October 21, 2012


The weekend looks like a decent $124 million for the top 12 films, a little softer than it looked yesterday (but still significantly ahead of the comparable weekends the last few years).  Paranormal Activity 4 gets a little weaker each day and now is projected to total $30.2 million in its opening weekend, although don’t be surprised if the actual weekend number reported tomorrow has a 2 in front of it, well below our bullish $46.2 million prediction for the film in Wednesday’s ShowbuzzDaily Weekend Forecast.

In contrast, Argo is on pace for a tiny 15% decline in its second weekend (to $16.2 million for the weekend and $43 million through Sunday).  The Ben Affleck film set during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis has been upgraded to a $93 million domestic final gross.

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates for films opening wide this weekend:  Paranormal Activity 4 ($65 million) and Alex Cross ($28 million).

Second week films:  Argo ($93 million, adjusted up sharply from the $68 million estimate last week), Sinister ($52 million, very similar to $51 million last week), Here Comes the Boom ($44 million, up somewhat from the initial $35 million estimate last week),and Seven Psychopaths ($20 million, very close to the $21 million estimate last week).

Third week films:  Taken 2 ($133 million, down a touch from $137 million last week and $138 million the first week) and Frankenweenie ($40 million, down a bit from $43 million last week and $42 million the first week).

Fourth week films: Hotel Transylvania ($147 million, down a touch from $149 million last week and $142-$145 million the first two weeks), Looper ($70 million, down a bit from $72-73 million in weeks two and three and still up significantly from an initial $64 million estimate) and Pitch Perfect ($70 million, down a bit from $73 million last week, still up from $68 million in week two, and up sharply from the initial $27 million estimate).

Weekend 42: Oct 19-21, 2012 ($ millions)
vs Last Wknd Wknd Studio Proj. Showbuzz Domestic Final
Paranormal Activity 4 Par 30.2 65
Argo WB -15% 16.6 93
Hotel Transylvania Sony/ Col -22% 13.5 147
Taken 2 Fox -39% 13.4 133
Alex Cross Sum/ LG 11.7 28
Sinister LG/ Sum -50% 9.0 52
Here Comes the Boom Sony/ Col -28% 8.5 44
Pitch Perfect Universal -24% 7.0 70
Frankenweenie Disney -37% 4.4 40
Looper Sony/ Tri -32% 4.2 70
Seven Psychopaths CBS -21% 3.3 20
Perks of Being a Wallflower LG/Summit -0% 2.2 n/a


Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $124 million total Friday-Sunday, up 9% from the average comparable weekend the last four years and up 13% from the same weekend last year.

($ millions)
WEEKEND #42 Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend
2012 $124 Paranormal Activity 4 $30, Alex Cross $12
2011 $109 Paranormal Activity 3 $53, Three Musketeers $9, Johnny English Reborn $4
2010 $120 Paranormal Activity 2 $41, Hereafter $12
2009 $106 Saw VI $14, Astro Boy $7, Cirque Du Freak $6, Amelia $4
2008 $120 High School Musical 3 $42, Saw V $30, Pride & Glory $6
Avg 2008-11 $114

Opening Next Week

Opening wide next weekend:  Fun Size from Paramount (comedy), Silent Hill: Revelation 3D from Open Road Films (horror), Chasing Mavericks from 20th Century Fox (sports drama) and Cloud Atlas from Warner Brothers (art/ sci-fi).  These films will be compared to the following openers from the same weekend last year:  Puss in Boots ($34.1 million opening weekend), In Time ($12.1 million) and The Rum Diary ($5.1 million).

International grosses will be updated as available.

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.