October 30, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Why did it snow on my weekend?

Based on Friday and Saturday box office (and estimated Sunday numbers), Puss in Boots looks like a $34 million opening weekend.  The highly unusual late-October snowstorm in the northeast certainly reduced the opening numbers for Puss, but the weather also seemed to have a strong impact on the holdovers.  After weeks of seeing weekend declines in the 30-45% range, the fall-offs were consistently in the 45-60+% range.  Still, the weekend volume of $93 million managed to beat last year’s number by 10%, when Saw 3D was the lone opener.      

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates now show that the openers are headed for: Puss in Boots ($129 million), In Time ($28 million) and The Rum Diary ($19 million). 
Paranormal Activity 3 has been upgraded slightly to $119 million, while The Three Musketeers is holding at $20 million and Johnny English Reborn at $8 million. 

Footloose has been adjusted back down to $54 million, while Real Steel has been dialed back down to $87 million. 

Based on Friday and Saturday actual numbers and studio estimates for Sunday, Puss in Boots will average $8,600 per theater (an above average but not noteworthy mark) at 3,952 theaters (for $34.0 million from Friday-Sunday). In Time is opening with a very weak $3,800 per theater at 3,122 theaters ($12 million).  The Rum Diary will average a very bad $2,200 per theater at 2,272 theaters ($5 million weekend).    

October 28-30, 2011                 Wknd     vs     Showbuzz
(millions)                         Studio   Last    Domestic
                                    Proj.   Wknd     Final* 

Puss in Boots          (DW/Par)     $34.0             $129
Paranormal Activity 3     (Par)     $18.5   -65%      $119+
In Time                   (Fox)     $12.0             $ 28
Footloose                 (Par)     $ 5.4   -48%      $ 54-
The Rum Diary         (FilmDis)     $ 5.0             $ 19
Real Steel             (DW/Dis)     $ 4.7   -57%      $ 87-
The Three Musketeers   (Summit)     $ 3.5   -60%      $ 20 
Ides of March            (Sony)     $ 2.7   -44%      $ 41
Moneyball                (Sony)     $ 2.4   -40%      $ 76
Dolphin Tale               (WB)     $ 1.6   -62%      $ 71

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.  

Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are now looking like a good $93 million total, up 10% from the same calendar weekend last year (when Saw 3D opened).         

Top 12 Films: Weekend #43

     Volume    Movies Opening Each Weekend (millions)
2011  $ 94  Puss in Boots $34, In Time $12, Rum Diary $5
2010  $ 85  Saw 3D $22.5    
2009  $ 83  Michael Jackson’s This Is It $23

2008  $ 74  Zach and Miri Make a Porno $10, Changeling $9
2007  $122  American Gangster $44, Bee Movie $38
Avg   $ 91 

Next Weekend
Opening next week are Tower Heist from Universal and A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas from Warner Brothers/ New Line.  Those movies will be compared to Megamind ($46.0 million opening weekend), Due Date ($32.7 million) and For Colored Girls ($19.5 million).

International numbers will be posted as soon as possible, and Monday we will have official numbers for the Friday-Sunday domestic 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.