Daily Box Office Analysis
By David Mumpower
July 10, 2012

At what point does this change from second-hand smoke to first-hand?

Today’s daily box office discussion picks up almost exactly where last Friday’s edition ended. The Amazing Spider-Man remains the key topic of conversation as people continue to debate whether a significant decline from Spider-Man 3 is acceptable or not. This evaluation will be math intensive at times. Let’s quickly bring everyone up to speed on yesterday’s results.

Monday represents The Amazing Spider-Man’s seventh full day in theaters. Yes, there was some revenue earned last Monday, but Sony announced the total as part of Tuesday’s revenue, $35.9 million. We now know that $8.4 million was earned from midnight and slightly earlier exhibitions. I’m going to use this as a point of reference for Monday’s box office when The Amazing Spider-Man earned approximately $7.5 million. Yes, it performed stronger from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. last week than it did in the entire day yesterday.

What can we conclude from this? In a vacuum, the numbers reflect that The Amazing Spider-Man is slipping in demand. In combination with the film’s actual weekend box office, there is serious cause for concern. After Sony projected the latest Spider-Man movie to earn $65.0 million over the weekend, its Sunday total fell $3 million short of their estimate. Was this a surprise? Hardly.

Given that The Amazing Spider-Man earned $23.7 million on Saturday, Sony’s projection required the movie to earn another $20.9 million on Sunday. That’s a full $400,000 more than it grossed on Friday and a decline of only 12% from Saturday to Sunday. For perspective, consider that Spider-Man 3 fell 22% while Spider-Man 2 dropped 35% and the first Spider-Man depreciated 27%. The Amazing Spider-Man demonstrated no behavior that would indicate such a modest decline and yet Sony provided a round numbers estimate anyway in order to win the press conference Sunday. $140 million sounds better than $137 million when people read the stories.

As we evaluate the true performance of The Amazing Spider-Man, however, we use the box office receipts that happened rather than the ones Sony wanted to publicize. In this instance, I have already mentioned that a reasonable if not best case scenario multiplier for Spidey’s six-day take would be 2.05, the one Transformers possessed with its similar release pattern/calendar configuration in 2007. If The Amazing Spider-Man mirrors this, it winds up with a domestic take of $280 million, a respectable total, although over $50 million short of the worst in the series thus far. The doomsday scenario is if there is further sign of frontloading.

Here are some important totals to consider. Transformers fell only 14% from Saturday to Sunday then 55% from Sunday to Monday. Its Monday revenue represents 38.6% of its Saturday revenue. The Amazing Spider-Man fell 24% from Saturday to Sunday and then another 58% Sunday to Monday. Its Monday box office of $7.5 million is only 31.7% of its Saturday earnings. In other words, it has fallen short of Transformers yet again. Based on my early evaluation of the upcoming week, I expect it to earn $50 million from now until Sunday, which should put it just at $200 million by next Tuesday.

Even then, I’m not 100% certain it passes $260 million domestically. If it follows the Transformers pattern from here, The Amazing Spider-Man has earned 51.8% of its total revenue by now. This extrapolates to $279 million, yet the way it keeps falling short of matching the model requires a lessening of expectations. If we continue to see a fall in its numbers day to day, something we will monitor in this column over the next two weeks, The Amazing Spider-Man could wind up earning as much as $75 million less than its immediate predecessor.

The biggest surprise in the top ten continues to be Ted, which finished in second place yesterday with another $4,477,335. With a running total of $124,327,075 after 11 days in release, Ted has a chance to BEAT The Amazing Spider-Man before this is all said and done. Ted is down 49% from last Monday on the heels of a respectable second weekend decline of 41%.

Ted is holding better on the weekends than on weekdays, which is not surprising for such adult fare. In fact, this is fairly similar to The Hangover, which was “only” at $110,299,949 after 11 days. Given that it wound up with $277.3 million, that Ted is exceeding that pace and that Spidey projects to $280 million as a best case scenario, this should be an interesting race to watch. The Amazing Spider-Man should be surpassed in daily revenue by Ted at some point in the next ten days or so. The question is whether the gap is too large by then for the tortoise to catch the hare.

I’m going to save the Brave/Pixar update for later in the week. Instead, I would like to discuss last weekend’s new openers, Savages and Katy Perry: All of Me. Savages finished in fifth place at the box office yesterday behind Brave and Magic Mike. Savages fell 61% from Sunday to Monday with $1,813,320. As is the case with Ted, this is strongly adult fare, so it should not be expected to do as well on weekdays. Still, a 61% drop is troublesome.

The producers of Katy Perry: All of Me made the unusual decision to debut on a Thursday and their logic became clear on Sunday. Its four-day estimate edged it over $10 million. Weekend actuals indicated that it earned $10.2 million over this period with $7.1 million of that accrued Friday-to-Sunday. The news was slightly better yesterday as the Katy Perry biopic/concert movie grossed $1,170,475, which is frankly a lot better than I would have expected. Anecdotally, my local exhibitor has dropped the movie’s non-3D screening to 11 a.m. only. Whether 3D inflation is artificially inflating the movie’s Monday total is up for debate, but yesterday it did outperform Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and Madea’s Witness Protection, both of which had beaten it over the weekend. Given how family friendly Madagascar 3 is, I am shocked by this turn of events.

Revenue for the combined top ten yesterday was just under $22.5 million, a steep 47% decline from last Thurday’s $42.1 million. Just to demonstrate how quickly things change at the box office, The Amazing Spider-Man alone earned more than that on July 4th. On July 5th, a non-holiday, Ted and The Amazing Spider-Man combined for more. This will be a relatively slow week at the box office with The Amazing Spider-Man cooling off quickly and no impending weekday releases.