April 29, 2015

Weekend Box Office Predictions 5.1-3.2015

Weekend #18 of 2015 is looking like $263 million for the top 12 films this weekend, well above the norm for this weekend, as the next Avengers film kicks off summer early and gets Disney into the game for 2015 in a big way.

Opening at around 4,200 theaters Friday (well above to the 2,886 average theater count for opening weekends the last two years), Avengers: Age of Ultron from Marvel and Disney should average a huge $52,400 per theater for the three-day weekend (for a $220 million opening three-day weekend). [The average wide-release film the past two years has had a three-day opening weekend of $5,300 per theater for a $14.5 million weekend.] Early reviews at RottenTomatoes are solid: 72% positive overall. Avengers: Age of Ultron is on track for around $620 million domestic. Overseas the film could bring in $1.1 billion (including the $201 million overseas box office already in from last week’s opening, primarily from the UK, South Korea, Russia and Australia), giving it a worldwide box office target of $1.72 billion.

That estimate would beat the $1.519 billion worldwide for Marvel’s The Avengers (released May 4, 2012: $623.4 million domestic and $895.2 million overseas), $1.215 billion for Iron Man 3 (released May 3, 2013: $409.0 million domestic and $806.4 million overseas), $714.8 million worldwide for Captain America: The Winter Soldier (released April 4, 2014: $259.8 million domestic and $455.0 million overseas), and $644.8 million worldwide for Thor: The Dark World (released November 8, 2013: $206.4 million domestic and $438.4 million overseas).


May 1-3, 2015

Critics Positive ($ millions)
Opening Weekend Forecast Domestic Total Projection
Avengers: Age of Ultron Dis PG13 72% 220.0 620
Note: Although critic reviews are not related to the size of the opening weekend, they are significantly correlated with the size of the declines in the opening weeks of a movie. The Domestic Total is a very early ShowBuzzDaily projection of the total North American gross, based on the Weekend Forecasts.

And the rest of the films in current release will be playing in near empty theaters.


May 1-3, 2015

Change vs Last Weekend ($ millions)
Weekend Forecast Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
Furious 7 Uni -54% 8.2 361
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Sony -47% 7.9 76
Age of Adaline LG/Sum -47% 7.0 41
Home Fox -42% 4.7 172
Ex Machina A24 -48% 2.8 21
Unfriended Uni -57% 2.7 36
Longest Ride Fox -47% 2.3 38
Woman in Gold Weins -38% 2.1 33
Get Hard WB -49% 1.9 91


Box Office Volume

For the past four years, the top 12 films this weekend have averaged $190 million total (Friday-Sunday), ranking 3rd of 52 weeks. Last year, this weekend’s total was $145 million (while 2013 was $211 million, 2012 was $250 million and 2011 was $155 million). This Friday-Sunday is looking like a mammoth $263 million, up a big +38% from the multi-year average for the comparable weekend and up an enormous +82% from the same weekend last year (which featured the opening of the sequel in the under-achieving Amazing Spider-Man reboot franchise). 

This Weekend Last Two Years ($ millions)


Amazing Spider-Man 2 Sony PG13 Andrew Garfield Emma Stone
Opening Weekend — Forecast: $93 Actual: $92
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $221 Actual: $203
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $506


Iron Man 3 Dis PG13 Robert Downey Jr Gwyneth Paltrow
Opening Weekend — Forecast: $158 Actual: $174
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $445 Actual: $409
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $806

Mud ROAD PG13 Matthew McConaughey Sam Shepard
Opening Weekend — Forecast: n/a Actual: $2
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $21 Actual: $21
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $0

Check back throughout the weekend for box office updates as the actual numbers come in.

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.