Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
August 18, 2012
The Expendables 2
Packed with action heroes, Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables 2 is tops on Friday with $10.5 million. That seems fine but on this weekend two years ago, The Expendables started with $13.3 million on its way to $34.8 million. Despite The Expendables being generally well-received for the Big Dumb Action Movie genre, it's surprising to see the sequel give back a few million despite getting better reviews. It's going to be very tough for The Expendables 2 to match the opening of the first film. That had a 2.61 multiplier when it opened, and if The Expendables 2 matched that, it would mean a pretty disappointing $27.4 million weekend. It'll do a little better than that, but not by much. THe Expendables 2 wins the weekend with $28.9 million.
Sparkle, with the first film role by American Idol winner Jordin Sparks and the final appearance by Whitney Houston, manages $4.6 million on Friday, tied for third place and second among the weekend's openers. While this might seem a little surprising on the surface, consider that Whitney Houston's Greatest Hits is one of the best selling albums of 2012 and three years ago Michael Jackson's This Is It had a $23.2 million opening weekend. Sparks is also in the conversation in the top five most successful American Idol contestants. Sparkle is not quite on the level of This Is It but will still be slightly more than an afterthought on the weekend. There is some concern for heavy frontloading, but I do not doubt audiences' commitment to Sparkle Motion and am looking for Sparkle to have a weekend of $12.6 million.
The stop-motion animated ParaNorman opens with $4.5 million on Friday. The studio behind ParaNorman is also responsible for 2009's Coraline, which started with a virtually identical $4.48 million in February of that year. Despite some solid advertising, especially during the Olympics, you would have hoped for a slightly larger start, but this is fine. For comparison, Coraline had a weekend multiplier of 3.75, something that ParaNorman probably won't duplicate. I would still expect it to have the highest weekend multiplier of any of the new releases this weekend, which can potentially push it into second place for the weekend. Most likely, it will be in third with $13.5 million.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green
The final opener of the weekend, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, earned $3.4 million on Friday after taking in $4.2 million since its Wednesday opening. Starring Jennifer Garner, the fantasy drama is going to be able to find a small niche in this very busy weekend, and makes it very possible that all four openers earn over $10 million. The Disney picture should just get there, giving it a weekend of $10.2 million and $14.4 million in five days.
The Bourne Legacy drops 62% from last weekend with $5.2 million. That was probably to be expected given its reboot status, plus, as David Mumpower detailed, the weekday figures indicated strong frontloading. It should remain in second place for the weekend with another $16.1 million.
The Campaign also takes a big hit, down 60% from last Friday to $4.1 million. The Will Ferrell/Zach Galifanakis political comedy will have a second weekend of about $11.9 million.