April 24, 2012


>Now 16 full weeks into 2012, year-to-date domestic box office is running 22% ahead of last year’s pace (down from the +25% pace last week because the Monday-Thursday business April 16-19 was particularly soft), while the year-to-date total is still fully 15% ahead of the comparable period’s average for the last several years.   Updated final domestic gross estimates are available below for recent releases, with The Hunger Games now standing at an estimated $389 million in North America (another slight upward adjustment from last week). 

The Past Week: Total Box Office Volume

All films in wide release playing between April 16 and April 22 grossed $156 million, down 12% from the same week in 2011 but up 16% from the four-year average for the comparable week.  Year to date, 2012 is now running 22% ahead of 2011 (down from +25% through last week) and still 15% ahead of the average for the same period the last four years.

All Wide-Release Films April 16-22
(millions)           4yr              vs      vs
             2011    Avg     2012    2011    Avg

Week #16     $178    $135    $156    -12%

Year to Date $2397   $2558   $2935   +22%    +15%

Weekend Actuals versus Studio Estimates

Studio estimates were actually unusually low this past weekend.  Think Like a Man opened with $33.636 million, 1.9% above the $33.000 million studio estimate released Sunday morning (based on Friday and Saturday actual box office).  Chimpanzee opened with $10.674 million, a very high 4.6% higher than the $10.205 million studio estimate.  And The Hunger Games came in at $14.666 million for its fifth weekend, 1.1% above the $14.500 million studio estimate.  Even The Three Stooges surged Sunday: the film came in at $9.764 million in its second weekend, a very large 6.1% ahead of its $9.200 million studio estimate.  Among the top films this past weekend, only The Lucky One had the normally over-stated studio estimate.  The Lucky One ended up opening with $22.518 million, 1.3% below the $22.805 million studio estimate.             

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. 

The Hunger Games $389 million (99 percentile) 
21 Jump Street $141 million (87 percentile) 
Think Like a Man $108 million (81 percentile)
Wrath of the Titans $85 million (73 percentile) 
Titanic (3D) $72 million (67 percentile)  [Down from last week’s estimate]
Mirror Mirror $66 million (65 percentile)
The Lucky One $61 million (62 percentile)
American Reunion $61 million (62 percentile)
The Three Stooges $53 million (58 percentile) 
The Cabin in the Woods $48 million (54 percentile)
Chimpanzee $32 million (38 percentile)
Lockout $14 million (11 percentile) Friends with Kids $7 million (3 percentile)

Weekend Predictions for April 27-29 (featuring the openings of The Five-Year Engagement, The Pirates: Band of Misfits, Safe and The Raven) should be posted late Wednesday.


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.