Daily Box Office Analysis

By David Mumpower

August 28, 2012

The Halloween decorations get scarier every year.

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Labor Day is less than a week away. Historically, this holiday is the unofficial designation of the end of summer at the box office. I pointed out last week that the end of line for summer box office usually happens a few days in advance of Labor Day. Today provides the perfect opportunity to demonstrate this belief.

The Expendables 2 was the number one film in North America for the 11th consecutive day. 2016: Obama’s America finished in second place. What do these two films have in common? No, there isn’t a political punch-line in the offing. Instead, the answer is that they were the only two movies to earn at least a million dollars on Monday. 80% of the top ten finished beneath this mark. In other words, there is conclusive proof that the kids are back in school. Movie theaters are no longer crowded on weekdays as a result.

Before we examine the individual titles tomorrow, let’s appreciate the ebb and flow of summer box office today. While the date seems to get earlier every year, the unofficial start of summer is considered to be the first week of May. We all remember how that turned out. The Avengers opened to $207.4 million. Only eight other releases this year have earned at least this much during their entire domestic run. Still, The Avengers was the only movie earning over a million on Monday, May 7th.

I would offer one other note about the cataclysmic change in the marketplace due to The Avengers. On Thursday, May 3rd, the entire top ten combined for $5,397,176 in revenue. The following Monday, The Avengers alone earned $18,898,999. The entire top ten quadrupled to $22,035,920. That, my friends, is the definition of a juggernaut.




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May 14th was the first weekday with two million dollar earners. The other title was Dark Shadows, a general disappointment in terms of box office and quality. Note that Friday is not a weekday for the purposes of box office discussion. It’s included in the weekend category since Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are the best three days of box office.

Quality depth in the top ten did not occur until the following Monday, May 21st. The debuts of Battleship, The Dictator and What to Expect When You’re Expecting led to five titles earning at least a million each weekday. Technically, Wednesday the 23rd only had four since What to Expect When You’re Expecting was already struggling to maintain popularity, but three out of four days including an entire top five of million dollar titles.

I could cheat and tell you that May 28th included eight million dollar earners. Given that this was Memorial Day, however, that would be a misleading depiction of the day’s events. On Tuesday, May 29th, the number was halved to four and halved again to two on Wednesday, May 29th. Weekday box office had still not reached its summer capacity.

The week of June 4th and June 11th were also a bit thin in terms of depth. Only three movies during the first week of June earned over $1 million per weekday while the number expanded to five movies during the second batch of weekdays. June 18th is when depth became more impressive. Seven titles that week averaged at least a million a weekday. The week of June 25th, the difference was split as six titles fell in that range.


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