SATURDAY PM, 6TH UPDATE: Based on new numbers coming in, my sources now say Universal’s #1 film Snow White And The Huntsman (3,773 theaters) came in at $20.3M Friday and bumped up to $21.5M Saturday. That makes for $56.1M this domestic weekend. The result is better than expected for the 2D original fantasy actioner that cost $172M and didn’t have the benefit of a 3D premium or franchise recognition. Despite decent reviews, audiences gave the PG-13 movie a so-so ‘B’ CinemaScore which could have affected word of mouth but didn’t. (As evidenced by the Friday to Saturday jump.) There’s a palpable sense of relief around Universal Pictures and even Hollywood now that the Charlize Theron-Kristen Stewart-Chris Hemsworth starrer directed by first-timer Rupert Sanders and produced by Joe Roth is showing promise at the domestic box office. Because it follows on the heels of May’s very disappointing domestic on Universal’s Battleship and April’s The Five Year Engagement — two films specifically criticized by parent company Comcast chief Brian Roberts to Wall Street as big “misses” affecting earnings.
Here’s the the Top 5 based on North America’s weekend estimates:
1. Snow White And The Huntsman (Universal) NEW [3,773 Theaters]
Friday $20.3M, Saturday $21.5M, Weekend $56.1M, International $39.3M
2. Men In Black 3 (Columbia/Sony) Week 2 [4,248 Theaters]
Friday $8.1M (-54%), Saturday $12M, Weekend $28M, Cume $111M
3. The Avengers (Marvels/Disney) Week 5 [3,670 Theaters]
Friday $5.6M, Saturday $9.0M, Weekend $19.8M, Cume $541.5M
6. Battleship (Universal) Week 3 [3,144 Theaters]
Friday $1.3M, Saturday $2.1M, Weekend $4.7M, Cume $55.0M
5. The Dictator (Paramount) Week 3 [2,649 Theaters]
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $1.9M, Weekend $4.6M, Cume $50.0M
My sources say that overseas Snow White opened in 45 territories and was the #1 movie in 30 territories and especially strong in Latin America and Asia. It will gross $39.3M this weekend, which is on a par with The Hunger Games‘ $38M and better than Twilight‘s $30M, for a $95.1M worldwide cume. Highlights include Mexico $1M at 588 dates and 48% market share, ($900K at 393 dates and 51% market share), Germany ($1.5M at 618 dates in 2 days), UK ($1M at 476 dates and with previews total is $2.6M (where the movie was overwhelmed by Fox’s Prometheus. See below). “The UK has two national holidays and school holidays next week and 5 weeks as counter-programming to the Euro Cup, so we expect the film to have a long run,” a Uni exec emailed me. Snow White has 18 territories including Australia, France, Italy, Japan and Russia to open over the next two months. It’s now safe to say that Snow White is breaking the post-Avengers early summer slump which has claimed 5 straight major studio releases so far because the Marvel mega-blockbuster was sucking all the air out of domestic box office. Insiders now expect the movie’s internationalcume to ultimately earn $250M-$275M all-in. “We’ll make money with the movie which we really care about. No one can rag us this week,” a Uni exec said to me this morning.
Snow White’s midnight screenings in 1,092 theaters bear that out: they grossed an encouraging $1.383M. That’s a far better per-screen average for the non-3D/non-sequel movie than last weekend’s slow-to-start Men In Black 3 which took in $1.550M midnights from 2,232 theaters even with the 3D premium and sequel marketing advantage. Universal had done an excellent job in lowering expectations for its big early summer tentpole. Tracking for weeks now had been underperforming and the studio kept telling everybody it expected only a $38M-$42M domestic opening weekend. That result would have been devastating to the studio and its execs. But tracking has been hinky for months and even a year now, as true sages of Hollywood box office know well. This morning Snow White‘s tracking took a dramatic uptick at the end of this week and finished strong. “Given the way the tracking has been, it was very difficult to project the scope of any opening for any film in the marketplace this season: good, bad, or indifferent,” a Uni exec tells me today.
Fox’s Prometheus is having “a fantastic start” internationally this weekend before it opens in North America next Friday, according to the studio. The scifi film opened head-to-head with Snow White in the UK. Today Fox said Prometheus is 319% of the Snow White opening there, and 161% of both Snow White and holdover Men In Black 3. It’s also the biggest opening day for a Ridley Scott film ever in the UK. “We have had a superb start with Prometheus opening a clear No. 1 grossing £2.2m ($3.39M). This includes an estimated £200k ($306K) from special midnight screenings on Thursday.” A high 76% is from 3D, which includes 6.74% from IMAX. Most of the IMAX shows were only playing one evening performance on top of MIB3 because Sony had a 2-week agreement with IMAX digital. The two x70mm IMAX sites (Southbank in London and Manchester) played all day and reported every show including lates were sold out in advance. The foreign cume for Wednesday and Thursday in the eight markets released there was $5.5M. In addition to the UK, countries Turkey, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Latvia opened Friday.
Disney announced this morning that Marvel’s The Avengers became the third highest grossing film yesterday domestically passing The Dark Knight ($533M), and the third highest grossing film globally passing Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($1,328M). But these records are not adjusted for higher ticket prices, inflation, or 3D premiums. The Avengers‘ estimated cumulative performance to date as of Friday is international $793.2M and domestic $538.1M for a worldwide cume of $1,331.3M. It currently stands as the #5 film of all-time internationally (#4 is Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides with $803M). Domestically, it crossed $500M in just 23 days, setting a new speed record overtaking Avatar which took 32 days.
Other new movie grosses were Arc Entertainment’s For Greater Glory (575 theaters) with $580K Friday for an estimated $1.5M weekend. The Weinstein Co/Dimension’s Piranha 3DD (86 theaters) opened with $69K Friday for a $179K weekend. And Brian & Barrett/Cinedigm’s Battlefield America (180 theaters) debuted with $40K Friday for a $118K weekend. As for overall moviegoing, the weekend is looking like $135M, down -13% from last year.
Here’s the rest of the Top 10:
6. What To Expect When… (Warner Bros) Week 3 [2,907 Theaters]
Friday $1.4M, Weekend $4.5M, Cume $31.1M
7. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight) Week 5 [1,294 Theaters]
Friday $1.2M, Weekend $4.4M, Cume $25.7M
8. Dark Shadows (Warner Bros) Week 4 [3,002 Theaters]
Friday $1.0M, Weekend $3.6M, Cume $70.6M
9. Chernobyl Diaries (Alcon/Warner Bros) Week 2 [2,433 Theaters]
Friday $1.0M (-70%), Weekend $2.8M, Cume $14.2M
10. For Greater Glory (Arc Entertainment) NEW [575 Theaters]
Friday $585K, Weekend $1.5M
FRIDAY 4:30 PM, 2ND UPDATE: Universal just upped its North American box office estimates for Snow White And The Huntsman to $19M-$21M for today and $50M-$56M for this weekend.
FRIDAY 1 PM UPDATE: My sources are estimating that Friday’s opening looks like $17M to $19M, and the three-day weekend is shaping up as $48M to $52M. Snow White And The Hunstman‘s midnight screenings in 1,092 theaters bear that out: they grossed a promising $1.383M. That’s a far better per-screen average for the non-3D/non-sequel movie than last weekend’s slow-to-start Men In Black 3 which took in $1.550M midnights from 2,232 theaters even with the 3D premium and sequel marketing advantage.