In all of 2011 there were only two films that surpassed the $300 million milestone and just over three months in to 2012, we already have our first. The Hunger Games juggernaut cannot be stopped as the dystopian film has quickly established itself as the one to beat in 2012. There are some strong Summer releases headed this way and it will be interesting to see how those stack up to The Hunger Games, which not only opened strong, but displayed very impressive legs.
In this weekend’s batch of limited releases we saw Bully hold strong for a second weekend and Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress open to an impressive $16,000 per screen. The Raid: Redemption also had a strong weekend, nearly breaking into the top ten while playing on fewer than 200 screens.
Box Office Estimates
April 6 – 8, 2012
1) The Hunger Games (3rd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $33.5 million | TOTAL: $302.8 million
There are a couple big question marks surrounding the final Box Office of this March blockbuster. Will it manage an Avatar-like 4th weekend at number one? What will it’s final total be? What will it’s rank be compared to the big releases coming out this Summer and Fall? I predict it will finish just in front of the final Twilight film, but behind The Dark Knight Rises when the dust of 2012 finally settles.
2) American Reunion (Opening)
WEEKEND: $21.5 million | TOTAL: $21.5 million
This grown-up comedy managed to be the top new release this weekend, but it’s only real competition was a 3D re-release of a ’90s movie. Word of mouth is mixed and I don’t expect it to have a long Box Office life, especially with movies like Cabin in the Woods and The Five Year Engagement coming out to take from its audience.
3) Titanic 3D (Opening)
WEEKEND: $17.35 million | TOTAL: $25.7 million
This film opened on Wednesday, so it’s five day total was higher than American Reunion‘s three day total, but not by much. I am glad that the folks who measure Box Office numbers start a new total for Titanic 3D instead of adding it on to the enormous total for the original Titanic release. Once again the “re-release movies in 3-D” gimmick proves successful. I just hope it continues long enough for me to see Andrei Rublev in 3-D.
4) Wrath of the Titans (2nd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $15 million | TOTAL: $58. 9 million
The budget for this film was revealed to be around $150 million. I don’t understand why a studio would be willing to spend that kind of money on a movie that never seemed destined to do well. I suspect we will not be seeing the Titans return with a new synonym for “fight.”
5) Mirror Mirror (2nd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $11 million | TOTAL: $36.5 million
This film is second only to The Hunger Games in total theater count. I imagine that when competing family films open, the decline in theatres playing Mirror Mirror will lead to a greatly lessened total. I wonder how long Tarsem will get films greenlit that have near $100 million budgets if they continue to under perform. I actually enjoy his work better than hack directors like Zack Snyder, but I wonder if limited funds would limit his abilities.
6) 21 Jump Street (4th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $10. 2 million | TOTAL: $109.6 million
This comedy easily passes the $100 million mark, becoming only the 5th movie of the year to do so. Good word of mouth has lead to this movie having impressive legs and staying strong despite being weeks into its initial release.
7) Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (6th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $5 million | TOTAL: $198.2 million
The second highest grossing movie of 2012 will easily surpass the $200 million mark by next weekend. It probably will not retain that title once May rolls around, but while Spring is still in full swing it can celebrate the victory of its green message.
8) Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (5th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $0.98 million | TOTAL: $4.6 million
This film sneaked into the top ten a few weeks ago and has settled into the second half of the top ten for a few weeks. It keeps adding a handful of theatres each week and has experienced smaller weekly declines than other films, which has kept it around. It will have to fall out of the top ten eventually, but I expect it to linger for at least one more week.
9) John Carter (5th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $0.82 million | TOTAL: $67.9 million
With a drop of 59.6%, John Carter is this weekend’s biggest loser. I won’t add any further insult to this doomed project, but the good news is that it has grossed almost $200 million overseas, which gives it enough to recoup its huge production budget.
10) Safe House (9th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $0.58 million | TOTAL: $124.8 million
This film somehow managed to make its way back into the top 10 after falling off last week. That is mainly thanks to the fact that the weekend total for the films that finished between 10th and 13th this weekend had grosses that were very close. When the final results come in it could be any of them on top.
Box Office estimates courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Next weekend look for The Hunger Games to seek to maintain it’s number one spot while it faces off against Cabin in the Woods and…The Three Stooges.