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Weekend Wrap-Up: Brave Hits Bullseye

June 25th, 2012

Turns out the weekend was rather predictable, with nearly every film earning roughly what they were expected to do. More films topped expectations than missed them, and this includes Brave, which earned more than last year's winner, Cars 2. This helped the overall box office grow 26% from last weekend to $164 million. Unfortunately, the other two new releases, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, were not as strong compared to the counter-programming from last year, Bad Teacher, and this meant 2012 lost to 2011 by 7%. Worse still, next weekend will be a disaster, as there are four middling releases that will have to compete with Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Brave became the 13th Pixar film to reach top spot at the box office and did so with a $66.32 million. This is a little better than predicted, and a tiny bit better than Cars 2, which opened this weekend last year. Cars 2 had poor reviews and struggled to maintain its opening weekend audience. On the other hand, Brave has very strong reviews and it should have much better legs. $200 million in total is the obvious goal, but $250 million is a possibility, if its legs are somewhere between those of WALL-E and Up.

Despite the direct competition, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted held on well down 42% to $19.71 million over the weekend for a total of $157.09 million after three. It could wind up reaching $200 million before it is done.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter's opening was a little better than expected at $16.31 million. This would have been acceptable for a counter-programming release; however, the film cost close to $70 million to make, so it needed to earn more. Additionally, with the hype and the weak reviews, it could collapse next weekend and start losing theaters by the first weekend of July.

As expected, Prometheus crossed the $100 million mark early in the weekend, as it added $9.91 million to its running tally, which now sits at $108.45 million. It should match its $125 million production budget and since it is performing better internationally, it is on pace to break even early in the film's home market run.

Amazingly, Snow White and the Huntsman remained in fifth place with $8.09 million over the weekend for a total of $137.13 million after four. It was an expensive movie to make, but it is on pace to break even during its initial push into the home market.

Rock of Ages fell 47% to $7.66 million over the past three days for a total of $28.42 million after two. Had it opened with $28.42 million it would have been considered a disappointment. Unless it becomes weirdly successful internationally and / or on the home market, the studio will lose money here.

That's My Boy held on a little better down 43% to $7.63 million over the weekend for a total of $27.91 million after two. Everything I said about Rock of Ages applies here. It should have made more than this much during its opening weekend and unless something strange happens, it will cost the studio money.

We still haven't come to the final new release, so let's just push on. The Avengers had the best hold in the top ten down just 19% to $7.18 million. Its running tally reached $598.43 million after 52 days of release, meaning it is just about to cross $600 million. Granted, Avatar got there faster, even though The Avengers broke the previous speed records, but since the film was originally expected to barely cross $400 million, this is a stunning result.

Men in Black 3 fell to ninth place with $5.73 million over the weekend for a total of $163.47 million after a month of release. Even if the reports are true and the film cost $375 million to make and advertise, it still could be in the black before too long.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World missed even the low end of expectations with just $3.82 million in 1,625 theaters for a per theater average of $2,352. Its reviews were not great, but they were better than this. Lack of studio support has a lot to do with the film's struggles. Regardless why, with a per theater average barely above the Mendoza Line, many theater owners will be looking to drop the film as soon as they are contractually able to.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, The Avengers, Brave, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Men in Black 3, Rock of Ages, Snow White and the Huntsman, Prometheus, That's My Boy, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World