May 6, 2012

WEEKEND STUDIO ESTIMATES May 4-6 — Historic Weekend for The Avengers

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Wow.  It’s time to haul out the superlatives and the sports cliches like grand slam and buzzer-beating three-point shot.  Marvel’s The Avengers is headed for a $200 million opening weekend, shattering the record previously held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($169.2 million).  Beating a record by 18% is truly extraordinary.  While The Avengers lagged behind the final Harry Potter on Friday (Harry’s $90.1 million–#1 Friday all time vs Avengers’ $80.5 million–#2 Friday all time), The Avengers surged ahead on Saturday (Avengers’ $69.7 million–#1 Saturday all time vs Harry’s $42 million–#11 Saturday all time and Spider-Man 3’s $51.3 million–#2 all time).  Sunday is expected to be very good for The Avengers as well ($50.1 million–#1 Sunday all time), comfortably ahead of The Dark Knight’s $43.6 million–#2 Sunday all time.  

The box office volume for the top 12 films is now looking like $242 million for the weekend, up 56% from last year’s weekend and up 65% from the weekend’s average for the past four years.   

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates now show that the films opening wide this weekend are headed for:  Marvel’s The Avengers ($490 million).

Second week films:  The Pirates! Band of Misfits ($34 million, adjusted down from last week’s estimate), The Five-Year Engagement ($32 million, adjusted down slightly from last week), Safe ($17 million, adjusted down from last week) and The Raven ($14 million, adjusted down slightly from last week).

Third week films:  Think Like a Man ($95 million, adjusted down from last week’s estimate), The Lucky One ($58 million, adjusted back down slightly) and Chimpanzee ($30 million, adjusted back down slightly).

Fourth week films:  Three Stooges ($44 million, adjusted down slightly for the third week in a row) and Cabin in the Woods ($44 million, adjusted down slightly).

May 4-6 ($ millions)
vs Last Wknd Wknd Studio Proj. Showbuzz Domestic Final
Marvel’s The Avengers Dis 200.3 490
Think Like a Man LG -55% 8.0 95
The Hunger Games LG -47% 5.7 405
The Lucky One WB -49% 5.5 58
Pirates! Band of Misfits Sony -52% 5.4 34
Five-Year Engagement Uni -52% 5.1 32
Safe LG -69% 2.5 17
The Raven Rel -66% 2.5 14
Chimpanzee Dis -54% 2.4 30
The Three Stooges Fox -65% 1.8 44
The Cabin in the Woods LG -66% 1.6 44


The Avengers is already up to over $440 million overseas to complement the $200 million domestic opening weekend.  The Hunger Games, in contrast, stands at $237 million overseas currently.  Look for more international numbers later today when we update our weekly worldwide tracking chart.      

Opening Weekend Final Domestic Total Overseas Total
Marvel’s The Avengers 200 (est.) 490 (est.) 441.5 (to date)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 169.2 381.1 947.1
The Dark Knight 158.4 533.3 468.6
The Hunger Games 152.5 405 (est.) 237.0 (to date)
Spider-Man 3 151.1 336.5 554.3


Total Box Office Volume 

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $242 million total Friday-Sunday, now up 56%   from the same calendar weekend last year and up 65% from the average for this weekend the past four years.   

WEEKEND #18 Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend
2012 $242 Marvel’s The Avengers $200
2011 $155 Thor $66, Jumping the Broom $15, Something Borrowed $14
2010 $171 Iron Man 2 $128, Babies $2
2009 $143 Star Trek $75, Next Day Air $4
2008 $118 What Happens in Vegas $20, Speed Race $19
Avg 2008-11 $147

Next Weekend             

Opening wide next weekend is Dark Shadows from Warner Brothers (starring Johnny Depp and directed by Tim Burton).  This film will be compared to the following openers from the same weekend last year:  Bridesmaids ($26.2 million opening weekend) and Priest ($15.0 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.