As predicted, 2012 dominated the box office this weekend, but that was not the big story. The big story was the #4 film in the land, which we will get to shortly.
2012 ruled the movies this weekend with a gross of $65 million (I predicted it would finish 1st and gross $50 million). Roland Emmerich excels in making disaster films, and the marketing campaign was aggressive leading to a high awareness of the film. It had an excellent per theatre average of $19,095, and was an event film for the fall season. Reviews do not matter with this type of picture for the opening weekend, so a big gross was expected. The test will now be how well it holds, especially with another juggernaut film opening next weekend (The Twilight Saga: New Moon). We’ll have to wait and see.
Dropping to 2nd place with an excellent hold is Disney’s A Christmas Carol, as it grossed $22.3 million (I predicted a #2 finish and a gross of $19.5 million). The Jim Carrey//Robert Zemeckis motion capture film played like The Polar Express and had a very low drop in its second weekend (in fact the hold was even better as Disney’s A Christmas Carol was only down 25.7% in its second weekend, and The Polar Express was down 32.8%), so word of mouth is working for the film, as well as the timely Christmas theme. The per theatre average for the film was $6,062, which is solid for a second weekend. I’m sure many people were nervous about the film after its disappointing opening weekend gross, but there are a lot of relieved faces with the strong hold that was displayed this weekend. The total gross stands at $63.2 million.
In 3rd place is The Men Who Stare At Goats with $6.2 million (I predicted it would be the #4 film and gross $6 million). The film was off 51.2% from its opening weekend and had a per theatre average of $2,528. Long term prospects are not good, as the film only had average reviews, and word of mouth does not seem to be strong. Its total gross stands at $23.3 million.
Now comes the big story of the week. In 4th place is Precious: Based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire. The film grossed $6 million from 174 theatres. Its per theatre average was $35,000. I’m not mistyping these numbers. The film was an absolute juggernaut this weekend. Its per theatre average was higher than 2012’s. The rollout of the film seems to be working perfectly. Last weekend it debuted in a handful of markets, and played in only 18 theatres. Plus with the backing of Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, and the fact that it has been dominant in film festivals winning many awards, this film is becoming the one to see in theatres right now. Forget all the films that have massive advertising budgets, Precious is packing people into theatres. Its total gross after two weekends is $8.9 million, and it will be expanding to more markets in the coming weeks. I did not make a prediction for this film, except to say that it would make it into the top ten, as I figured a film with such a low theatre count could not make it into the top five. It shows how much I know!
Rounding out the top five is Michael Jackson’s This Is It. The concert film grossed $5.1 million (I predicted it to be the #3 film with a gross of $7.4 million), and it has a per theatre average of $1,679. If I’m an executive at Sony, I would say that I made the right choice in having the film play for more then the two week engagement that was originally announced. It’s still drawing people to the theatre, so that is always a good thing. The film has grossed $68.2 million domestically and $197.3 million worldwide.
The other new release this weekend was dead on arrival. The British import comedy Pirate Radio opened at #11 with a gross of $2.8 million for a per theatre average of $3,253. Expect to see it on DVD shelves soon.
In limited release, The Fantastic Mr. Fox had a sizzling debut as it grossed $260,000 from only four theatres, giving it a per theatre average of $65,000, which was the highest of any film in theatres this weekend. It will be expanding over the coming weeks.
And in other news, two films cracked the $100 million barrier this weekend. Couples Retreat grossed $4.25 million to bring its total to $102.1 million and Paranormal Activity grossed $4.20 million to bring its total to $103.8 million. 2009 now has 23 films that have crossed the $100 million mark.
So to recap, here were my predictions for the weekend:
1) 2012 – $50 million
2) Disney’s A Christmas Carol – $19.5 million
3) Michael Jackson’s This Is It – $7.4 million
4) The Men Who Stare At Goats – $6 million
5) The Fourth Kind – $4.7 million
And here are the actual numbers:
1) 2012 – $65 million
2) Disney’s A Christmas Carol – $22.3 million
3) The Men Who Stare At Goats – $6.2 million
4) Precious – $6 million
5) Michael Jackson’s This Is It – $5.1 million
Scotty G’s Top Five Predictions were off by – $20.4 million
Next weekend brings us The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Planet 51, The Blind Side, Broken Embraces, Red Cliff, and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.
Until next weekend!