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Weekend Wrap-Up: Mostly Tricks and Few Treats

October 29th, 2012

It was a really bad weekend for new releases with none of the new films meeting expectations and two of them opening below the Mendoza Line. Argo climbed to top spot over the weekend. It used to be quite common for films to climb to the top of the chart, but the market has changed and opening weekends have become so important, so this feat is now very rare. Cloud Atlas was the best of the new releases, but "Best" here is a dubious title, as it barely grabbed second place. Silent Hill: Revolution 3D barely grabbed fifth place, while the less said about Fun Size and Chasing Mavericks the better. The overall box office collapsed by 28% compared to last week hitting just $93 million. It also fell compared to last year, the box office was down 11%, which is disappointing after a series of wins. However, last year Puss in Boots debuted and it was more of a November release opening a week early. Year-to-date, 2012 is still ahead of 2011 with the margin at $8.71 billion to $8.40 billion, or 3.8%. The goal going forward is to maintain this lead, while any growth would be more than welcome.

Argo performed exactly as predicted with $12.09 million over the weekend for a total of $60.51 million after two. At this pace, getting to $100 million is still within reach, especially if the film can translate its reviews into Awards Season success.

Cloud Atlas earned the best per theater average in the top ten, but it was only playing in 2,008 theaters giving it a second place total of $9.61 million. Its reviews rose a little in the end and now sits at 63% positive, which is good, but not good enough. The film will fade from theaters before it earns enough to cover a fraction of its $100 million to $150 million production budget.

Hotel Transylvania climbed a spot to third place with $9.44 million over the weekend for a total of $130.38 million so far. It should get to $150 million in total; however, direct competition does arrive next weekend.

Paranormal Activity 4 fell 71% during its sophomore stint to just $8.51 million over the week and $42.47 million after two. This isn't the worst sophomore drop-off for a film that opened in first place, but it is the second worst drop-off for a film that opened in a saturation level theater count (3000 theaters or more). The only film that was worse was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. That said, it has already made enough worldwide to show a profit, so the studio should be happy. I am a little concerned about Paranormal Activity 5.

Silent Hill: Revolution 3D barely managed fifth place over the weekend with just $8.02 million. Given its genre, its reviews, and the fact that it is a sequel, it will take a major hit next weekend and will see its theater count crumble the weekend after that.

Fun Size probably should have been made as a TV movie for Nickelodeon rather than a theatrical release. Its two stars, Victoria Justice and Jane Levy, certainly have more star power on the smaller screen. Additionally, compared to most TV movies, it reviews are not bad. Had it been seen by a few million people on TV, it would have been a success. However, opening in tenth place with just $4.10 million in 3,014 theaters is nothing short of a bomb. Doing this poorly might hurt future DVD / Blu-ray sales, as it will have the stench of failure stuck to it. At least it did better than the next film.

Chasing Mavericks missed the top ten entirely with just $2.27 million over the weekend. With bad reviews and a per theater average of just $1,133 theater owners will be looking to drop this film ASAP.

Looking in on the Sophomore Class we find Alex Cross in eighth place with $5.13 million over the past three days for a total of $19.45 million after ten. Its sophomore stint drop-off was 55%, which was expected, all things considered.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Hotel Transylvania, Cloud Atlas, Fun Size , Argo, Chasing Mavericks, Paranormal Activity 4, Alex Cross, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, Victoria Justice, Jane Levy