Daily Box Office Analysis

By David Mumpower

August 21, 2012

I am an Academy Award nominated screenwriter.

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There were four new movies released last weekend. In combination with the three titles released the previous week, 70% of the top ten at the box office is fresh blood. This gives us a lot of new topics to discuss after a month of Batmania.

The number one movie in North America for the straight day was The Expendables 2, the movie that represents the comeback of steroids to such a degree that Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco and Sammy Sosa should un-retire any day now. Wait, is Canseco currently retired? He tries to announce comebacks more often than Jeff George. I have really moved away from the point here, which is that Sylvester Stallone is back.

The Expendables 2 earned $2,792,129, bringing its current domestic revenue total to $31,383,499. A solid increase on Tuesday would bring the second Expendables movie within an eyelash of the three-day total of the first film. The Expendables attained $34,825,135 on opening weekend, which is more than its successor will manage in five days.

Before we start badmouthing a bunch of old dudes who can still beat us senseless, we should consider that the $100 million production budget is only 22% more than the original cost to create. Given that The Expendables accrued $165 million internationally and the splits have increased over the past two years, the sequel should wind up being a box office winner. Personally, I was expecting quite a bit more from its opening weekend, but that was my mistake.


The Expendables 2 does not have the same level of demand as the original. Acknowledging this, it falls squarely into the “plenty good enough” category right now. Lionsgate did a solid job in estimating the movie’s opening weekend relative to its actual total, so there was nothing disappointing about its weekend splits. This is refreshing after what feels like an entire months of “terrible estimates” by which I mean studio lies. Thank you for being above the fray, Lionsgate.

As expected, $10,494,145 on Friday proved to be best day at the box office for The Expendables 2 with Saturday virtually duplicating that performance with another $10,210,399. There was only a 23% decline to $7,886,826 on Sunday. For comparison, The Expendables fell 11% on Saturday then 19% on Sunday before dropping 59% on Monday. Its Monday gross represented 33.1% of its Saturday income. For The Expendables 2, a 65% Sunday-to-Monday decline is indicative of 27.3% of Saturday’s total. Obviously, The Expendables 2 is slipping a bit faster, as is expected of a sequel.

What we can conclude from the data thus far is that this film will probably behave as most major 2012 sequel releases have. The Expendables 2 will not do as well domestically but its international revenue will be at least as good if not better. This is the new normal for box office.

The features in second and third place yesterday were the titles that were our primary conversation points last week, The Bourne Legacy and The Campaign. I had mentioned last week that the fourth Bourne movie and the Will Ferrell sequel were both trending downward in an alarming manner. I was actually encouraged by the fact that the films only fell 55% and 51% respectively during their second weekends at the box office.

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