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May 17 2012

Shop Talk: The Avengers box office. This article from Box Office Prophets discusses where The Avengers might end up in total domestic box office by comparing it to similar films. ETA: It's now the sixth biggest film of all time (Hollywood Reporter).

They suggest it could go as high as $675 million (earning $650 million more than Serenity).

I'd love to see it beat Avatar, but that would require $760 million or so. (It could, however, beat Titanic, which only clocks in around $658 million).

[ edited by jdn74 on 2012-05-18 07:36 ]
I don't think it will reach Titanic. I doubt it will get to $600 million.
Let's take a moment and let it sink in: we are talking about a Joss Whedon movie competing at the box office with James Cameron... sometimes I feel a little bit like I've slipped into a mirror!verse.
All this sounds pretty promising. Of course, things could change when more tentpole movies open in the coming weeks, when The Avengers will lose screens to new releases. Just how many screens we lose depends on how confident distributors are about each new release vs. the staying power of The Avengers. I think it has a shot at the first run box office for Titanic.
The guys at Boxoffice Prophets seem to be leaning towards it reaching the 600 million mark. I tend to agree. I know I'm gonna watch it again as soon as I get paid and do my part!
I saw a friend on Facebook today who posted that her husband was going to see The Avengers, but that she had no interest in going with him. When I commented that Whedon had written and directed it, she said since Whedon was involved, she'd give it a shot! So that's $10-$15 more toward beating the Titanic :)
Both Titanic and Avatar got released twice, Avengers would need to be *very* lucky to beat 'em without one.
I'm not fussed at this point about it beating Titanic or Avatar (because I can't see it beating Avatar in any universe, and if it does get close to Titanic's total that will be so many weeks away that I can't feel excited yet), but I'm intrigued by this trend of '2012 is an amazing year for cinema takings so far.' Is that just a US trend, or a worldwide one, do we know? I don't see obvious economic reasons for it (unless it's simply that everyone is finally fed up of the economic downturn and is spending money regardless), or is there an argument to be made that it's because the blockbuster films so far have actually been quite good? (Which should continue, assuming TDKR isn't a huge disappointment to its disciples.)

I know nothing about how this kind of thing is measured and whether there is any knowledge of these kind of causes behind cinemagoing behaviour, but it fascinates me whether this is just a little unexplained blip of a year or whether something is fundamentally shifting somehow.

[ edited by skittledog on 2012-05-18 11:09 ]
@kaan why do you doubt $600m?

If you read the article again, not only is $600m possible but it is statistically likely based on performance trends of past blockbusters. Not only is it likely, but The Avengers would need to suddenly start performing badly to miss it, and there is no sign of that happening.
I am also a bit skeptical of $600 million because by just doing a pattern analysis next to "The Dark Knight", they are only paying attention to summer break for kids as a difference between a May 4 release and a July 18 release -- and ignoring the dozen or so other movies about to come out that the kids will *also* want to see. I think their $625 is probably best case scenario for domestic box office. It will surpass "The Dark Knight", but, between that movie's own sequel and also Spider-Man and also MIB 3 and also Brave and also Snow White, Battleship, Prometheus, etc -- #3 is as high as it will go.

BTW, was the Titanic rerelease "pointless"? I saw it on the 100th anniversary date of the sinking. I'm no marine biologist, but that seems like a very pointed occasion for a rerelease.
But they didn't just do a pattern analysis next to Dark Knight,

Page 2 has Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Star Trek and Spider-man all May releases, and only having The Avengers perform as per Iron Man 2 from now on would have it finishing at less than $600m.

The last paragraph on page 2 spells it out pretty clearly that The Avengers will have to perform pretty poorly from now to land below $600m.
Judging by the total lack of anything opening (that seems interesting) today I'm guessing that Avengers will have another good weekend. But I'm confused, I thought that Avengers was already breaking a billion dollars? I guess I haven't been paying enough attention.
Well, Iron Man 2 is probably the most apt film to analyse it against. The Avengers, for all intents and purposes, is a sequel. What better than to compare it to the only other Marvel sequel.

And as KoC stated, there is HUGE competition coming up. This is one of the strongest looking film summers in a long, long time. The Dark Knight could *only* manage to get to $533 million, despite having more hype than God, and literally no blockbusters for months afterwards. There was only 2 or 3 films in the months after TDK was released that made more than $100 million total.

Of course anything could happen. And having The Avengers play in so many 3D theaters will help, but a think it will end up around the $580 million range. How well it holds this weekend will be interesting.
But I'm confused, I thought that Avengers was already breaking a billion dollars?

