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Weekend Wrap-Up: Summer Has Set

August 20th, 2012

Apparently summer ended over the weekend. It didn't go out with a thud, but more just faded away. The Expendables 2 was able to earn first place, but missed even the low end of expectations. In fact, the only new release to not struggle as much as analysts were expecting was Sparkle, and even that film missed expectations, it just did so by a tiny margin. There is some good news. There was a lot of depth with seven films earning more than $10 million over the weekend and overall the box office only slipped 2.3% from last weekend hitting $139 million. This was actually 12% higher than the same weekend last year. Analysts were obviously hoping for something more, but at this point, a win is a win. Year-to-date, 2012 is still ahead of 2011, but that lead has shrunk to 3.3% at $7.22 billion to $6.99 billion. Attendance is only up by 2.1%, so if the rest of August and September don't pull their weight, we might see 2012 lose that lead entirely.

The Expendables 2 opened in first place, but with just $28.59 million. This is well below expectations. In fact, there were some who predicted the film would make 50% more than that over the weekend. It made significantly less than The Expendables made during its opening weekend, despite earning better reviews. Lack of direct competition should help a little bit, but its per theater average will probably drop enough next weekend that theater owners will drop it faster than they dropped the original. With a $100 million price-tag, the movie better perform stronger internationally than it did here, or the studio will be in trouble.

The Bourne Legacy was pushed into second place after plummeting 55% during its second weekend of release. Over the past three days, it made $17.06 million for a ten-day total of $69.62 million. It should still reach $100 million by the end of its run, but it should take longer and it might be very close. I'm not sure that will be enough to convince the studio to continue the franchise.

ParaNorman opened on the low end of expectations with $14.09 million over the weekend. Granted, it is a late summer family film, but given its reviews, it should have performed better than this. No direct competition for about a month could help its legs, but that will likely be too little, too late for the film.

The Campaign didn't quite manage to avoid a 50% drop-off falling 51% to $13.13 million over the weekend for a total of $51.44 million after two. At this point, getting to $75 million is a solid goal, but it will need some help on the home market to break even.

Sparkle opened in fifth place with $11.64 million. This is close enough to the $12 million predicted to call it a victory, while it had the second best per theater average in the top ten. However, it fell pretty hard on Saturday and Sunday, so it is likely its legs won't be as strong as its reviews. Its not a bomb, but one can't be really enthusiastic over the film's opening either.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green earned seventh place over the weekend with $10.82 million while its total opening was $15.10 million. Its reviews won't help its legs, which means it likely won't match its $40 million production budget theatrically, while it might be forgotten by the time it hits the home market.

Hope Springs held on better than expected down 38% to $9.11 million over the weekend for a total of $35.06 million after two. This is a clear case of too little, too late. By the time September begins, many theater owners will be looking to replace this film the new releases. Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D won't last that long. It was, well, I want to say decimated, but it is the exact opposite of that. Decimated means losing 10%. Nitro Circus held onto less than 10% of its opening weekend box office with just $95,000 on 424 screens. Had it opened with $3.08 million, it would have been disappointing, having that much after 12 days is a disaster.

One final note, The Dark Knight Rises did reach $400 million on Friday, during its 29th day of release. That makes it the fourth fastest film to reach that milestone, but this is weaker than expected. Some thought it would be number one on that list. I thought it would be number two.


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Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Dark Knight Rises, Hope Springs, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, The Bourne Legacy, The Expendables 2, ParaNorman, The Campaign, Sparkle, Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D