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Weekend Forecast for May 4-6, 2012

By Reagen Sulewski

May 4, 2012

Remember when we were in Zodiac together? Yeah, this is cooler.

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Pre-sales have been announced as not just greater than any other Marvel film before, but all pre-sales for all Marvel films since Iron Man. Pre-sales have become a bigger deal as years go on, so we can't just add up every opening weekend like that, but it certainly shows that the interest is sky high. While it lacks the finality of a Harry Potter 7.2, there's a certain sense of closure in bringing this plan to a close and assembling the Avengers. It's already been open for a week overseas, and brought in a staggering $185 million. There's no apples to apples comparison possible here, but alone that's almost as much as the entire overseas take of Captain America.

When opening weekends get this big, there's an inherent unpredictability to them, since minor events can have major effects. Midnight screenings could sell out or not, and that could depress later days, or just reflect the overall demand. Sellouts and running time, usually insignificant, start to enter into the picture. As such, there's only so much confidence I can have in a number. I believe that there's a good chance for it to surpass the current record of $168 million, as posted in July by Harry Potter. On 4,349 screens, I predict The Avengers to kick off the season with a $172 million number.

And of course, there are other movies in theaters this weekend, but they hardly seem important. Think Like a Man will miss a third weekend at the top of the box office by thaaaaaat much, though its $60 million to date is very impressive. As a date movie, it shouldn't be affected much, if at all, by Avengers, and will be the Sham to Avengers' Secretariat with $10 million.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits will still serve as the major kid film for the weekend, or at least kid-specific. The $11 million opening isn't much to write home about, but Aardman productions have typically had decent legs, so there's a chance this hangs around for a little bit. Look for around $7 million this weekend.




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The film that The Avengers is trying to overtake in the 2012 box office sweepstakes, The Hunger Games, just refuses to go away, earning almost $11 million in its sixth weekend (nowhere near a record, mind you, but still impressive in these days of two month theater runs). In fact, for each week after its opening, its rate of decline has fallen – after a steep and expected two-thirds drop initially, it's now dropping by about a quarter. Losing a big chunk of screens might hurt it some, especially if they're the expensive ones (and we know it had a limited IMAX run last week), but it should still grab about $7 million this weekend.

Two romantic movies, one comedic, one straight-up, wrap up our list of significant films this weekend. The Lucky One fell victim to the usual Nicholas Sparks second weekend letdown, more than halving its opening weekend. Live by the cult fanbase, die by the cult fanbase. Look for it to earn about $5 million this weekend.

Meanwhile, The Five-Year Engagement looks to be a bit of a speed-bump in Jason Segel's conquering of Hollywood, opening to just over $10 million, which is a big step back from some of his other films. Perhaps it was just too generic looking to be a big hit. I don't see this falling off too badly, though, with around $6 million for its sophomore weekend.


Forecast: Weekend of May 4-6, 2012
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 The Avengers 4,349 New 171.8
2 Think Like a Man 2,010 -5 10.3
3 The Pirates! Band of Misfits 3,358 0 7.4
4 The Hunger Games 2,794 -778 7.1
5 The Five-Year Engagement 2,941 +5 6.4
6 The Lucky One 3,005 -170 5.5
7 Safe 2,271 +5 3.6
8 The Raven 2,209 +6 3.4
9 Chimpanzee 1,531 -36 2.8
10 The Three Stooges 2,174 -931 2.4

Continued:       1       2

     


 
 

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