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Weekend Wrap-Up: Legacy Leads Competition, Weekend Still Weak

August 13th, 2012

The Bourne Legacy was easily able to win the weekend box office race, finishing within $1 million of predictions. In fact, most of the top five finished within roughly $1 million of predictions. This helped the overall box office climb 16% from last weekend. However, the overall box office was still weak when compared to last year down 8.4%. 2012's lead over 2011 shrank to just 3.5% at $7.01 billion to $6.78 billion and if we don't turn things around soon, we might see 2012 relinquish the lead before the winter holiday season begins.

The Bourne Legacy got off to a good start with $38.41 million, which is excellent start for an August release. Unfortunately, that's about all of the good news we have for the film, and it's a bit of damning it with faint praise. Firstly, there are some reports that the production budget was over $125 million, not the $90 million reported earlier. Secondly, getting to $100 million is not unlikely, but with mixed reviews, it is not very likely either. It just didn't live up to expectations with audiences. It missed Sunday's estimates by $2 million, which suggests it will be front-loaded and it could suffer next weekend. Thirdly, the Bourne Franchise was never a major player internationally. Most films earn a 40 / 60 domestic / international split. The previous films never came close to that. If this one earns $100 million here and $100 million internationally, it will need a very strong run on the home market before breaking even. I'm not sure it will get there soon enough to justify yet another installment.

The Campaign matched expectations nearly perfectly with $26.59 million over the weekend. This is almost exactly half of what Ted opened with, and that film easily topped $200 million overall. So does that mean this film is on pace to reach $100 million? Not so fast. It did earn nearly identical reviews and The Campaign doesn't have to worry about direct competition for a while. However, with its lower per theater average, theater owners won't hold onto the film for as long either. I'm not saying it can't reach $100 million, but it will be hard.

The Dark Knight Rises added $18.98 million over the weekend for a total of $389.59 million after four. By this time next week, it could be ahead of The Hunger Games for second biggest hit of the year.

Hope Springs earned fourth place with $14.65 million over the weekend for a total opening of $19.10 million. This is well below The Help's opening last year, or Julie & Julia's opening in 2009. It is still a good opening and getting to the century mark is not completely out of the question. It does have the best reviews of the new releases this weekend and its target demographic tends to help legs. Even the worst case scenario at this point has the film becoming a profitable midlevel hit.

Total Recall collapsed utterly plummeting 69% to just $8.01 million over the weekend for a total of $44.10 million after two. It won't even get halfway to its production budget and unless it is a huge hit internationally, it will lose money in the end.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days almost grabbed a spot in the top five during its sophomore stint with $8.00 million. Its ten-day total was $30.36 million, which is more than it cost to make. At this pace, it will earn enough to cover its entire production budget, plus a significant chunk of its P&A budget. It won't reach profitability till it comes out on the home market, but it should get there eventually.

On the other hand, Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D won't be as lucky. It only managed $1.18 million over the weekend for a total opening of $2.17 million. It missed the Mendoza Line over the three-day weekend by a large margin and with just 9% positive reviews, it will likely collapse next weekend. Look for theater owners to drop the film as soon as they are contractually able to.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Dark Knight Rises, Total Recall, Hope Springs, The Bourne Legacy, Ted, The Campaign, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D