It broke $1 billion worldwide. This is just discussing it's North American box-office potential.
I believe Iron Man 2 is a poor choice for comparisson simply because of its reception. It lacked staying power in large part because it wasn't a great movie.
You also have to throw in the 3D thing. Iron Man 2 isn't 3D and The Dark Knight Rises isn't either.
Iron Man 2 definitely would not be a good comparison as that movie is not considered as good and thus did not have the strong word of mouth staying power. I think that both Iron Man and Star Trek are more comparable in terms of when they were released and the popularity of the movies. Based on this, I think $600 million is almost a sure thing.
Yeah, QingTing has the main point I was going to give. The first Iron Man is a much better comparison: Surprise hit, Huge staying power because of how good it is, and a slightly more comparable summer. No summer will be as good as this one, but '08 was a good one, and had that The Dark Knight thing. (Kaan, what do you mean *only* 533, at the time that was the second best! and only 70M shy! heh ;o) ).

KofC - I'm with you... POINTLESS?! I thought it was great to have a chance to see it on the big screen again! My roommate and I messed up our dates though and didn't see it on the sinking date like we had intended...

Anyway, this article chose the same method as I did to go for a comparison. Iron Man and TDK were my main two that I trusted and when I saw the Iron Man comparison number I thought I was nuts and stopped heh... I'm more than certain it will break $600, but how far past that... It will be exciting to see!!
I love it when money follows quality. Too bad we couldn't buy stock in Joss way back when. We'd be mega rich. Plus we would so own him.
Too many variables to call it at this point! Up until the 2nd big weekend all the media types seemed to be cautiously conservative about the box office on Avengers. Now it sounds like they're swinging the other way when the summer season is just starting to get more crowded. Surely with the massive advertising for all of these new releases, even if none of them turn out to have legs, they will chip away at the screen numbers for Avengers continually over the next 3 months.

How well can Avengers be expected to do when it's down to 1500, 1000 or 500 screens?
Super duper well?
It's going to be quite a while before it's even down to 1500 screens. Third weekend and it's only lost 100 theaters, down to 4249. Also Hunger Games in week 9 is still at 2064. Smaller movies are going to be whats dropped in service of the big blockbusters. Also they're going to drop a movie that's doing so well as little as they possibly can.
Speaking of numbers The Cabin in the Woods crossed $40m domestic, and is at $57m worldwide and it is still to open in many territories.

Small beans to The Avengers, but not a bad result nonetheless.
@punkinpuss- prior to release, they had nothing to go on. After the first week, many movies have a huge drop off. Now, with three weeks in cinemas they have it's performance so far and trends to compare it to. It may not be an exact science but these kinds of projections definitely have some heft.
I'm wondering if this is a stupid question, but does Titanic's box office take value in DIFFERENTLY because it was released 15 years ago?

Regardless, I'm thrilled and hope it continues to do well. I don't want TDKR to surpass it, although I wouldn't be surprised if that were to happen.
Only lost 100 screens? Or theatres? Either way, that's a very good sign.

More box office predictions from Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly,,, and, all of which put Avengers at #1 again. The last link includes this bit of information on Battleship:

"Earlier this week, Major Theater Chain tracking came out predicting a very low $27 million (versus Reel Source’s $55 million). As many of you are aware, when MTC is so drastically below RS, its a strong indicator of a massive disappointment."
If the Avengers' week 3 take beats Battleship's week 1, it will be an enormous victory for good taste.
I'm wondering if this is a stupid question, but does Titanic's box office take value in DIFFERENTLY because it was released 15 years ago?

Yes--these figures are not inflation adjusted. There is no way in the world that The Avengers will top the inflation-adjusted figures for Titanic.
Considering it exceeded expectations its first two weeks in the theaters, I'll go ahead and say it will exceed expectations and make it well past $675M.

I've seen no excitement about Battleship, so I'll be surprised if Avengers doesn't snag the top spot this weekend. I think it'll beat The Hunger Games 4-week streak of #1 box office rank.
There's one way, Yoink... sabotage.
Oh a conspiracy! The avid Battleship gamers will figure out a way to sabotage showings of Avengers in the hopes of forcing theater goers to go see their movie instead! Just like what happened to Serenity! Box office stats are exciting.
I don't know if AVENGERS will catch TITANIC but the argument (mentioned by some in this thread) that AVENGERS is going to lose a ton of screens in the near future to other "tentpole" films seems faulty. AVENGERS is predicted to finish in first again this weekend. The movies that are going to lose a significant number of screens to MIB3 next week and PROMETHEUS in 3 weeks are the under-performing flicks like DARK SHADOWS and presumably BATTLESHIP. Theaters aren't in the habit of yanking films that are still putting butts in the seats. At this point, THE AVENGERS making $600 million domestically seems, shockingly, realistic.
Yeah Iron Man 2 sucked, but it made only a few million dollars less than the first one. It also made more money internationally than the first one. As sequels go, it was pretty much on par as the original - box office wise. And it only opened around $20 million dollars ahead of the first one: $100m opening weekend vs $120m. The first Iron Man wasn't some sleeper hit, it was massive out of the gates as well. And these films are massively front loaded. Unlike Titanic or Avatar.

