December 25, 2011


>Based on Friday and Saturday box office (and estimated Sunday numbers), the total box office for this weekend is now looking like only $100 million, down 24% from last year.  Projected weekend grosses for each film (summarized after the jump) are generally lower than originally forecast yesterday.  After Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, nothing is really catching fire.

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates now show that the films opening this weekend are headed for:  Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ($92 million), Adventures of Tintin ($79 million) and We Bought a Zoo ($64 million).

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows ($131 million), Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked ($92 million), and Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol ($164 million) have each been adjusted downward.

Among the third week films, New Year’s Eve ($40 million) and The Sitter ($25 million) are holding steady. 

December 23-25, 2011                Wknd     vs     Showbuzz
(millions)                         Studio   Last    Domestic
                                    Proj.   Wknd     Final* 

Mission: Impossible 4     (Par)     $26.5   +108%     $164
Sherlock Holmes 2          (WB)     $17.8   -55%      $131
Alvin and the Chipmunks 3 (Fox)     $13.3   -43%      $ 92
Girl Dragon Tattoo       (Sony)     $13.0             $ 92
Adventures of Tintin   (DW/Dis)     $ 9.1             $ 79
We Bought a Zoo           (Fox)     $ 7.8             $ 64
New Year’s Eve          (WB/NL)     $ 3.0   -59%      $ 40 
Arthur Christmas         (Sony)     $ 2.7   -24%      $ 58 

Hugo                      (Par)     $ 2.0   -45%      $ 56

The Muppets               (Dis)     $ 2.0   -43%      $ 87

Note: The table above summarizes the weekend as of Sunday.  The first column (on which the table is sorted) displays the “studio projection” for each film, based on the Friday and Saturday actual numbers (and a studio-supplied estimate of Sunday).  The second column is the percent decline from the prior weekend.  The final column is a preliminary estimate of the ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Total Gross for the film’s complete run in North America.  A “++” indicates the Domestic number has been upgraded; a “–” indicates a downgrade.  

Mission: Impossible Film Track      Opening   Domestic  Overseas
                                    Weekend    Total     Total

Mission: Impossible      5.22.1996   $ 45.4    $181.0    $276.7
Mission: Impossible II   5.24.2000   $ 57.8    $215.4    $331.0
Mission: Impossible III  5.05.2006   $ 47.7    $134.0    $263.8

Total Box Office Volume 

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like a very weak $100 million total Friday-Sunday, down 24% from the same calendar weekend last year and even below last weekend’s sub-par $110 million.         

Top 12 Films: Weekend #51

     Volume    Movies Opening Each Weekend (millions)
2011  $100  M:I 4 $29, Girl Dragon Tattoo $15, Adv Tintin $10 

2010  $132  Little Fockers $31, True Grit $25, Gulliver’s Trav $6
2009  $260  Sherlock Holmes $62, Alvin Chipmunks 2 $49
2008  $180  Marley & Me $36, Benj Button $27, Bedtime Stories $27
2007  $169  Juno $11, Aliens vs Predators $10
Avg   $185 

Next Weekend 

Next weekend, as is traditional, no new films open wide as the Christmas movies play through New Year’s.

Look for studio estimates for the weekend Sunday morning, as well as international results later in the day Sunday.  We will also have preliminary numbers for the Sunday opening of War Horse and The Darkest Hour on Monday.


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.