December 10, 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 December 3 and December 9 grossed only $101 million, down 3% from the four-year average for the week but up 13% from the same week last year. 

The past six weeks are still 18% above the four-year average and 25% above the same six-week period last year.  

Year to date box office (now over $9.4 billion for wide-release films) is 6.7% above the average for the same period the last four years and 7.3% ahead of the same period last year.

Domestic Box Office Volume: All Wide-Release Films through December 9, 2012 ($ millions)  2012 vs 2011  2012 vs 4yr Avg
2011 4-year Average 2012
Week #49 $90 $104 $101 +13% -3%
Past Six Weeks $993 $1,051 $1,241 +25% +18%
Year to Date $8,791 $8,846 $9,436 +7.3% +6.7%

Compared to the $104 million four-year average for this past week, the upcoming week (December 10-16) will be compared against an average of $145 million for the 50th week of the year (ranking 39th out of 52 weeks).  However, the really significant business will be found in the last two weeks of December.  The week of December 17-23 will be compared to a $262 million average for week 51 (ranking 8th for the year), and December 24-30 will be compared against a $363 million average for week 52 (the #1 week of the year in terms of box office volume).


Weekend Actuals versus Studio Estimate

Playing for Keeps came in officially at $5,750,288 for its opening three-day weekend, down 4.2% from a bloated FilmDistrict estimate Sunday (which optimistically pegged the opening weekend at the $6 million level).  


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.  

Updated ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final Estimates Domestic Final Gross ($ millions) percentile
Skyfall 289 97
Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 282 97
Wreck-It Ralph 180 93
Lincoln 131 86
Flight 97 77
Rise of the Guardians 85 73
Life of Pi 83 71
Red Dawn 43 46
Killing Them Softly 20 15
Man with the Iron Fists 15 11
Playing for Keeps 9 3
The Collection 4 1


Weekend Predictions for December 14-16 should be posted Wednesday.  This weekend features one wide-release opening: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (fantasy from Warner Brothers and director Peter Jackson).


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.