July 31, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>Based on Friday and Saturday box office (and estimated Sunday numbers), The Smurfs and Cowboys & Aliens could not have closer opening weekends (both headed for $36.2 million at this point).  We will have to wait to see who wins the weekend crown Monday, when the Sunday actuals are available.  But assuming a weekend tie holds, Smurfs (as a family film) will have a much higher domestic final than Cowboys & Aliens, which will suffer deeper sci-fi drops in coming weeks.  The weekend overall is still looking like it will be up 26% from this weekend last year.    

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates now show that The Smurfs is headed for $122 million, while Cowboys & Aliens is on pace for $98 million and Crazy, Stupid, Love is on track for $72 million.  Captain America: The First Avenger is now headed for $176 million, while Friends with Benefits is still on pace for $63 million.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 has been adjusted down to $361 million, virtually the same number as Transformers: Dark of the Moon.          

Based on Friday and Saturday actual numbers and studio estimates for Sunday, The Smurfs will average a solid $10,700 per theater at 3,395 theaters (for $36.2 million from Friday-Sunday).  Cowboys & Aliens opened with an average $9,700 at 3,750 theaters ($36.2 million).  Crazy, Stupid, Love will average $6,400 at 3,020 locations ($19.3 million for the weekend).  

The second week decline for Captain America (-62%) is disappointing for Paramount, while most of the other declines for recent releases were more moderate.   

July 29-31, 2011                    Wknd     vs     Showbuzz
(millions)                         Studio   Last    Domestic
                                    Proj.   Wknd     Final* 

The Smurfs               (Sony)     $36.2             $122
Cowboys & Aliens         
$36.2             $ 98
Captain America           (Par)     $24.9   
-62%      $176–

Harry Potter 8             (WB)     $21.9   -54%      $361
Crazy, Stupid, Love      
  (WB)     $19.3             $ 72
Friends with Benefits   
(Sony)     $ 9.3   -50%      $ 63-

Horrible Bosses            (WB)     $ 7.1   -40%      $120
Transformers 3         (Par/DW)     $ 6.0  
-50%      $362
Zookeeper                (Sony)     $ 4.2   -52%      $ 82
Cars 2                    (Dis)     $ 2.3   -59%      $188 
Winnie the Pooh           (Dis)     $ 1.8   -66%      $ 32

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 $171 million total, up 26% from the same calendar weekend last year when Dinner for Schmucks, Cats & Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore and Charlie St. Cloud opened.  

 Top 12 Films: Weekend #30
     Volume     (millions)
2011  $171  (
+22% vs 2007-10 average; +26% vs 2010) 


Avg   $140
            Movies Opening That Weekend
2010  $136  Dinner for Schmucks $23, Cats & Dogs Revenge $12    

2009  $114  Funny People $23, Aliens in Attic $8
2008  $145  Mummy: Dragon Emperor $40, Swing Vote $8
2007  $165  Bourne Ultimatum $69, Underdog $12
To see the original Weekend Predictions click here.  International numbers will be posted as soon as possible, and Monday we will have official numbers for the Friday-Sunday domestic grosses.

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.