>Weekend #15 of 2012 looks like it will be about $105 million for the top 12 films, down 11% from last year’s comparable weekend (dominated by Rio) and about even with the four-year average for this weekend. After three weeks of blazing box office, The Three Stooges and The Cabin in the Woods should struggle to get to a $15 million opening weekend, while Lockout should be DOA with far less than $10 million. The soft competition will allow The Hunger Games to win again, this time by default.
Opening at over 3,400 theaters, The Three Stooges from 20th Century Fox should average a weak $4,200 per theater (for $14 million Friday-Sunday). [The average wide-release film the past two years has had an opening three-day weekend of $5,525 per theater.] No reviews yet at RottenTomatoes, meaning Fox is letting the big advertising campaign speak for the film instead of exposing it to critics. The Three Stooges is on track for a preliminary $47 million domestic.
Opening at around 2,600 theaters, The Cabin in the Woods from Lionsgate should average a mediocre $5,500 per theater (for $14.5 million Friday-Sunday). Reviews at RottenTomatoes are currently running at 92% positive (exceptional for a horror film). The Cabin in the Woods is on track for a preliminary $45 million domestic, slightly less than Stooges despite a slightly higher opening because comedies play longer than horror generally.
Opening at around 2,300 theaters, Lockout from FilmDistrict should average a deadly $3,200 per theater (for $7.5 million Friday-Sunday). Reviews at RottenTomatoes are currently running at a mediocre 43% positive. Lockout is on track for a preliminary $15 million domestic after a very short run in theaters.
New Films Critics Opening Domestic
April 13-15 Positive Weekend Total*
Three Stooges Fox PG N/A $14.0 $ 47
Cabin in the Woods LG R 92% $14.5 $ 45
Lockout FD PG13 43% $ 7.5 $ 15
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.
Because of extremely weak competition, The Hunger Games should hold on to first place in its fourth weekend, down 43% to around $19 million this weekend. Lionsgate is continuing to market the hit film on television to keep the fire stoked — a smart strategy (especially in a fairly open competitive environment).
Major Returning Films Change This Domestic
April 13-15 vs wknd 1 Weekend Total*
The Hunger Games LG -43% $19.0 $379
American Reunion Uni -46% $11.5 $ 73
Titanic (3D) Par -42% $10.0 $ 62
Wrath of the Titans WB -51% $ 7.2 $ 88
Mirror Mirror Rel -38% $ 6.0 $ 62
21 Jump Street Sony -38% $ 6.2 $136
The Lorax Uni -56% $ 3.5 $214
Box Office Volume
For the past four years, the top 12 films in this comparable weekend have averaged $103 million total, ranking 37th of 52 weeks. Last year this weekend’s total was an unusually strong $117 million (powered by one of 2011′s rare bright spots, Rio), and the same weekend in 2010 was $112 million. This Friday-Sunday is looking like a so-so $105 million, down 11% from this weekend last year and up a scant 1% from an “average” comparable weekend over the past four years.
This Weekend Last Two Years