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March 31, 2011
 

WEEKEND PREDICTIONS APR 1-3: Hop Set to Lead Soft Weekend

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Hop (Universal) is set to be #1 with almost $25 million, although this weekend the last two years has boasted top openings in the $61-71 million range.  Overall, it looks like another soft weekend of box office numbers. The well-reviewed Source Code from Summit (92% positive rating at rottentomatoes) is headed for about $15 million this weekend.  Bringing up the rear of the openers with $10-11 million is Insidious (FilmDistrict) from the Saw creative team of director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell.  Read Mitch Salem’s review of Source Code and Insidious

Before turning to the predictions for the returning movies, we want to point out a new feature, Showbuzz Basics.  You’ll find a list of frequently-used terms and jargon (that we sometimes take for granted), as well as some helpful rules of thumb in box office analysis. 


New Films                        Critics   Opening  Domestic
                                 Positive  Weekend  Ultimate
.
Hop                    Uni  PG     26%      $24.5     $62
Source Code         Summit  PG13   93%      $15       $47
Insidious          FilmDis  PG13   71%      $10.5     $29

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.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules should have a fairly normal second weekend decline and should lead the returning films, probably finishing in third place overall.  Limitless and Lincoln Lawyer should continue to have better than average weekend declines for returning films.   

Returning Films                  Change    Opening  Domestic

                                vs wknd 1  Weekend  Ultimate

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 Fox        -52%      $11.5     $73
Limitless              Rel        -33%      $10       $83
Lincoln Lawyer         LG         -27%      $8        $61
Sucker Punch           WB         -61%      $7.5      $41
Rango                  Par        -37%      $6        $129

Box Office Volume

For the past four years, the top 12 films in the comparable weekend have averaged $127 million total, ranking 22nd of 52 weeks.  But the last two years have been much higher during this weekend: $169 million April 2-4, 2010 and $149 million April 3-5, 2009.  This weekend is looking very soft: something in the $110 million range.

This Weekend the Last Two Years

The forecast model was within a few million dollars for four out of the five films opening this weekend the last two years, while Fast & Furious was vastly under-estimated.  The portion of the model that projects the ultimate domestic gross was a bit high for four of five films and has since been adjusted.  Notice the very strong international appeal of Clash of the Titans and to a lesser extent Fast & Furious.  The other films were much tougher sells overseas. 

4.2.2010

Clash of the Titans (WB) Opening Weekend Forecast $65; Actual: $61
Final estimate (week 2): $170. Actual Final: $163. International: $330

Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too (LG) Opening Weekend Forecast $25; Actual: $29
Final estimate (week 2): $72. Actual Final: $60. International: $1

The Last Song (DIS) Opening Weekend Forecast $19; Actual: $16

Final estimate (week 2): $64. Actual Final: $63. International: $26

4.3.2009

Fast & Furious (UNI) Opening Weekend Forecast $46; Actual: $71
Final estimate (week 2): $172. Actual Final: $155. International: $188

Adventureland (MIR) Opening Weekend Forecast $9; Actual: $6
Final estimate (week 2): $24. Actual Final: $16. International: $1
Come back throughout the weekend to see how the movies actually perform.  Saturday late morning we will have an early look at how the weekend is shaping up (based on Friday’s actual numbers), on Sunday we will have studio estimates (based on Friday and Saturday), and Monday we will have a complete wrap-up based on the actual full-weekend numbers. 
 –Mitch Metcalf


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.