I think any sort of predictions are useless until we see how well The Avengers does next weekend against better competition (i.e. when there is multiple films in the market people want to see, which film will moviegoers choose). Obviously the new film opening will make more, but how much will The Avengers fall against it. Of course, who could have guessed a Burton-Depp film would have provided such lackluster competition last weekend. I didn't think that would bomb as hard as it has.

The Avengers should beat Battleship this weekend, but there's almost no chance it beats MiB 3 next week. Even if that movie bombs it should come in at number one easy.
Even if that movie bombs it should come in at number one easy.

You're probably right, but I have rarely seen a trailer that made me less interested in seeing a movie (well, a movie that-all other things being equal--I could have been expected to have some interest in). MiB3 may open well, but I think it will have lousy word of mouth and a steep, steep drop-off.
I'm really looking forward to Prometheus. Not so much MiB3.

I think it's conceivable that these movies could open without significantly affecting the market for Avengers. The new movies would only matter if the people who go see them would otherwise have gone to see the Avengers.
Yeah, MiB3 looks awful.
Prometheus is rated R so that reduces its box office potential automatically (no matter how many times I plan to see it) and there seems to be no buzz for MiB3.
Here's a mad dream: if Battleship and MiB3 suck enough, could we see Avengers back at #1 in a few weeks...? It gives us something to aspire to, anyway.

Joss to the studio: "Week 1 is your job. Week 7... actually, I didn't think that far ahead."

(Totally random question that may have been asked before: why doesn't Whedonesque's spellchecker recognize "Joss"?)
I think it's very possible ManEnoughToAdmitIt. None of these box office analysts seem to expect much from Battleship or MiB3. I think the really tough competition will be in June, from the movies that will get younger kids, Madagascar 3 and Brave.
I want to see MiB3, just based on how impressive Josh Brolin's impersonation of Tommy Lee Jones looks... I think it will be at least fun if not good.

Iron Man 2 was very front loaded. 30M is a decent sized difference for it's first weekend over the first movie. The second weeks were about the same, and then Iron Man outperformed pretty decently on every subsequent week, and lasted several more weeks because of it's performance. In terms of percentages, it is definitely the better match. If the second one had been a better movie, it's percentages would have matched better and based off of the opening weekend probably could have gotten closer to 400-415M.
(Totally random question that may have been asked before: why doesn't Whedonesque's spellchecker recognize "Joss"?)

Whatever spell checking is done in the "add a comment" box is being done by your browser, not by Whedonesque.
In terms of percentages, it is definitely the better match.

If The Avengers drops only 38% this weekend, and 36% next weekend, and 34% the week after that, I'll concede it's the better match. ;)
Note that Avengers has just passed $400 million and is likely going to pass $450 million by the end of the weekend. The next 2 weeks of May are more important to box office than June, which will be the tail end.

If anyone is interested, here's what is losing & gaining theatres. I would guess that next week, Avengers will see a small drop, while Dark Shadows and other movies are more likely to be hit. If Battleship bombs as many are expecting, then it will likely lose screens after it's 2nd week rather than Avengers. As long as Avengers has a higher screen average, it won't drop too many screens even as other big movies enter the market.

Here's the weekly info of Iron Man 2 which so far Avengers is out preforming in percentages. You can see what the drop in theatres might be like (2010 was also a crowded summer) in the worst case and that so far Avengers is doing better.

Avengers passing $600 million isn't a complete lock, but right now it has a really good chance in hitting it.
I added a link about it now being the sixth biggest film of all time.
Avengers just set another record with $402 million domestic gross as of last night - in only 14 days. Previous record was Dark Knight, over $400 mil in 18 days. It only needs another $198 million to go over $600, so that doesn't sound unreasonable.
Deadline is now estimating that based on early Friday night data, Avengers will make around $55 million this weekend as everything else that came out this weekend has bombed.

[ edited by Matt_Fabb on 2012-05-19 05:15 ]

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