There is one wide release this week, Dark Shadows, plus a busy slate of limited releases. However, the only film most people are talking about is The Avengers. There is a chance that by the end of business this weekend, it will be the biggest hit of the year, overtaking The Hunger Games. Even if Dark Shadows makes $50 million over the weekend, it will be a mere footnote at the box office compared to The Avengers' sophomore stint. Dark Shadows probably won't match the combined openings of last year's two wide releases, Bridemaids and Priest 3D (about $41 million), but it could be close. However, since there are some that are predicting The Avengers will earn more than last year's top five earned (about $110 million), 2012 should easily walk away with the win.
Before 2002 and the release of Spider-man, no film had earned more than $100 million during its opening weekend. Now The Avengers has a chance to earn $100 million during its sophomore stint. The over / under seems to be about $100 million, but I'm not so sure it will get there. Granted, the film's reviews are literally Oscar-worthy. (Its Tomatometer score is ahead of or tied with seven of last year's nine Best Picture nominees, but it is the wrong genre to earn the prestigious nominations. It could clean up on the technical side, on the other hand.) That said, we have to deal with the Fanboy Effect and I've often said, when it is a battle between strong review and the Fanboy Effect, the latter almost always wins. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II fell 72%, and that could happen here as well. That would leave The Avengers with $58 million. We will call that the low end of expectations. On the high end, it could avoid a 50% drop-off. This is possible, because the competition this year is not as strong as the competition last year was. This would give the film $110 million, maybe a little more. While I would love to say the high end is more likely than the low end is, I must be a little more cautious and predict a sophomore stint of $85 million. This is still a record for the second weekend of release and will lift the film's total passed $360 million and into the top twenty on the All Time Chart.
Dark Shadows is the latest collaboration between Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, and Helena Bonham Carter. While the trio have made some excellent movies together, this is not one of them. Granted, the reviews are not terrible. Its Tomatometer Score of 51% positive is on par with Alice in Wonderland, and that film opened with more than $100 million. It also had far more advance buzz and far weaker competition. Most analysts expect the film to open from the low $30 million range to the low $40 million rage. Here I think the higher end is a little more likely and I'm going with $38 million. This might be enough to get to $100 million overall, with a boost from the upcoming holiday.
Think Like a Man will be well back in third place with just over $4 million over the weekend for a total of $80 million. This is more than enough to earn a profit.
The Hunger Games is not only the biggest hit of the year, it is the biggest hit since Toy Story 3. It should add close to $4 million over the weekend, but that won't be enough to prevent The Avengers passing it in just a few more days.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits should earn just over $3 million over the weekend for a total of $23 million after three. Fortunately, it was a bigger hit internationally.
Date posted: 2012-05-10