Dis [—] 2.1 2.0 178


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.


Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are now looking like $102 million total Friday-Sunday, up a bit from yesterday’s outlook but down 41% from the average comparable weekend the last four years and down 11% from the weak same weekend last year.  Of course, this weekend is very difficult to make comparisons because of the way Christmas Day floats across the calendar.  The best comparison for this year is 2007, when December 21 last fell on a Friday.  This weekend is running a miserable 33% behind the pace of December 21-23, 2007.

 WEEKEND #51 ($ millions)
Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend (Fri-Sun only)
2012 Dec 21-23 $102 Jack Reacher $15.6, This Is 40 $12, Guilt Trip $5.4, Monsters Inc 3D $5
2011 Dec 23-25 $114 Girl Dragon Tattoo $13, Adventures Tintin $10, We Bought Zoo $9
2010 Dec 24-26 $132 Little Fockers $31, True Grit $25, Gulliver’s Travels $6
2009 Dec 25-27 $260 Sherlock Holmes $62, Alvin Chipmunks 2 $49, It’s Complicated $22
2008 Dec 26-28 $180 Marley & Me $36, Curious Case Ben Button $27, Bedtime Stories $27
2007 Dec 21-23 $152 National Treasure: Book of Secrets $45, Charlie Wilson’s War $10
Avg 2008-11 $172


Opening Next Week

Opening wide Tuesday (Christmas Day):  Django Unchained from Weinstein Company (western starring Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio and from Quentin Tarantino), Les Miserables from Universal (musical starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe), and Parental Guidance from 20th Century Fox (comedy starring Billy Crystal and Bette Midler in the Battle of the Botox).  Also expanding to close to 800 theaters Tuesday is Silver Linings Playbook from Weinstein Company (starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence).  There really isn’t a good comparison to last year (when the Christmas movies were released on Friday, December 23 and no films launched the following week).

International grosses will be updated as available.

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.