>The weekend studio estimates (based on Friday and Saturday actuals and projections for Sunday) are coming in significantly stronger than the weekend numbers posted yesterday (based on Friday actuals only). The box office volume for the top 12 films is now looking like an impressive $174 million for the weekend, up a very strong 29% from last year’s disaster weekend and, even more significant, up 15% from the weekend’s average for the past four years. Two films opened with around $40 million weekends (The Vow with $41.7 million and Safe House with $39.3 million), and two films opened with around $25 million (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island with $27.6 million and Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace in 3D with $23.0 million). (Updated weekend numbers in the chart after the jump.)
On Friday The Vow beat Safe House by about $1.5 million ($15.325 million to $13.800 million), while on Saturday the race was very close ($16.700 million for The Vow to $16.600 million for Safe House). But Sunday is expected to go to The Vow by a margin of almost $1 million ($9.675 million to $8.900 million). The Vow is expected to beat Safe House by about $1.4 million for the entire weekend, although that margin could close when the final numbers are in Monday. Either way, two very impressive openings by two nicely counter-programmed films.
As expected, Phantom Menace in 3D was incredibly front-loaded by sci-fi fans who love special effects and care little about a coasting director who specializes in recycling his direction of even great actors (Liam Neeson and Natalie Portman) toward wooden performances to match inexperienced, untalented child actors (Jake Lloyd). For a complete look at George Lucas and his infatuation with technology at the expense of humanity in his films, read Mitch Salem’s review of the 3D re-release of Phantom Menace. On opening night, Phantom Menace beat Journey 2 by more than $2 million ($8.650 million to $6.570 million), but Journey 2 pounded back on Saturday, winning by more than $4 million ($12.715 million to $8.550 million). A similarly wide margin is expected Sunday ($8.265 million to $5.800 million for Phantom Menace).
The second week movies: Chronicle ($71 million, adjusted up), The Woman in Black ($58 million, steady) and Big Miracle ($23 million, adjusted down).
The third week movies have been adjusted: The Grey ($56 million, down slightly again), One for the Money ($25 million, down slightly), Man on a Ledge ($19 million, down slightly). In its third wide-release week, The Artist ($32 million) is holding steady.
February 10-12 Wknd vs Showbuzz
(millions) Studio Last Domestic
Proj. Wknd Final*
The Vow (Sony) $41.7 $116
Safe House (Uni) $39.3 $114
Journey 2 Myster. Island (WB) $27.6 $ 79
Phantom Menace 3D (Fox) $23.0 $ 63
Chronicle (Fox) $12.3 -44% $ 71+
The Woman in Black (CBS) $10.3 -51% $ 58
The Grey (Open Road) $ 5.1 -45% $ 56
Big Miracle (Uni) $ 3.9 -50% $ 23-
The Descendants (Fox) $ 3.5 -23% $ 80
Underworld Awakening (Sony) $ 2.5 -55% $ 65
Red Tails (Fox) $ 2.4 -49% $ 51
One for the Money (LG) $ 2.3 -56% $ 25
Note: The table above summarizes the weekend as of Sunday. The first column (on which the table is sorted) displays the “studio projection” for each film, based on the Friday and Saturday actual numbers (and a studio-supplied estimate of Sunday). The second column is the percent decline from the prior weekend. The final column is a preliminary estimate of the ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Total Gross for the film’s complete run in North America. A “++” indicates the Domestic number has been upgraded; a “–” indicates a downgrade.
Total Box Office Volume
The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $174 million total Friday-Sunday, up 29% from the same calendar weekend last year and more impressively up 15% from the more typical volume for this weekend in other years.
Top 12 Films: Weekend #6
2012 $174 The Vow $42, Safe House $39, Journey 2 $28
2011 $135 Just Go With It $30, Justin Bieber $29, Gnomeo $25
2010 $189 Valentine’s Day $56, Percy Jackson $31, Wolfman $31
2009 $163 Friday 13th $41, Confessions Shopaholic $15
2008 $118 Jumper $27, Spiderwick Chron $19, Step Up 2 $19
Look for final weekend figures Monday and international results later today