October 6, 2013

Weekend Studio Estimates OCTOBER 4-6

Based on Friday’s and Saturday’s grosses, Weekend #40 of 2013 looks like a decent $115 million for the top 12 films, down 13% from last year’s atypical weekend but up 17% from the average for the same weekend the past few years.  One movie is driving the entire weekend: Gravity and its new record for best October opening ever.  Even greater things could be ahead for Gravity, which could have what it takes for a very long, fruitful run in theaters.

Opening at 3,575 theaters Friday, Gravity from Warner Brothers grossed $17.4 million Friday and $23.0 million Saturday, now on track for a phenomenal $55.5 million opening weekend (blowing past the $39.5 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast and setting a new October opening weekend record). The film is pacing toward a three-day average of $15,500 per theater for the weekend (well above the $5,333 opening weekend average for all wide-release films the last two years and also clearing the $13,535 mark for top 10% films). Critical sentiment is nearly universal (98% positive overall at RottenTomatoes and 100% positive with top critics). Gravity is headed for $187 million total domestic.  The film could easily do 2.5 times domestic overseas, which would be $465 million overseas and $655 million worldwide.  Although it could go much higher than that.  Either way, this is that wonderful combination of commercial and artistic success.

Opening at 3,024 theaters Friday, Runner Runner from Twentieth Century Fox grossed $2.7 million Friday and $3.0 million Saturday, now pacing toward a weak $7.6 million opening weekend (well under our $13.5 million forecast). The film is headed for a really bad three-day average of $2,500 per theater for the weekend. Critical sentiment is hideously bad (9% positive overall at RottenTomatoes and 0% positive with top critics). Runner Runner is headed for a quick exit and $14 million total domestic.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 has been adjusted slightly to $116 million total domestic, while Prisoners has been downgraded slightly to $64 million domestic.

Weekend 40: October 4-6, 2013 ($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Weekend Studio Estimate Actual Fri– Sat Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
Gravity WB [39.5] 47.9 55.5 17.5–23.0 187
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Sony [22.5] 22.1 21.5 4.7–10.0 116
Runner Runner Fox [13.5] 7.9 7.6 2.7–3.0 14
Prisoners WB [5.8] 5.5 5.7 1.7–2.5 64
Rush Uni [5.3] 4.4 4.4 1.4–1.9 31
Baggage Claim Fox [3.9] 4.5 4.1 1.3–1.9 21
Don Jon Rel [4.5] 4.3 4.2 1.4–1.7 28
Insidious Chapter 2
FilmDis [3.6] 3.8 3.9 1.2–1.9 78
Enough Said Fox S [—] 2.1 2.2 .60–1.0 n/a
Instructions Not Included LG/Sum [2.2] 2.7 1.9 .43–n/a 48

Note: The table above summarizes an early look at the weekend. The first column is a reminder of each film’s ShowBuzzDaily Forecast for the weekend (in brackets). The second column, on which the films are sorted, displays the new weekend projection for each film, based on the Friday numbers (the third column). The final column is a preliminary estimate of the ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Total number for the film’s total run in North America. A “++” indicates the Domestic number has been upgraded; a “–” indicates a downgrade.


In case you missed them, click to see this week’s Weekend Predictions.


Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $115 million total Friday-Sunday, up 17% from the four-year average for the comparable weekend but still down 13% from the same weekend last year (which was fueled by Taken 2).

WEEKEND 40 ($ millions)
Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend (Fri-Sun only)
2013 $115 Gravity $55.5, Runner Runner $7.6
2012 $133 Taken 2 $49.5, Frankenweenie $11.4
2011 $85 Real Steel $27.3, Ides of March $10.5
2010 $81 Life As We Know It $14.5, Secretariat $12.7, My Soul to Take $6.8
2009 $96 Couples Retreat $34.3
Avg 2009-12 $99

Check back later for the Worldwide Studio Scorecard and the International Box Office report.

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.