Box Office Results for July 27, 2012

This weekend, the super hero sequel The Dark Knight Rises once again led the North American box office.  With no compelling new releases hitting the screens and the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics, momentum slowed down to a crawl with the Top 20 sliding down to only $133M – a low amount for July, which is usually one of the busiest months of the year.

Following its massive opening weekend – the best ever for a 2D-only movie – The Dark Knight Rises fell an understandable 60% to an estimated $64.1M.  It was larger than the 53% fall that its predecessor suffered four years ago in July 2008, but threequels often fade faster thanks to more upfront business.  DC did, however, hope that those that skipped seeing the film last weekend because of the Colorado shooting might help solidify the picture over this frame.  But the decline was about what would be expected for the third chapter of a mega-franchise.  Core comic book and action fans have been coming out, but some of the broader audience not as attached to the franchise are feeling less excitement now and have dropped out.

Still, The Dark Knight Rises has amassed a mammoth $289.1M in only ten days making for the third best ten-day start of any film in history after just The Avengers ($373.1M) and The Dark Knight ($313.8M).  The Dark Knight Rises has even landed in the list of all-time domestic blockbusters at number 50.  TV ratings were huge on Friday night’s opening ceremonies of the Olympics and The Dark Knight Rises, like all films, took a hit on that day.  But sales bounced back well on Saturday for the broader marketplace.

Studios usually see the Summer Olympic Games as formidable especially if the host city is not halfway around the world allowing for more live coverage.  In 1996 when the U.S. hosted the Games in Atlanta, Hollywood took a bold move of starting the summer movie season earlier to get an extra week of playtime.  Warner Bros. and Universal unleashed the disaster hit Twister on May 10 and went on to collect $241.9M beating out the $181M of what was supposed to be the summer kickoff film Mission: Impossible.  At its current trajectory, The Dark Knight Rises could end its domestic run in the $440-450M range, which would still be an impressive number seven all-time.

Overseas, The Dark Knight Rises launched in 40 new territories against the Olympics and grossed an estimated $122.1M this weekend from 57 total markets.  That brought the international cume to $248.2M and the global tally to a stunning $537.3M after just the second weekend.  Like The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises should still be able to break the $1B mark in global box office thanks to growth from overseas markets.

Following a hard sophomore slide, Ice Age: Continental Drift settled in for a commendable 35% dip in its third weekend and held onto second place with an estimated $13.3M raising the 17-day sum to $114.8M.  It was the smallest third-weekend gross for any film in the animated franchise as the others each did $17-20M despite lower ticket prices.  The Blue Sky fourquel is on course to reach the neighborhood of $150M from the domestic market – also the lowest in the series.  Overseas has been a different story where the franchise continues to grow stronger.  Ice Age: Continental Drift pulled in an estimated $49.4M internationally helped by big Asian debuts in China, Korea, and India boosting the offshore tally to a staggering $514.1M and the worldwide haul to $628.9M with a whopping 82% coming from outside of North America.  As with the last chapter, the $800M global mark should be broken.

Opening to poor results in third place was the sci-fi buddy action comedy The Watch, which managed to take in an estimated $13M from 3,168 theaters for a dull $4,104 average.  Starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade, the R-rated pic about a group of suburban men who start a neighborhood watch only to discover that aliens have invaded their town came in well below many of the debuts that the individual stars have seen in past projects.  Cricits panned the 20th Century Fox release and links in the news media between the film and the neighborhood watch killing of Trayvon Martin earlier this year didn’t help.

Stiller is coming off the so-so debut of the all-star comedy Tower Heist from last November as well as 2010’s franchise flick Little Fockers, which was the lowest-grossing in that series.  Vaughn’s The Dilemma from last year also opened poorly following a string of studio hits.  Hill is hot this year thanks to his Oscar nod and spring hit 21 Jump Street, but the starpower from the cast failed to drive in business this time.  Males made up the primary audience for The Watch accounting for 60% of the crowd while 59% were 25 and older.  With The Dark Knight Rises also playing to adult men, competition was fierce and the start of the Olympics also provided a distraction for sports fans.  Moviegoers were not impressed with what they got as the CinemaScore grade was only a C+.

It’s been a tough summer for R-rated comedies with The Watch following a dismal debut of Adam Sandler’s That’s My Boy and Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator not faring too well either.  Each carried a high price tag for a comedy and The Watch is estimated to have cost nearly $70M to produce.  This has been in stark contrast to last summer when The Hangover Part II, Bridesmaids, Horrible Bosses, and Bad Teacher all broke the $100M mark keeping adult audiences laughing all season.  Seth MacFarlane’s Ted has been the only standout hit this summer and Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis hope to score a hit in two weeks with their political comedy The Campaign.

