Avenger wasn’t the only film to do something extraordinary this past weekend. John Carter, on it’s “move-over” weekend where it picked up 165 second run theaters, bringing it’s total screens up to 385, saw its weekend tally jump from $125,000 the previous weekend, to $1,049M as initially reported on Sunday (including estimates) and $1,494,367 as reported today (actuals). That’s an increase of 1,224%. Also, the per screen average jumped from $627 per screen the previous weekend, to $4,282 this weekend — a number that put it in second place overall behind Avengers on a per screen average.
Trying to put some perspective on this, we looked at the films that Box Office Mojo considers to be “com parables” for John Carter — Cowboys and Aliens, Green Lantern, and Prince of Persia. All of them experienced an uptick on the “move-over” week — but nothing like this. the best of the lot was Prince of Persia which went from $49,000 to $229,000 on the equivalent weekend, an increase of $363%, with a per-screen jump of $731 to $1,138.
The fact that this happened on Avengers weekend is what muddies the waters. Was it Avengers overflow? But if that were the case, wouldn’t other films have been equally affected, or at least similarly? There is no evidence of that in the Box Office Mojo numbers — it’s only John Carter with this big a jump.
We are waiting to see if Disney has anything to say about this. As a harbinger of the Home Entertainment release, this has to be construed as good news — but caution is indicated until more is known about how Avengers played a role in this.