May 22, 2011

WEEKEND STUDIO ESTIMATES MAY 20-22: Pirates #1 But Bridesmaids Holds Strong

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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As expected, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides opens at #1, but Bridesmaids steals the show with an impressive second weekend.

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates now show that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides should finish its domestic run with $254 million.  Bridesmaids has been upgraded to $122 million domestic (with a little more upside), while Priest should finish with around $29 million.  

Based on Friday and Saturday actual numbers and studio estimates for Sunday, Pirates 4 opened with $21,685 per theater at 4,155 theaters.  While a $90.1 million opening is a lot of money, Disney has to be disappointed that it is lagging behind the $135 million opening for Dead Man’s Chest and $115 million for At World’s End.  In limited release, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris will average over $96,000 at six locations, while 35 and Ticking will average a mediocre $5,100, also at six locations.

May 20-22, 2011                     Wknd     vs     Showbuzz
(millions)                         Studio   Last    Domestic
                                    Proj.   Wknd     Final*
Pirates On Stranger Tides (Dis)     $90.1             $254
Bridesmaids               (Uni)     $21.1   -20%      $122
Thor                      (Par)     $15.5   -55%      $195
Fast Five                 (Uni)     $10.6   -48%      $206
Rio                       (Fox)     $ 4.7   -44%      $145
Priest                   (Sony)     $ 4.6   -69%      $ 29
Jumping the Broom        (Sony)     $ 3.7   -48%      $ 39
Something Borrowed         (WB)     $ 3.4   -50%      $ 37
Water for Elephants       (Fox)     $ 2.2   -49%      $ 59

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. 

Early International View

Of course, domestic grosses do not tell the whole story.  Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides has already grossed $250+ million overseas (according to Deadline Hollywood), while Thor has now grossed $237 million overseas and Fast Five is at $265 million total.  (Note: international numbers will be updated and tallied late Monday or early Tuesday.)

Total Weekend Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $161 million total, up 12% from last year’s comparable weekend.  The year-to-date numbers will be updated tomorrow when the official weekend numbers are in. 

Top 12 Films: Weekend #20
2011  $161  (
– 5% vs 2007-10 average; +12% vs 2010) 

Avg   $170 
            Movies Opening That Weekend
2010  $143  Shrek Forever After $71, MacGruber $4

2009  $170  Night Museum 2 $54, Terminator Salvation $43
2008  $168  Indiana Jones Crystal Skull $100
2007  $199  Pirates At World’s End $115

Next Weekend

Opening next week are two sequels aimed at different audiences: the adult comedy The Hangover Part II from Warner Brothers and the family animated Kung Fu Panda 2 from Paramount/ DreamWorks.  This dynamic duo will be compared against the dud duo of Sex and the City 2 and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (each around $30 million).  Next weekend is another good opportunity for 2011 to make up some lost ground.

To see how the weekend predictions stack up to the actual weekend performance, look at the table on the Friday box office post. 

On Monday we will have the final, official numbers for the weekend (actual numbers for all three days, no estimated Saturday or Sunday numbers), and on Tuesday look for the updated international numbers for films currently in release.  

Also Monday…from the TV side of ShowBuzzDaily, look for complete ratings estimates for this fall starting Monday.  This web exclusive will look at every time period and every show, new and returning.  Who will win each night?  Whose schedule will win the typical week?  And how will each new show fare?  Find out first on ShowBuzzDaily this week.

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.