Generating the smallest opening of the four-picture franchise, the 3D dance drama Step Up Revolution debuted in fourth with an estimated $11.8M from 2,567 locations for a mild $4,597 average.  The PG-13 pic which moves the dancing-will-save-my-life concept to Miami played young and female like its predecessors with studio research showing that the crowd was 64% female, and 71% under 25.  The CinemaScore was a moderate B+.  Touchstone handled the first three Step Up films domestically while Summit released them overseas where substantial growth has been seen with recent installments.  Summit, now a part of Lions Gate, is handling the new chapter worldwide.  Step Up Revolution bowed 25% below the $15.8M opening of the last film Step Up 3 from August 2010 and 43% behind the $20.7M of the first chapter, which starred Channing Tatum.  Reviews were mostly negative.

The hit comedy Ted still ranked in the top five in its fifth weekend with an estimated $7.4M, off just 26%.  The year’s top-grossing comedy has collected $193.6M for Universal and Media Rights Capital to date.  Columbia and Marvel’s super hero reboot The Amazing Spider-Man followed with an estimated $6.8M, down 38%, for a $242.1M cume.  The worldwide tally now stands at $654.8M.

Brave, 2012’s highest-grossing toon domestically, declined by just 30% to an estimated $4.2M boosting the total to $217.3M from North America and $309.3M worldwide for Pixar.  Channing Tatum’s latest hit Magic Mike fell 40% to an estimated $2.6M and has banked $107.6M thus far for Warner Bros. and Nick Wechsler.  Tatum has been on fire this year and has anchored three different $100M+ grossers over a six-month period.  None were sequels or animated films and all had reasonable budgets making him a moneymaking machine.

Rounding out the top ten were mature-skewing films from notable filmmakers.  Oliver Stone’s Savages dropped 47% to an estimated $1.8M while Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom dipped only 24% to an estimated $1.4M.  Totals stand at $43.9M for Universal and Relativity and $38.4M for Focus and Indian Paintbrush.

It was an active weekend in the specialty marketplace.  The indie comedy Ruby Sparks opened well with an estimated $152,000 from 13 sites for a solid $11,683 average.  The latest film from the directors of the Oscar-winning Little Miss Sunshine collected $192,00 sine its Wednesday debut and expands Friday into 20 more markets.  Reviews were positive.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $126.4M, which was down 25% from last year when Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, Reliance Entertainment, and Relativity Media’s Cowboys & Aliens opened at number one with $36.4M; and down 2% from 2010 when Warner Bros. Pictures Inception remained on top with $27.5M.

July 27, 2012 to July 29, 2012 Top Ten



1.   The Dark Knight Rises

2.   Ice Age: Continental Drift

3.   The Watch

  • $13,000,000
  • 20th Century Fox (Fox Entertainment Group)

4.   Step Up Revolution

  • $11,800,000
  • Summit Entertainment (Lions Gate Entertainment)

5.   Ted

  • $7,400,000
  • a Universal release (NBCUniversal)
  • Media Rights Capital

6.   The Amazing Spider-Man

7.   Brave

  • $4,237,000
  • Pixar Animation Studios (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

8.   Magic Mike

  • $2,580,000
  • a Warner Bros. release (Warner Bros. Entertainment)
  • Nick Wechsler Productions

9.   Savages

  • $1,800,000
  • Universal Pictures (NBCUniversal) and Relativity Media

10. Moonrise Kingdom

  • $1,387,000
  • a Focus release (NBCUniversal)
  • Indian Paintbrush


July 29, 2011 to July 31, 2011 Top Ten



1.   Cowboys & Aliens

  • $36,400,000
  • Universal Pictures (NBCUniversal), DreamWorks Pictures (DreamWorks SKG), Reliance Entertainment, and Relativity Media

2.   The Smurfs

3.   Captain America: The First Avenger

4.   Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

  • $21,925,000
  • Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

5.   Crazy, Stupid, Love.

  • $19,300,000
  • Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

6.   Friends With Benefits

7.   Horrible Bosses

8.   Transformers: Dark of the Moon

  • $5,970,000
  • Paramount Pictures (Paramount Motion Pictures Group) and Hasbro

9.   Zookeeper

10. Cars 2

  • $2,301,000
  • Pixar Animation Studios (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)


July 30, 2010 to August 1, 2010 Top Ten



1.   Inception

  • $27,485,000
  • Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

2.   Dinner for Schmucks

  • $23,528,000
  • Paramount Pictures (Paramount Motion Pictures Group), DreamWorks Pictures (DreamWorks SKG), and Spyglass Entertainment

3.   Salt

  • $19,471,000
  • Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures Entertainment) and Relativity Media

4.   Despicable Me

5.   Charlie St. Cloud

  • $12,382,000
  • Universal Pictures (NBCUniversal) and Relativity Media

6.   Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

  • $12,279,000
  • Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

7.   Toy Story 3

  • $5,123,000
  • Pixar Animation Studios (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

8.   Grown Ups

  • $4,548,000
  • Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures Entertainment), Relativity Media, and Happy Madison Productions

9.   The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

10. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

  • $4,015,000
  • Summit Entertainment

~ by Matt Whitfield on July 30, 2012.

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