Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekend Box Office (02/24/13): Identity Thief tops Oscar weekend, Snitch and Dark Skies open "okay".

I can't confirm this offhand, but I'm pretty sure Snitch has the biggest opening weekend of all time for a film based on a Frontline documentary.  The 'mandatory minimum sentences are evil' action drama debuted with $13 million this weekend.  That's not a huge figure, but it's above the sub-$8 million debuts from Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jason Statham in the last two months.  Lionsgate/Summit procured the film for just $5 million, so this is a solid win all-around.  The picture played 77% 18-49 and 53% male, earning a B from Cinemascore.  The solid 3.17x weekend multiplier, especially considering the predicted Oscar drop today, means that the film may have legs and an outside shot at $45 million.  It's not a massive success, and it means that Dwayne Johnson needs a viable franchise to be 'box office', but for a film with nothing but The Rock to sell, this isn't a bad debut at all (it's higher than the $8 million debut for 2010's Faster, for example).  Johnson still has G.I. Joe: Retaliation next month and the sure to be *huge* Fast & Furious 6 on tap for May, so this almost qualifies as his "one for me" art film.  It's a good movie that I hope finds an audience and it's clearly a better choice for action junkies than A Good Day to Die Hard.

Speaking of which, Die Hard 5 dropped 59% this weekend for a $10 million second weekend and a $51 million domestic total.  It won't reach $75 million, which would be a disaster (even Tom Cruise's "disappointment" Jack Reacher hit $80 million domestic and $200 million worldwide on a $60 million budget) if not for strong overseas numbers.  It's at $184 million worldwide right now and should coast to $250-$300 million global on a $92 million budget.  That's mediocre for a once dominant global action franchise (Die Hard movies used to gross $350 million worldwide when that *meant something*!), but no one will lose their shirt over it, merely their pride and credibility.  As I noted last weekend, the artistic failure of Die Hard 5 meant that Identity Thief became the de-facto 'second choice' for older moviegoers, something that paid off this weekend as it climbed to the top of the box office again.  Now rank aside (because rank is ultimately meaningless), the film dropped a not-great 40%, but still pulled in $14 million and ended the third frame with $93 million.  The $35 million Universal production will cross $100 million before the weekend and is another huge win for Universal in 2013.  Mama just crossed $70 million domestic, an astonishing number for an original supernatural horror film.  It's already the 10th biggest supernatural horror film even that's not a remake, sequel, or adaptation.  Oh and last December's Les Miserables has $379 million worldwide, with a surefire Oscar win for Anne Hathaway set for tonight.  With Fast and Furious 6 looking like a contender for $800-$1 billion worldwide this summer (you heard it here first...), Universal is doing very well.

The only other debut this weekend was Dimension's $3.5 million alien abduction horror film Dark Skies.  The film earned $8.8 million this weekend, which is almost good when you consider that it's claim to fame is being hidden from critics (those who saw it early were embargoed until opening day at 6pm) *and* having at least a few high profile midnight or weekend paid showings fail spectacularly (oooh... spooky!).  It's a cheap movie that will make its money back in theatrical and then rent forever as horror tends to do.  No harm, no foul. In better news, Warm Bodies is still holding strong, with $58 million thus far.  Once it surpasses $60 million, it becomes the third biggest zombie film of all time, behind Zombieland ($75 million) and um, Hotel Transylvania ($148 million, if that counts).  In the bad news department, Warner Bros. is having a terrible 2013, as Beautiful Creatures floundered in weekend two and won't even approach $25 million domestic.  And next weekend's Jack the Giant Slayer is almost certain to pull a John Carter, as there is little chance of it grossing anywhere near enough to justify its $190 million budget.  At least Argo ($129 million domestic) may win Best Picture tonight. In also bad news, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters has $150 million worldwide, thanks to those dirty stinking foreigners who put the film over $100 million overseas. If we get a sequel, it's *your* fault Russia and Brazil! On the plus side, them foreigners turned Life of Pi into a global blockbuster, with $586 million, so kudos to that (no, I didn't like the film, but it's the sort of movie I want to see succeeding).

Escape From Planet Earth held up well in weekend two, earning $11 million (-30%) and totaling $35 million on account of their being NOTHING ELSE FOR CHILDREN TO SEE RIGHT NOW!!!  My five year old daughter is so desperate to see a movie ("There aren't any more kids' movies!") that I'm almost tempted to take her to Jack the Giant Slayer next weekend and hope that its PG-13 rating is just a bluff.  Save Haven dropped 50% but still pulled in a $48 million cume, putting it on path to surpass the usual $62 million Nicholas Sparks average of late, with a solid chance of hitting $80 million ala Dear John and The Notebook.  In Oscar news, Django Unchained has $380 million worldwide while Silver Linings Playbook has $107 domestic and Zero Dark Thirty has $91 million domestic.  Wreck It Ralph has $426 million worldwide while Frankenweenie did surprisingly not catch fire overseas, ending with just $67 million worldwide.  In below the radar news, Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, Quartet has slowly grossed $8.9 million after seven weeks of limited play.  Also, Parental Guidance crossed $75 million this weekend while that arthouse sensation The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey topped $300 million domestic just today.  It also opened in China this weekend, so with a worldwide cume of $980 million, it should squeak over the $1 billion worldwide mark after all.

That's it for this weekend.  Join us next time for Jack the Giant Slayer, 21 and Over, Phantoms, and The Last Exorcism part II.  Until then, enjoy the Oscars!

Scott Mendelson


Bulldog said...

I wouldn't count Hobbit out of the billion dollar club just yet. Not seeing any figures yet but It opened in China on Friday. Mojo has it at $679 international and $980 ww. I would think that another $21m in China would be doable.

David Klein said...

That's crazy that Zombieland is so high on the all-time 'zombie movie' list. I went back and checked; 28 Days and 28 Weeks Later did not do nearly as well as I remembered. Nice one.


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