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Weekend Box-Office Analysis (April 12-14, 2013)

All in all, this weekend’s box-office business was a very unspectacular affair in every way. While a strong opener occupied the top spot, only three other films made more than $10 million from Friday to Sunday. With only seven wide openers scheduled for all of April, don’t expect the 2013 box-office to pick up before the summer box-office season starts next month. The Top 12 amassed a decent $108.8 million, down 14.2% from last weekend, yet surprisingly up 2% from the same weekend last year when The Hunger Games reigned in its 4th weekend in theatres.


The Jackie Robinson biopic 42 bowed at the top spot with a very good $27.5 million from 3,033 locations averaged a promising $9,153 per venue. This terrific opening weekend, while not entirely unexpected, is even more amazing if put into perspective. It is by far the best opening ever for a baseball-themed movie and the only baseball-flick to open above $20 million. This opening weekend alone makes it already the 18th-biggest baseball-film ever. On top of that, it is also just second to The Blind Side for the best opening ever for any sports-themed drama, beating hits such as Coach Carter ($24.2 million) and Remember the Titans ($20.9 million). At last, it is the first genuine hit Harrison Ford has landed at the domestic box-office outside of the last Indiana Jones sequel since What Lies Beneath, all the way back in 2000. The film’s 25.1% uptick on Saturday also bodes for its future prospects. However, most encouraging of all is the film’s splendid “A+”-CinemaScore. Less than 60 movies in total have earned that grade since 1982, among them leggy hits such as The King’s Speech, The Help, Soul Surfer and the aforementioned Remember the Titans. The movie skewed slightly female (52%), but unsurprisingly appealed towards older audiences, with 59% being above the age of 35. Well-received sports films tend to display great longevity at the box-office and so far nothing suggests it’ll turn out differently for 42. With little direct competition for older audiences all the way until The Great Gatsby on May 10th, 42 is poised to show some astounding legs and quickly recoup its $40 million budget. While it is not a lock for $100 million yet, chances are great that it’ll get there (as the second baseball-flick ever after A League of Their Own). At the very least $90 million is a given, with the movie looking to end up in the $95-110 million range.


Settling for a distant #2, Scary Movie 5 opened to an unremarkable $14.2 million from 3,402 venues for a per-theatre-average of $4,161. The opening weekend of this 5th installment n the long-lasting spoof franchise is lower than the opening day of Scary Movie 4 ($19 million), though admittedly that fell on Good Friday. Either way, this opening weekend is way below the franchise’s standards. The four previous Scary Movie films opened to $37.8 million on average with three of them getting out of the gate with more than $40 million. To make matters worse, Scary Movie 5 actually opened to less than Marlon Wayans’ A Haunted House ($18.1 million) back in January, despite having a softer rating (PG-13 vs. R). It is clear that the heyday of the Scary Movie franchise is over. Numerous “knock-off spoofs” such as Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans, Vampires Suck and A Haunted House “diluted” the subgenre and made Scary Movie just one of many subpar spoofs. The ghastly reviews for the fifth film agree and the change of the leading actress certainly didn’t help the new film either. On top of that, the gap between Scary Movie 4 and Scary Movie 5 (seven years) was just too long for the audiences to still maintain interest. All the recent revivals of older franchises by The Weinstein Company didn’t exactly work out well for them. First Scream 4 flopped with $38.2 million. Shortly thereafter Spy Kids: All the Time in the World disappointed with $38.5 million. Scary Movie 5 certainly will be the biggest hit of the three, given its $20 million price tag (down from $45 million for Scary Movie 4!). However, the typical frontloadness of the genre and the “C-“-CinemaScore indicate a very short run with a total gross in the $30-32 million range at best.



The Croods could once again benefit from the lack of family-oriented competition, staying at #3 and dropping just 36.5% to $13.1 million. By the end of its 4th weekend, the animated hit from DreamWorks brought its running total to $142.4 million. It keeps falling further behind How to Train Your Dragon (which dropped mere 21% in its fourth round), proving that its word-of-mouth is no match for Dragon. By now The Croods is already tracking around $16 million behind Dragon and this weekend was the deciding point as far as the film’s chances at $200 million are concerned. While it held well, it didn’t hold up as well as it could given the utter lack of new direct competition. It is still obviously one of the top-tier animated success stories, having already passed the totals of DreamWorks’ Bee Movie and standing less than $1.5 million away from Rio’s total gross, despite opening to similar numbers as those two films. With virtually no competition until Iron Man 3’s release, The Croods is still heading towards a $170+ million finish. I see it ending up with $175-180 million in the bank, possibly enough to make it the highest-grossing original animated movie of the year.


