July 3, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>Transformers 3 is looking like a $97.4 million opening weekend (Friday-Sunday only) and $162 million through Sunday.  The three-day number is a record July 4th weekend showing.  What about Larry Crowne?  From an interview at Tom Hanks said, “How do we compete in the marketplace?  Forgive me, I haven’t the slightest fu*king idea….  At the end of the day, it’s gotta be a good movie, it’s gotta be a funny movie, and it’s gotta make people think ‘Hey, I couldn’t have spent my time any better.'”  Exactly right, Tom.  The audience clearly felt that Larry Crowne had none of those three elements, and the movie flopped.   

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates now show that Transformers: Dark of the Moon is headed for a domestic gross of $355 million, while the romantic comedies opening this weekend are stumbling.  Larry Crowne is on track for $39 million and Monte Carlo is on pace for $18 million.  Cars 2 has been downgraded a touch to $171 million, while Bad Teacher is now on track for $92 million.  Green Lantern has been downgraded again to $114 million, while Mr Popper’s Penguins is holding steady at $66 million.  Super 8 has been reduced back down to $128 million.  X-Men: First Class has been reduced a bit to $148 million, and Midnight in Paris is still headed for $44 million.   

Based on Friday and Saturday actual numbers and studio estimates for Sunday, Transformers: Dark of the Moon averaged $24,271 per theater at 4,013 theaters during the traditional weekend period ($97.4 million for Friday-Sunday).  Larry Crowne opened with a soft $4,375 at 2,973 theaters ($13.0 million).  Monte Carlo opened with a well below average $3,073 at 2,473 theaters ($7.6 million).  

The declines for the second and third weekend films were stunning.  Cars 2 declined 62%, Bad Teacher wilted 55%, while Green Lantern and Mr Popper’s Penguins dropped 65%.

In its seventh week, Midnight in Paris bucked the trend and declined only 18% to $3.4 million, bringing its total to $33.6 million to date.  A Better Life is the indie standout again, averaging another $8,636 per theater this weekend at 11 locations. 

July 1-3, 2011                      Wknd     vs     Showbuzz
(millions)                         Studio   Last    Domestic
                                    Proj.   Wknd     Final*
Transformers 3         (Par/DW)     $97.4             $355
Cars 2                    (Dis)     $25.1   -62%      $171-
Bad Teacher              (Sony)     $14.1   -55%      $ 92-
Larry Crowne              (Uni)     $13.0             $ 39
Monte Carlo               (Fox)     $ 7.6             $ 18
Super 8                   (Par)     $ 7.5   -38%      $132
Green Lantern              (WB)     $ 6.3   -65%      $114–
Mr Popper’s Penguins      (Fox)     $ 5.1   -65%      $ 66
Midnight in Paris        (Sony)     $ 3.4   -18%      $ 44
Bridesmaids               (Uni)     $ 3.5   -33%      $168
X-Men: First Class        (Fox)     $ 2.9   -57%      $148
The Hangover Part II       (WB)     $ 2.3   -59%      $254
Pirates On Stranger Tides (Dis)     $ 2.2   -56%      $245

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 now looking like $183 million total, up 1% from the same calendar weekend last year.  However, when we factor in weekday business this past week, it looks like the full week comparison to last year will be down at least somewhat.  

Top 12 Films: Weekend #26

2011  $183  (
+12% vs 2007-10 average; +1% vs 2010) 

Avg   $164 
            Movies Opening That Weekend
2010  $181  Twilight Eclipse $65, Last Airbender $40    

2009  $156  Ice Age Dawn Dinos $42, Public Enemies $25
2008  $153  Hancock $63, Kit Kittredge $3
2007  $165  Transformers $70, License to Wed $10

To see the original Weekend Predictions, click here.  On Monday we will have actual numbers for the Friday-Sunday period, and Tuesday we will wrap up the long holiday weekend with the numbers from Independence Day.  Early international numbers for all films currently in release will be posted as soon as possible.

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.