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Sunday box office falls short of studio expectations

July 12, 2010 |  2:38 pm
Despicable1 Don't take these guys to Las Vegas.

The estimates that the Hollywood studios made about this past weekend's box office fell a little short. No, it was more than a little short.

In fact, every single movie in the top 10 ended up generating less revenue than their studios estimated on Sunday.

According to the actual weekend ticket sales compiled by Hollywood.com, the studios overestimated weekend box-office revenue for the top 10 movies by $9 million.

The biggest change was for "Despicable Me." Universal Pictures estimated that its 3-D animated film grossed $60.1 million, but the final total was $56.4 million. Summit Entertainment said "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" would land at $33.4 million, but it came in at $31.7 million. "Predators," the No. 3 movie, ended up $500,000 lower than its estimate at $24.8 million.

It wasn't immediately clear what caused the consistent shortfalls. Studios typically use models based on the performance of similar movies during similar times of year in the past to estimate how much their films will gross on Sundays once Friday's and Saturday's ticket sales are compiled.

Such estimates are frequently off by small amounts, but it's rare that every single film in the top 10 is off in the same direction. The World Cup final match, which drew more than 24 million viewers, may have played a role in some of the Sunday declines.

-- Ben Fritz

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Photo: A scene from "Despicable Me." Credit: Universal Pictures

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