Weekend Wrap-Up

MIB3 Bumps Avengers, But Cools Box Office

By John Hamann

May 27, 2012

Is the green screen on fire?

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Don't let people tell you that The Avengers caused Battleship's woes. That's complete bull. Widely popular movies, even in their third weekends, are on a serious decline in terms of overall revenue. There was room for Battleship to open, and it failed.The market was also open for Battleship to have a solid follow-up Memorial Day Frame, and it failed. This is a film the public does not want to see, which has nothing to do with The Avengers. If anything, having the soon to be second biggest film of all time showcase your marketing material should help, and it didn't help Battleship. It now has a domestic gross of only $44.3 million.

Fourth place goes to The Dictator, which has a better decline than Battleship in weekend two, but still nothing to brag about. The Sacha Baron Cohen flick earned $10.8 million in weekend two of release, and dropped 45% compared to last weekend's take. A film like The Dictator can be very divisive, and lead to bigger-than-normal second weekend drops. Despite a drop above 50% in weekend two, The Dictator is still in financial trouble. The Paramount release cost at least $65 million and has a gross so far of $41.5 million.

Fifth spot goes to the Chernobyl Diaries, the new horror flick from Paranormal Activity creator Oren Peli. I'm not quite understanding why a Memorial Weekend release date was chosen for this one, the last wide-release May horror flick was 28 Weeks Later, a disappointing sequel that earned only $9.8 million over its first three days in 2007. Chernobyl Diaries did a bit worse, earning $9.6 million from 2,433 venues. It had a venue average of $3,288. None of the Paranormal Activity magic seemed to be on display here, and audiences turned away. While no budget data is available, it is an Oren Peli release with no stars, so likely was made for less than $20 million. It's doubtful that Warner Bros. gets hurt too much by this one.

Dark Shadows takes sixth place, as the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp film earned $7.5 million over three-days. It fell 40% compared to last weekend, and has a running total of $63 million. Remember, this one cost $150 million to make and will need more than the $80 million it has earned overseas so far.

What To Expect When You're Expecting is getting propped up a bit by the holiday. The star-stained comedy about parenting (woo!) earned $7.2 million in its second weekend and dropped 32%. The Lionsgate release has now earned $22.2 million against a $40 million budget.


The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel continues to play with the big boys this weekend, as it expands to wide-release at 1,233 venues. The Fox Searchlight release earned $6.4 million and had a venue average of $5,150. It increased its take over last weekend by 97%, and is becoming a small domestic hit in North America. Overseas, it has already taken in more than $75 million. Give it $16.6 million so far in North America.

The Hunger Games is ninth this weekend – even after ten weekends of release. The book turned blockbuster earned another $2.2 million and dropped a tiny 25% compared to last weekend. The Hunger Games has now amassed $395.2 million stateside, and almost $250 million overseas.

In tenth this weekend is Think Like a Man, the Screen Gems success based on a how-to book. Think Like a Man earned another $1.4 million, down 47% from its previous frame. Thus far, the comedy has earned a fantastic $88.3 million.

Overall this weekend, the box office didn't have a chance against the ridiculously large debut of last year's Memorial Day Weekend champ, The Hangover Part II. It earned $86 million over Friday-to-Sunday, and helped the box office to a $216.2 million top 12. This year, the box office sputters, with a top 12 of $146.9 million. Next weekend, Universal brings Snow White and The Huntsmen, a film that looks like it might be really good, but on the other hand...

Top Ten for Weekend of May 25-27, 2012
1 Men in Black 3 Sony Pictures 55.0 New 55.0
2 The Avengers Walt Disney 37.0 -34% 513.8
3 Battleship Universal 10.8 -58% 44.3
4 The Dictator Paramount Pictures 9.6 -45% 41.5
5 Chernobyl Diaries Warner Bros. 8.0 New 8.0
6 Dark Shadows Warner Bros. 7.5 -40% 63.0
7 What to Expect When You're Expecting Lionsgate 7.2 -32% 22.2
8 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Fox Searchlight 6.4 +97% 16.6
9 The Hunger Games Lionsgate 2.2 -25% 395.2
10 Think Like a Man Screen Gems 1.4 -47% 88.3
11 The Pirates! Band of Misfits Sony Pictures 1.1 -30% 27.3
12 Bernie Millennium Films 0.9 +77% 2.2

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