October 23, 2011


>Based on Friday and Saturday box office (and estimated Sunday numbers), Paranormal Activity 3 is now looking like a $54 million opening weekend, almost matching the last big opening ($54.8 for Rise of the Planet of the Apes on August 5) and blowing past the $41 million opening for Paranormal Activity 2 this week last year.  The other openers (The Three Musketeers and Johnny English Reborn) didn’t do any business.  With no holdovers doing much more than $10 million, the weekend as a whole is about 6% below the same weekend last year despite the huge win for PA3.     

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates now show that the openers are headed for: Paranormal Activity 3 ($115 million), The Three Musketeers ($20 million) and Johnny English Reborn ($8 million). 

Footloose has been upgraded to $61 million, while The Thing is still headed for $16 million and The Big Year for $8 million. 

The second weekend decline for Footloose (-30%) and the third weekend drop for Real Steel (-31%) were very good and kept their weekends above the $10 million level.        

Based on Friday and Saturday actual numbers and studio estimates for Sunday, Paranormal Activity 3 will average $16,300 per theater (a way above average mark) at 3,321 theaters (for $54.0 million from Friday-Sunday). The Three Musketeers will open with a very weak $2,900 per theater at 3,017 theaters ($8.8 million).  Johnny English Reborn will average a similarly bad $2,500 per theater at 1,552 theaters ($3.8 million weekend).    

October 21-23, 2011                 Wknd     vs     Showbuzz
(millions)                         Studio   Last    Domestic
                                    Proj.   Wknd     Final* 

Paranormal Activity 3     (Par)     $54.0             $115
Real Steel             (DW/Dis)     $11.3   -31%      $ 94+
Footloose                 (Par)     $10.9   -30%      $ 61+
The Three Musketeers   (Summit)     $ 8.8             $ 20
Ides of March            (Sony)     $ 4.9   -31%      $ 43
Dolphin Tale               (WB)     $ 4.2   -33%      $ 76
Moneyball                (Sony)     $ 4.1   -26%      $ 75+

Johnny English Reborn     (Uni)     $ 3.8             $  8
The Thing                 (Uni)     $ 3.1   -63%      $ 16

50/50                  (Summit)     $ 2.8   -34%      $ 36

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 looking like $112 million total, down 6% from the same calendar weekend last year (when Paranormal Activity 2 and Hereafter opened) but up 4% from the average number for the same weekend the last four years.

Top 12 Films: Weekend #42

     Volume    Movies Opening Each Weekend (millions)
2011  $112  Paranormal Activity 3 $54, 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

2008  $120  HS Musical 3 $42, Saw V $30, Pride & Glory $6
2007  $ 85  Saw IV $32, Dan in Real Life $12

Avg   $108  

Next Weekend

Opening next week are Puss in Boots from DreamWorks/ Paramount, In Time from Fox (sci-fi thriller starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried), and The Rum Diary from FilmDistrict (adventure starring Johnny Depp and Aaron Eckhart).  Those movies will be compared to Saw 3D ($22.5 million opening weekend). 
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.