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Weekend Box Office: Business As Usual? No, It's the Olympics, Stupid

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood July 29, 2012 at 12:50PM

As the film industry worries about audience fears at movie theaters, there's a temptation to pass some quick judgments about the long-term impact of the Aurora tragedy on movie attendance. This weekend at least, we should not overlook the more important X factor ---the opening of the Olympics. That made a difference in two crucial ways.
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What it means: There is no question that this film will remain strong for weeks to come, and reign as one of the major successes of the year. The damage from the violence looks minimal.

Continuing

2. "Ice Age - Continental Drift" (20th Century-Fox) - #2 for weekend (week 3)

$13,300,000 (-35%) in 3,869 theaters (-17); PSA: $3,438; Cumulative: $114,847,000

The third weekend for this fourth animated "Ice Age" installment,  despite the Olympics, held up even better than the third for the previous series entry, an indication that it's moviegoing as usual here.

What it means: Fox's animated studio Blue Sky now has its seven (out of seven) $100-million-plus hit.

5. "Ted" (Universal) - # 5 for weekend (week 5)

$7,400,000 (-26%) in 3,129 theaters (-85); PSA: $2,365; Cumulative: $193,600,000

Holding very well in its second month, with the best hold of any week in its run, and $200 million just around the corner. Hard to see any any weakness here --even though the film has been around longer, this week its gross and PSA are better than "Amazing Spider-Man."

What it means: Not only is this (in unadjusted numbers at least) Mark Wahlberg's biggest hit, it is the biggest testimony to his draw yet. And compared to what "The Watch" with its multiple leads is failing to bring in, it makes his marquee appeal undeniable.

6. "The Amazing Spider-Man" (Sony) - # 6 for weekend (week 4)

$6,800,000 (-38%) in 3,160 theaters (-593); PSA: $2,152; Cumulative: $242,000,000

Approaching $250 million with more to come, this continues a strong performance domestically.

What it means: This is headed for over $750 million worldwide. Sony already is committed to a 2014 release for the next installment, which seems reasonable considering the series' continued appeal.

7. "Brave" (Buena Vista) - #7 for weekend (week 6)

$4,237,000 (-30%) in 2,551 theaters (-348); PSA: $1,642; Cumulative: $217,261,000

More evidence of steadfast audience attendance - this weekend's percentage falloff will be by far the least of any in the run.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Warner Brothers, The Dark Knight Rises


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.