Now 18 full weeks into 2012 (entering the middle third of the year, the all-important May-August period), year-to-date domestic box office is now running 20% ahead of last year’s pace and now 15% ahead of the comparable period’s average for the last several years. Marvel’s The Avengers ended up with an even stronger weekend than the studio forecast Sunday morning: an official domestic opening of over $207 million, now the best opening of all time by far (23% ahead of #2 all-time, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). Sunday turned out to be an absolute whopper for The Avengers: $57.067 million, which was another new record (the biggest Sunday of all time) and an amazing 31% above the previous Sunday record holder ($43.596 million for The Dark Knight on July 20, 2008).
The Past Week: Total Box Office Volume
All films in wide release playing between April 30 and May 6 grossed $283 million, up 32% from the same week in 2011 and up 52% from the four-year average for the comparable week. Year to date, 2012 is now running 20% ahead of 2011 (up from +19% through last week) and 15% ahead of the average for the same period the last four years (up from +13% through last week).
|Domestic Box Office Volume: All Wide-Release Films through May 6, 2012||($ millions)|
|2011||4-year Average||2012||vs 2011||vs 4yr Avg|
|Year to Date||$2,793||$2,912||$3,359||+20%||+15%|
Weekend Actuals versus Studio Estimates
Studio estimates were all over the map this weekend — some high and some low. The only movie that really counted this weekend, Marvel’s The Avengers, was actually understated in the studio estimate issued Sunday. The record-setting Avengers came in at $207.439 million in its opening weekend, 3.6% above the $200.3 million estimate Sunday morning. Think Like a Man actually grossed $8.106 million, 1.3% above the $8.0 million studio estimate. In contrast, The Hunger Games and The Lucky One showed the more normal pattern of coming in slightly below the studio estimate. The Hunger Games grossed $5.588 million in its seventh weekend, 2.0% below the $5.7 million studio estimate. The Lucky One ended up grossing $5.368 million in weekend three, 2.6% below the $5.51 million studio estimate.
Updated Estimates of Final Grosses
The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Grosses (the estimated North American gross when the film ends its run) are summarized below for films released the last six weeks. Pay attention to the final domestic grosses, which are much more important than individual weekend grosses and especially weekend rankings.
|Updated ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Finals||Domestic Final Gross ($ millions)||percentile|
|Marvel’s The Avengers||507||99|
|Think Like a Man||95||77|
|Wrath of the Titans||82||72|
|The Lucky One||58||59|
|The Cabin in the Woods||44||52|
|The Three Stooges||44||52|
|Pirates! Band of Misfits||34||42|
Weekend Predictions for May 11-13 (featuring the opening of Dark Shadows) should be posted late Wednesday.