Saturday, May 5, 2012

Friday box office: The Avengers grosses $80 million on Friday. Why we may be looking at a $200 million opening weekend!

Ten years ago we had the first $100 million opening weekend.  Five years ago we had the first $150 million opening weekend.  This weekend, we may be looking at the first $200 million Fri-Sun opening weekend.  The Avengers followed up its $18.7 million midnight haul with a $80.5 million gross for its first full day.  That's the  second-biggest single day on record, behind the $92 million opening sprint for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II.  It's also by far the largest single-day gross not counting midnight screenings.  Even if you negate the midnight haul, The Avengers still grossed $61 million during 'regular business hours'.  For example, The Dark Knight earned $18.5 million at midnight and $67 million for its first full Friday, giving it a $49 million 'normal day' Friday figure.  Among the various single day champions in recent years: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II ($92m - $43m = $49 million), Spider-Man 3 ($59m - $10m = $48m), The Hunger Games ($67m - $19.75m = $48m), and The Twilight Saga: New Moon ($72m - $26m = $46m).  As you can see, The Avengers is so-far actually far less front-loaded than all of them, meaning it is playing less like a heavily-anticipated geek-centric smash and more like a general audiences mega-hit. Point being, the three-day opening weekend record ($169 million for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II) is still very much in jeopardy.

Saturday and Sunday could be absolutely monstrous due to matinees and the younger audiences turning out in force (the film is rated PG-13, but it plays mostly PG meaning it can play to younger kids compared to something like The Dark Knight or The Hunger Games).  The record for a Saturday is the $51 million haul for Spider-Man 3, and the record for a Sunday is the $43 million gross for The Dark Knight.  Both marks may fall over the next two days, especially the Saturday record.  It may very-well do another $65 million on Saturday.  In order to just reach $170 million this weekend, The Avengers has to do about a 2.125x weekend multiplier.  That would be a horrible multiplier for everything but a Harry Potter/Twilight sequel (The Dark Knight pulled a 2.35x).  And Marvel movies that have kicked off the summer have all achieved this level of multiplier or better.  Spider-Man ($114m/ $39m = 2.9x), X2: X-Men United ($85m/$31m = 2.74x), Spider-Man 3 ($151m/$59m = 2.55x), Iron Man ($102m/$38m = 2.68x), X-Men Origins: Wolverine ($85m/$34m = 2.5x), Iron Man 2 ($128m/$52m = 2.46x), and Thor ($65m/$25m = 2.6x) have all pulled it off.

So the opening weekend record is toast, but that's only half the story.  If The Avengers is performing even like a Harry Potter sequel, which so far it's exceeding, we can expect a new opening weekend record on Sunday.  If it plays like a normal front-loaded blockbuster like the Marvel films before it, if it can muster a 2.5x weekend multiplier, we're looking at the first $200 million opening weekend.  Amazing!

Scott Mendelson

1 comment:

Liam_Ho said...

It would probably be better to ask this on Sunday or even Monday when the actual OW is out for The Avengers. But I guess your initial prediction for the domestic take of this movie has gone up. I can't see it making anything less than $400 million now based on word of mouth and the competition in the upcoming weeks. I see Battleship bombing or underperforming with MIB3 having the potential but that is 3 weeks away.


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