September 4, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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The Past Week: Total Box Office Volume

All films in wide release playing between August 27 and September 2 grossed $133 million, fairly close to the same week last year (-2%) but up 7% from the four-year average for the week.  The past six weeks have actually been fairly close to the four-year average box office average, although it is down significantly (-10%) from the same six-week period last year (one of the few bright spots in 2011).  Year to date box office (now over $7.1 billion for wide-release films) continues to run ahead of both last year and the average for the past four years (up 5-6%).

Domestic Box Office Volume: All Wide-Release Films through September 2, 2012 ($ millions)  2012 vs 2011  2012 vs 4yr Avg
2011 4-year Average 2012
Week #35 $135 $125 $133 -2% +7%
Past Six Weeks $1,211 $1,108 $1,090 -10% -2%
Year to Date $6,799 $6,761 $7,147 +5% +6%


Weekend Actuals versus Studio Estimate

Lawless came in officially at $10,001,982 today for the traditional Friday-Sunday period, up fully 3.4% from Weinstein’s conservative estimate for the weekend Sunday morning.  Like many of the returning films, Lawless enjoyed a more robust Sunday than usual.  

The two other openers, however, ended up being very close to their estimates.  The Possession came in at $17,732,480 for the opening weekend, exactly nailing the studio estimate (only $7,480 above the estimate or 0.04% over).

Similarly, Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure came in at $443,901 total for the weekend (0.9% below the Sunday estimate), and sealing its place in box office ignominy: the worst wide-release opening of all time and the second worst per theater opening ($206 at 2,160 theaters).


Updated Estimates of Final Grosses

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Grosses (the estimated North American gross when the film ends its run) are summarized below for films released the last six weeks. Pay attention to the final domestic grosses, which are much more important than individual weekend grosses and especially weekend rankings.  That’s quite an unimpressive list of movies, with many under $50 million domestic and little chance of making money.  However, keep in mind the most profitable film on that list could be 2016 Obama’s America, with an extremely small budget and a limited marketing budget that relied on free coverage in conservative media outlets.

Updated ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final Estimates Domestic Final Gross ($ millions) percentile
Bourne Legacy 112 83
Expendables 2 88 73
The Campaign 87 73
Hope Springs 64 63
Total Recall 56 56
ParaNorman 55 55
Odd Life of Timothy Green 49 51
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days 48 51
The Possession 41 45
Step Up Revolution 35 35
Lawless 34 34
The Watch 34 34
2016 Obama’s America 33 33
Sparkle 24 21
Premium Rush 24 21
Hit and Run 15 11
The Apparition 6 2
Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure 1 1


Weekend Predictions September 7-9 should be posted Wednesday. This weekend features the openings of The Words and The Cold Light of Day.

Also, catch the final update for the ShowbuzzDaily Summer Movie Fantasy Draft.

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.