May 20, 2012


Marvel’s The Avengers now looks like a $55.1 million weekend, according to the studio estimate this morning (now exactly hitting our forecast in Wednesday’s ShowBuzzDaily Weekend Predictions).  The new films this weekend are trailing badly, however.  Battleship looks like a $25.4 million opening weekend and we are projecting a final gross of $62 million domestically.  The Dictator looks to be headed for $59 million total domestically.  Both films do have significant international revenue, which we will tally later today.  The third new film of the weekend, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, has the worst of all worlds: no international potential and a disastrous domestic gross (we are projecting $20 million total for the comedy).      

The box office volume for the top 12 films is now looking like $135 million for the weekend, down 15% from this weekend last year.   

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates for films opening wide this weekend: Battleship ($62 million), The Dictator ($59 million) and What to Expect When You’re Expecting ($20 million).

Second week film:  Dark Shadows ($77 million, about even with last week’s estimate).

Third week films:  Marvel’s The Avengers ($605 million, adjusted down slightly from last week’s estimate).

Fourth week films:  The Pirates! Band of Misfits ($29 million, adjusted down slightly again from last week’s estimate), The Five-Year Engagement ($30 million, even with last week) and Safe ($16 million, steady versus last week).

May 18-20 ($ millions)
vs Last Wknd Wknd Studio Proj. Showbuzz Domestic Final
Marvel’s The Avengers Dis -50% 55.1 605
Battleship Uni 25.4 62
The Dictator Par 17.4 59
Dark Shadows WB -57% 12.8 77
What to Expect When You’re Expecting LG 10.5 20
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Fox +22% 3.3 n/a
The Hunger Games LG -33% 3.0 400
Think Like a Man LG -54% 2.7 94
The Lucky One WB -57% 1.8 61
Pirates! Band of Misfits Sony -54% 1.5 29
Five-Year Engagement Uni -68% 1.1 30

Total Box Office Volume 

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $132 million total Friday-Sunday, down 15% from the same calendar weekend last year and down 16% from the average for this weekend the past four years.   

($ millions)
WEEKEND #20 Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend
2012 $135 Battleship $25, The Dictator $17, What to Expect $11
2011 $159 Pirates: On Stranger Tides $90
2010 $143 Shrek Forever After $71, MacGruber $4
2009 $170 Night at Museum $54, Terminator Salvation $43
2008 $168 Indiana Jones Kingdom Crystal Skull $100
Avg 2008-11 $160

Next Weekend             

Opening wide next weekend are Men in Black 3 from Sony (starring Will Smith and Josh Brolin) and Chernobyl Diaries from Warner Borthers (horror from Paranormal Activity’s Oren Peli).  These films will be compared to the following opener from the same weekend last year:  The Hangover Part II ($85.9 million opening weekend) and Kung Fu Panda 2 ($47.7 million). 


Again, check back later today for our update on international 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.