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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.

What it means: This should approach $250 million, great for most films but more routine for Pixar. Much of the world has yet to open this, and it will need to outperform the domestic level to become a major success.

8. "Magic Mike" (Warner Brothers) - #8 for weekend (week 5)

$2,400,000 (-44%) in 2,075 theaters (-531); PSA: $1,177; Cumulative: $107,000,000

Now late in the run, it has passed $100 million

What it means: With its microbudget, this is one of the biggest success stories of the year (with creative team profit participants the major beneficiaries). This is now, including ticket price adjustments, Steven Soderbergh's biggest grossing film other than the "Ocean" series since his tandem of "Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich" more than a decade ago.

9. "Savages" (Universal) - #9 for weekend (week 4)

$1,800,000 (-47%) in 1,414 theaters (-922); PSA: $1,266; Cumulative: $43,900,000

Nearing the end of the run, the gross is just approaching the production budget. This will fall a bit short of Oliver Stone's previous film "Wall Street - Money Never Sleeps." Still, for an unconventional summer release without a lot of review support, this has managed to amass a reasonable gross.

What it means: A fall release in most of the rest of the world, the film will need to gross the normal multiple over US performance to be profitable.

10. "Moonrise Kingdom" (Focus) - #10 for weekend (week 5)

$1,387,000 (-24%) in 853 (-22); PSA: $1,626,000; Cumulative: $38,396,000

With its seventh top 10 weekend, this becomes one of the most consistent non-Oscar boosted specialized releases of recent years, equally the number also achieved by "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."

What it means: This still has a way to go before it's through.

11. "Madea's Witness Protection" (Lionsgate) - #11 for weekend (week 5)

$1,320,000 (-41%) in 1,111 theaters (-429); PSA: $1,188; Cumulative: $62,747,000

Hanging around and still adding gross late in its run, this has exceeded expectations.

What it means: The summer release (Tyler Perry's films usually have spring or fall dates) will help propel this into a higher gross than his previous five over the last three years.

Stay tuned for my analysis of the the indie grosses in Arthouse Audit, which follows the studio grosses every Sunday.

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

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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.