BOX OFFICE: ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ Slays the Competition

Now that The Avengers reign is over, we are likely to see a new film atop the Box Office every weekend with only a few possible repeats throughout the rest of the Summer. Despite some impressive numbers this weekend, the total Box Office is down 7% from the Memorial Day 3-day total. Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom continues to do remarkably well in limited release with a $50,000 per theatre average this week. Expect it to crack the top ten next weekend when it expands to cities across the country. This was also the first week that The Hunger Games was not in the top ten since it was released in early March. That makes 10 weeks in the top ten.

Box Office Estimates
June 1-3, 2012

1) Snow White and the Huntsman (Opening)
WEEKEND: $56.26 million | TOTAL: $56.26 million

Despite the fact that this film debuted slightly lower than initial estimates at the beginning of the Summer, it still did remarkably well considering it is essentially an original film (not a sequel, only loosely based on a Brothers’ Grimm story). It opened in fewer theatres than Men in Black 3 and still managed to have a higher first weekend gross, which is encouraging. Original ideas can still have a place in Hollywood.

2) MIB 3 (2nd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $29.3 million | TOTAL: $112.3 million

Despite scoring the highest opening of any film in the Men in Black franchise, the third film in the franchise is on track to finish lower than its two predecessors. It is currently playing on more screens than any other movie, and its per theatre averages are not stunning. When movie theatres start shrinking its release to make room for other 3-D films, its total will drop noticeably.

3) The Avengers (5th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $20.27 million | TOTAL: $552.7 million

The Avengers has firmly established itself as the third highest grossing film of all-time behind Avatar and Titanic, where it will stay throughout the rest of its run. All it can hope to do now is distance itself from future competitors (The Dark Knight Rises) so it can hold onto the number three spot for as long as possible.

4) Battleship (3rd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $4.8 million | TOTAL: $55.1 million

There have been some interesting observations made about the fact that Battleship opened lower than John Carter and is on track to perform worse than the movie that was widely regarded to be the flop of the year. Why isn’t Battleship, which also cost over $200 million, not receiving the same negative press as John Carter did? I guess journalists don’t like to publish the same story twice.

5) The Dictator (3rd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $4.7 million | TOTAL: $50.8 million

The Dictator and Battleship are going to end with a similar total. The difference is that The Dictator cost less than a third what Battleship did to make. Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest effort is still not exactly what one would consider a success, however.

6) The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (5th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $4.6 million | TOTAL: $25.5 million

What an interesting trajectory for this adult-targeted independent film. In its 5 weekends of release it has gone from 15th place to 9th place to 6th place to 8th place and now back to 6th place. The main reason for this trend is that it is the type of movie to attract an older audience; the type of audience more apt to wait until the film is recommended to them by another person.

7) What to Expect When You’re Expecting (3rd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $4.4 million | TOTAL: $30.7 million

I love the weird lists that Box Office Mojo creates. According to them, What to Expect When You’re Expecting is the 14th highest grossing “Pregnancy Movie” of all-time. Guess what is number one? The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1.

8) Dark Shadows (4th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $3.86 million | TOTAL: $70.8 million

Not a great outing for Tim Burton, but this film did gross higher than Sweeney Todd, Big Fish, and several of his other films. He will continue to get big budgets from the studios, although they will likely encourage him to work with more recognizable franchises in the future.

9) Chernobyl Diaries (2nd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $3.05 million | TOTAL: $14.4 million

With a drop of 61% in its 2nd weekend, Chernobyl Diaries is this week’s biggest loser. Considering the less than stellar reviews, this is not at all surprising.

10) For Greater Glory (Opening)
WEEKEND: $1.8 million | TOTAL: $1.8 million

This little known film about religious conflict during the Mexican Civil War was widely hailed by religious leaders, despite being mostly disliked by critics. It could have the type of niche audience that allows it to stick around for a little while.

Estimates are courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Look for Prometheus to knock Snow White and the Huntsman out of the number one spot next weekend and hang on until Brave storms in.

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