January 22, 2012


>The weekend studio estimates (based on Friday and Saturday actuals and projections for Sunday) are coming in somewhat 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 $112 million for the weekend, up fully 26% from last year’s disaster weekend and in the ballpark (-4%) from the weekend’s average for the past four years.  Underworld Awakening is now looking like it will gross more than $25 million in its opening weekend, and Red Tails over $19 million.  (Updated weekend numbers in the chart after the jump.)   

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates now show that the films opening wide this weekend are headed for: Underworld Awakening ($64 million), Red Tails ($53 million), Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close ($33 million) and Haywire ($27 million). 

The second week movies include Beauty and the Beast 3D ($57 million) which has been adjusted down sharply and Contraband ($76 million) which has been adjusted up slightly.  Joyful Noise ($35 million) and The Iron Lady ($22 million) are relatively steady.

The Devil Inside ($47 million) has been adjusted down again, while Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy ($27 million) is steady in its third week of wide release.

Not shown on the chart below,  The Artist grossed $2.37 million this weekend at an expanded 662 theaters (for a lame $3,579 per theater).  But the film is gathering a head of steam for a Best Picture Oscar with a Golden Globe win and more importantly a Producer’s Guild victory last night.  ABC has to be worried about ratings for its Academy Awards telecast if a very small film ($12.1 million total gross to date) with little serious competition cruises to victory.      

January 20-22                       Wknd     vs     Showbuzz
(millions)                         Studio   Last    Domestic
                                    Proj.   Wknd     Final* 

Underworld Awakening     (Sony)     $25.4             $ 64
Red Tails                 (Fox)     $19.1             $ 53
Contraband                (Uni)     $12.2   -50%      $ 76
Extremely Loud & Inc Close (WB)     $10.5             $ 33
Haywire                   (Rel)     $ 9.0             $ 27
Beauty and the Beast 3D   (Dis)     $ 8.6   -52%      $ 57–
Joyful Noise               (WB)     $ 6.1   -46%      $ 35
Mission: Impossible 4     (Par)     $ 5.5   -53%      $217
Sherlock Holmes 2          (WB)     $ 4.8   -44%      $190 
Girl Dragon Tattoo       (Sony)     $ 3.8   -44%      $110
The Iron Lady           (Weins)     $ 3.7   -32%      $ 22 
War Horse              (DW/Dis)     $ 3.0   -49%      $ 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.  

Total Box Office Volume 

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $112 million total Friday-Sunday, up 26% from the same calendar weekend last year and down a small 4% from the more typical volume for this weekend in other years.          

Top 12 Films: Weekend #3

     Volume    Movies Opening Each Weekend (millions)
2012  $112  Underworld Awakening $25, Red Tails $19, Ext Loud $10

2011  $ 89  No Strings Attached $20  
2010  $128  Legion $17.5, Tooth Fairy $14, Extraord. Measures $6
2009  $130  Underworld Rise Lycans $21, Inkheart $8, Rev. Road $5

2008  $118  Meet the Spartans $18.5, Rambo $18, Untraceable $11

Avg   $116

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.