G.I. Joe: Retaliation dropped two spots down to #4 with $10.9 million (down 47.8%) over the three-day portion. On Sunday it became the fourth movie of 2013 to pass the $100 million-barrier and brought its total to $102.5 million after 17 days in release. Lacking the strong summer weekdays, it is still around $18 million behind its predecessor G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in the same time frame. Next weekend it’ll suffer a hard hit by Oblivion, which should take away the majority of G.I. Joe’s IMAX screens and, above that, target its audiences directly as well. While it should recover the weekend after that (facing just two R-rated releases), Iron Man 3 will finish it off when the summer box-office season kicks off. With some luck, Retaliation will still pass $120 million, but don’t count on it going much further than that. A total of $122 million sounds right for it at the moment.


Last weekend’s winner, Evil Dead, expectedly dived 63.2% to $9.5 million, dropping four spots all the way to the 5th slot of the chart. In ten days the gory horror remake has accumulated $41.5 million – a great number given the $17 million budget. Despite its less-than-encouraging “C+”-CinemaScore it dropped less than comparable remakes such as A Nightmare on Elm Street (72.3%), Friday the 13th (80.4%) or Halloween (63.9%). That is not to say that it had a good drop – it still decreased far more than any other movie in the Top 12 – but it could have been worse. With that hold it positioned itself as a lock to at least hit $50 million and pass an opening-to-total multiplier of 2, something Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street haven’t achieved. In fact I even see it going a little bit further and finishing with $55 million when all is said and done.


Jurassic Park 3D took the 6th spot in its second round with $8.9 million, down 52.4% from its opening weekend. So far the re-release took in $32 million, bringing its lifetime total to $389 million. Passing $400 million looks like a near-certainty now. However, it might be compromised, depending on how hard Oblivion will hit it next weekend by taking away the majority of its IMAX-screens. It needs to be noted that in its opening weekend Jurassic Park 3D made almost one-third of its gross with IMAX showings alone (the highest IMAX-share ever!). Either way, a very sharp drop is expected next weekend. Right now, I project a $44 million total for the re-issue, just enough to out its overall cume above $400 million.


One of the weekend’s biggest winners among the holdovers was undeniably Olympus Has Fallen. In its fourth weekend the actioner starring Gerard Butler delivered the best hold among non-expanding movies in the entire Top 20, dipping just 28.7% to $7.3 million. It settled for the 7th spot at the box-office. So far the movie has grossed a great $81.9 million. It now stands mere $7 million away from passing The Ugly Truth and becoming Gerard Butler’s 2nd-biggest live-action hit ever (behind 300). After this splendid hold, its chances at $100 million are certainly revived, though it is still far from what I would consider a lock. It is, however, a lock for a $95+ million finish, currently looking to settle for the $98-102 million range.


Oz The Great and Powerful dropped two spots and 39.3% down to #9 and $4.9 million over the three-day-portion. The film’s running total is at $219.4 million. With that, it broke into the domestic all-time Top 100. It’s also very close to becoming one of Disney’s 20 biggest films ever domestically. The film is on course to finish with $230 million by the end of ts run.


Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor was down to #9 with $4.5 million (down 55.4%). Its running cume stands at $45.4 million after 17 days, already making it the 9th-biggest film ever for Tyler Perry. For some reason it has proven itself to be a little less frontloaded than Perry’s films usually are. It should wind up with $52 million.


Probably the weekend’s biggest winner, after 42, was The Place Beyond the Pines. The Focus Features release added 484 theatres, bringing its theatre count for 514 and delivered a very strong $3.9 million over the weekend, rounding off the Top 10. It averaged $7,521 per theatre. The major reason for the film’s success must be its cast. Bradley Cooper hit it very big with Silver Linings Playbook and scoring an Oscar nod for it and Ryan Gosling has become a minor, yet very legitimate draw after acclaimed performances in Drive, Blue Valentine and The Ides of March. This upcoming weekend The Place Beyond the Pines will go into a total of more than 1,000 theatres, probably leading to another big jump. So far the film has made $5.2 million and it should have a very bright future ahead. It is hard to tell where it will end up exactly, but a total above $20 million looks very likely at this point.


The Host left the Top 10 in its third weekend and settled for #11 with $2.4 million. Having lost more than 1,000 theatres it is no surprise that it declined another 54.2%, It has made $23.4 million thus far, proving itself to be far less frontloaded than the Twilight-flicks. Look out for it to leave the theatres with $27 million in its pockets.


The Call ended up 12th this weekend. It made almost $2 million over the three-day-period (down 44.2%) and brought its total to $48.6 million. It will find its way to around $53 million.


At last, Danny Boyle’s Trance was expanded to 438 theatres, but averaged just less than $2,047 per theatre, missing the Top 12 with mere $900,000.

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