By Todd Allen
As the summer’s family fare starts to roll out and another SF/F franchise premieres, Avengers starts the real slide down the box office fire pole. This week, Avengers sank all the way down to #5 for U.S. box office.
According to initial projections, Madagascar 3 was #1 with $60,350,000. Prometheus was #2 with $50,000,000. Snow White and Thor (as I will continue to refer to it) was #3 with $23,021,000. Men in Black 3 was #4 with $13,500,000. Avengers was #5 with $10,809,000. That’s 4 out of the top 5 films in the science fiction/fantasy genre.
The SF/F slate will be slowing down a little. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in two weeks. Amazing Spider-Man two weeks after that in July. Dark Knight Rises two weeks after that. Total Recall two weeks after that. Time for comedies and family films to filter in. Come August, we’ll start to see the action/adventure fare slip into theaters. Will more family fare cut into Avengers? Honestly, Madagascar 3 doesn’t seem to have had a huge impact. $10M is still a good haul at this point.
The good news about Avengers is that the per screen average is still very good. Avengers posted a $3,454 average. MIB 3 posted a $3,560 average. So Avengers is running just about even with a film that’s 3 weeks newer and playing to a similar target audience. The bad news is the screen losses are starting to add up. Avengers lost another 541 screens, taking the total screens down to 3,129. That’s an awful lot of screens for a 6 week old movie. Next week, Rock of Ages is scheduled to open with 3,350+ screens and That’s My Boy with 3,000 screens. Figure Dark Shadows and Chernobyl Diaries are going to be hit hard, but that’s only about to clear up ar0und 2,000 of the 6,350+ screens needed. That per screen is making this a slow bleed, but it will accumulate.
To hit #2 all time domestic, Avengers needs to pass Titanic’s $658,672,302. Avengers is sitting on $571,860,000. That’s roughly $87M. From Monday to Sunday, Avengers took in an estimated $18,909,327. To match Titanic, Avengers would been to stay at the levels of this past week for about 4.5 weeks. Avengers dropped 47.2% this weekend. Essentially, to beat Titanic, it needs to mimic Hunger Games and find a smaller level where it can hang out at for a couple months. Possible, but stretching it. We’ll see if Avengers and Amazing Spider-Man can co-exist at the box office. Odds are, Marvel was more worried about Amazing Spider-Man and Dark Knight Rises co-existing. But hey, theater owners are happy.
Of ancillary interest, #2 Prometheus has an unusual box office pattern. It started out on fire and the box office dropped on both Saturday and Sunday. That’s very unusual and probably means one of two things. Either Prometheus really had it’s core audience pumped up and the majority of them showed up midnight on Thursday or Friday night (and let’s face it, if you have kids, you’re not taking the kids to a Saturday matinee of Prometheus) or word of mouth was bad and scared people off. $50M is a good opening weekend, but it’s worth keeping an eye on how it performs. That Saturday drop off is usually a warning bell.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.