Friday Box Office Analysis

By David Mumpower

June 15, 2013

I really thought there would be a barber and stylist on set.

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What does this mean for the rest of the weekend? I am less confident than normal because we are dealing with a historically unprecedented addendum because of that $12 million that come from Blu-ray/movie ticket combo sales. What I can say with certainty is this: the good news for Man of Steel has diminished a little bit with each box office update. We know for sure that Man of Steel met all of its fanboy rush demand on Thursday. Friday’s box office of $35 million frankly falls right in line with Reagen Sulewski’s sub-$100 million weekend estimate. I project moderate growth for Saturday’s box office in the range of 15%, which would amount to $40.2 million. Sunday would follow with a decline down to $28.2 million. Note that Sunday is also tricky to predict because it’s Father’s Day. If there’s enough positive buzz that families are enticed to take Dad to the movies, it could have a better-than-typical Sunday. That gives us a grand total for Friday-to-Sunday of $103.4 million. When I include the $21 million from Thursday, the overall weekend total is $124.4 million. Note that I see this as a best-case scenario result. Most of my calculations fall in the $115 million range, but I don’t think the studio will be inclined to announce a sub-$120 million number. They need a Justice League movie too much.

This Is the End did not provide the anticipated counter-programming that was projected. Rogen and Baruchel, the faces of Judd Apatow’s unheralded TV comedies “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared”, had a brilliant idea. Their short film, Seth and Jay vs. the Apocalypse, explored the premise of their cabal of movie co-stars banding together to survive Armageddon. Frequent co-stars Jonah Hill, James Franco and Danny McBride joined The Office alum Craig Robinson in a chaotic mess of comedy that proved a bit too confusing for consumers.


This Is the End grossed only $6.9 million on Friday, well short of the most optimistic tracking predictions. The comedy had a B+ Cinemascore, which means that even the earliest adopters were a bit befuddled. This bodes poorly for its long-term prospects, though critical consensus is strong. Because it opened on Wednesday, This Is the End won’t be as frontloaded as it would have been with a Friday debut, which means that it’s looking at a three-day total of right at $20 million. Its Wednesday/Thursday total was $12.3 million, so after five days it will have a running total near $32 million.

Amazingly, the difference between This Is the End and Man of Steel is that the film that disappointed on opening weekend is the one that will have matched its budget after five days in domestic release. Meanwhile, Man of Steel borders on being a loss leader for Warner Bros. as they pull out all the stops in building to their hopeful answer to The Avengers.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Man of Steel 124.4
2 This Is the End 20.0
3 Now You See Me 10.0
4 The Purge 8.5
5 Fast & Furious 6 8.4
6 The Internship 7.2
7 Epic 7.1
8 Star Trek Into Darkness 4.8
9 The Hangover Part III 2.5
10 Iron Man 3 2.5

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