February 19, 2012


>The weekend studio estimates (based on Friday and Saturday actuals and projections for Sunday) are coming in slightly stronger than the weekend numbers posted yesterday (based on Friday actuals only).  The box office volume for the top 12 films is now looking like a very good $145 million for the weekend, up 11% from last year’s unusually decent weekend and up 25% from the weekend’s average for the past four years.  Safe House and The Vow are battling for the #1 spot, with studio estimates for each film a shade under $24 million.  Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance is just behind at $22 million for the three-day opening weekend, while Journey 2 Mysterious Island has the best second-weekend decline (-27%), now at about $20 million.  (Updated weekend numbers in the chart after the jump.)

The Vow started the weekend at #1 with $7.4 million Friday (about $900,000 ahead of Safe House) then fell to second place with $9.2 million (about $700,000 behind Safe House).  Sunday is expected to go to Safe House ($7.6 million to about $7.0 million for The Vow).  That would give Safe House a $400,000 edge over the The Vow, meaning we’ll have to wait until Tuesday for the final official numbers after the holiday to see who has the actual bragging rights.  But either way, very good second weekend numbers for both films.  Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance opened at #2 Friday with $6.95 million but faded to #3 Saturday with $8.7 million (falling below Safe House).  Sunday is expected to be a fourth place finish for Ghost Rider 2 with $6.35 million (behind kid friendly Journey 2, as well).

             Domestic Box Office Estimates by Day
                    Fri 2.17 Sat 2.18 Sun 2.19 Weekend
   Safe House        $6.500   $9.900   $7.600  $24.000
   The Vow           $7.410   $9.235   $6.955  $23.600
   Ghost Rider 2     $6.950   $8.700   $6.350  $22.000
   Journey 2         $4.460   $8.500   $7.125  $20.085
   This Means War    $5.600   $6.900   $5.050  $17.550      

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates now show that the films opening wide this weekend are headed for:  Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance ($58 million), This Means War ($49 million) and Secret World of Arrietty ($25 million). 

The second week movies:  The Vow ($145 million, adjusted up sharply), Safe House ($140 million, adjusted up sharply), Journey 2: The Mysterious Island ($105 million, adjusted up sharply) and Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace in 3D ($47 million, adjusted down).    

The third week movies:  Chronicle ($71 million, steady), The Woman in Black ($60 million, adjusted up slightly) and Big Miracle ($21 million, adjusted down again). 

February 17-19                      Wknd     vs     Showbuzz
(millions)                         Studio   Last    Domestic
                                    Proj.   Wknd     Final* 

Safe House                (Uni)     $24.0   -40%      $140+
The Vow                  (Sony)     $23.6   -43%      $145+
Ghost Rider Spirit Vengeance (Sony) $22.0             $ 58 
Journey 2 Myster. Island   (WB)     $20.1   -27%      $105+
This Means War            (Fox)     $17.6             $ 49
Phantom Menace 3D         (Fox)     $ 7.9   -65%      $ 47-
Chronicle                 (Fox)     $ 7.5   -38%      $ 71+
The Woman in Black        (CBS)     $ 6.6   -34%      $ 60
Secret World of Arrietty  (Dis)     $ 6.4             $ 25
The Grey            (Open Road)     $ 3.0   -40%      $ 55 
The Descendants           (Fox)     $ 2.9   -15     $ 88
Big Miracle               (Uni)     $ 2.1   -46%      $ 21-

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.  

Total Box Office Volume 

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $145 million total Friday-Sunday, up 11% from the same calendar weekend last year and up 25% from the more typical volume for this weekend in other years.            

Top 12 Films: Weekend #7

     Volume    Movies Opening Each Weekend (millions)
2012  $145  Ghost Rider 2 $22, This Means War $18, Arrietty $6

2011  $130  Unknown $22, I Am Number Four $19, Big Mommas 2 $16
2010  $122  Shutter Island $41
2009  $120  Madea Goes to Jail $41, Fired Up $5.5

2008  $ 90  Vantage Point $23, Be Kind Rewind $4
Avg   $115

Next Weekend 

Next weekend, Act of Valor from Relativity, Gone from Summit, Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds from Lionsgate and Wanderlust from Universal open wide.  These openings will be compared to Hall Pass ($13.5 million opening weekend) and Drive Angry 3D ($5.2 million) from the same weekend in 2011.  

Look for final weekend figures Monday and international results later today.


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.