March 23, 2014

Weekend Studio Estimates MARCH 21-23 2014

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Based on Friday’s and Saturday’s grosses, weekend #12 of 2014 looks like $133 million for the top 12 films Friday-Sunday, very similar to the same weekend last year (up 2%) but 7% below the average for this weekend the past several years (which is heavily weighted by the enormous opening for The Hunger Games this weekend two years ago).  

Opening at 3,936 theaters late Thursday, Divergent from Lionsgate/Summit grossed $22.6 million through Friday and $19.7 million Saturday, putting the film on track for a $56.0 million opening weekend (still below our $63.5 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast). The film is pacing toward a three-day average of $14,200 per theater for the weekend (above the $5,333 opening weekend average for all wide-release films the last two years). Critical sentiment is soft (41% positive overall and 39% positive with top critics). Divergent is now headed for $159 million total domestic, approximately what The Hunger Games grossed its first weekend in North America.

Opening at 3,194 theaters Friday, Muppets Most Wanted from Disney grossed $4.66 million Friday and $7.15 million Saturday, putting the film on track for a $16.5 million opening weekend (well below our $26.5 million forecast). The film is pacing toward a perfectly average $5,200 per theater for the weekend. Critical sentiment is decent (77% positive overall at RottenTomatoes and 68% positive with top critics). Muppets Most Wanted is headed for around $78 million total domestic.

God’s Not Dead from Freestyle Releasing opened at 780 theaters and is headed for a very good weekend average of $10,900 per location.  That’s a solid $8.6 million opening (more than twice our $3.8 million forecast).

Weekend 12: March 21-23, 2014 ($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Weekend Studio Estimate Actual Friday Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
Divergent LG/Sum [63.5] 54.0 56.0 22.6–19.7 159
Muppets Most Wanted Dis [26.5] 17.5 16.5 4.7–7.1 78
Mr Peabody & Sherman Fox/DWA [12.6] 11.5 11.7 2.7–5.3 116
300: Rise of an Empire WB [9.4] 8.2 8.7 2.4–3.7 115
God’s Not Dead Free [3.8] 8.0 8.6 2.8–3.3 21
Need for Speed Dis [8.2] 7.5 7.8 2.2–3.4 45
Grand Budapest Hotel FoxS [4.8] 6.2 6.8 1.9–2.9 n/a
Non-Stop Uni [6.3] 6.3 6.3 1.9–2.9 94
The LEGO Movie WB [4.7] 3.9 4.1 .97–1.9 260
TP’s Single Moms Club LG/Sum [3.8] 3.1 3.1 .94–1.4 16
Son of God Fox [2.9] 2.5 2.7 .66–1.1 59

Note: The table above summarizes an early look at the weekend. The first column is a reminder of each film’s ShowBuzzDaily Forecast for the weekend (in brackets). The second column, on which the films are sorted, displays the new weekend projection for each film, based on the Friday numbers (the third column). The final column is a preliminary estimate of the ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Total number for the film’s total 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 $133 million total Friday-Sunday, down 7% from the four-year average for the comparable weekend and up 2% from the same weekend last year.

WEEKEND 12 ($ millions)
Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend (Fri-Sun only)
2014 $133 Divergent $56.0, Muppets Most Wanted $16.5, God’s Not Dead $8.6
2013 $130 The Croods $43.6, Olympus Has Fallen $30.4, Admission $6.2, Spring Breakers $4.9
2012 $204 The Hunger Games $152.5
2011 $109 Diary of a Wimpy Kid Rodrick Rules $23.8, Sucker Punch $19.1
2010 $117 How to Train Your Dragon $43.7, Hot Tub Time Machine $14.0
Avg 2010-13 $143

Check back later today for the Worldwide Studio Scorecard the International Box Office report.

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.