Follow us on

Weekend Estimates: The Vow Leads Another Good Weekend

February 12th, 2012

The industry's good start to 2012 gained some more momentum this weekend as all four new releases performed at or beyond expectations. The Vow will lead the way, based on Sony's projection, with $41.7 million, which is a little less than 2010's Valentine's Day, although that film had the advantage of both Valentine's Day itself, and a four-day weekend. Safe House will open with around $39.3 million for Universal, which will be the studio's best opening since Fast Five in April of last year. Journey 2: Mysterious Island is set for $27.55 million, according to Warner Bros., and Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace will pick up $23 million or so for Fox. That foursome will ensure a record is set this weekend: for the first time, four films will open with over $20 million on a non-holiday weekend.

Overall box office for the weekend will be up about 30% from the same weekend last year, and 2012 is now running about 20% ahead of 2011, both of which are impressive figures in isolation. However, 2011 was an exceptionally weak year historically, so it's safer to assume that box office is running about 5-10% above normal so far. For comparison, here are the total box office figures for previous 2nd weekends in February (noting that some of these, 2009 and 2010 in particular) encompassed both Valentine's Day and the Presidents' Day long weekend. This weekend will post about $193 million when numbers are in.

Regarding the statistic that four films will open over $20 million, the only other weekend to have four films open over $20 million at all was the weekend of December 26, 2008, which was helped by Christmas, of course. Only a slight more obscure note, the record for best performance by a 4th-placed film in a weekend is currently held by Avatar, which made $23.6 million this weekend in 2010 but finished fourth behind new releases Valentine's Day, The Wolf Man and Percy Jackson. Here's a list of the best performances ever by the film in fourth place in the chart:

In limited release, Oscar nominee Chico and Rita is having an excellent opening in a single theater, and will post about $21,400, according to GKIDS. The company is celebrating two Oscar nominations this year and is becoming a powerhouse in indie animation.

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Star Wars Ep. I: The Phantom Menace, Safe House, The Vow, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Chico & Rita