Weekend Box Office: Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Peter Berg’s true story war drama ‘Lone Survivor’ cleaned up this weekend. Plenty of strong buzz was generated from two weeks of playing on just two screens. The film’s expansion to 2,875 screens gave it a huge $38.5 million weekend, which is more than $15 million ahead of expectations and high enough to give it the second-best January weekend of all time. It’s also worth pointing out that ‘Lone Survivor’ opened more than $10 million above Berg’s ‘Battleship’, which cost four times as much to make.

Disney’s ‘Frozen‘ may have slipped back down to second place, but the animated musical’s still not going anywhere. This weekend’s 23% decline added another $15 million to the film’s haul, which is now up to $317.6 million.

The Wolf of Wall Street‘ is still hanging on too, dropping 32% in attendance and adding another $9 million to its $78.5 million run.

Renny Harlin’s ‘The Legend of Hercules‘ tied with ‘American Hustle‘ for fourth place. Both have estimated weekend earnings of $8.6 million. We’ll have to check the weekend actuals later this afternoon to see which makes it out ahead. No matter if ‘Hercules’ falls in fourth or fifth place, there’s no doubt that the opening for the ‘Gladiator’/’300’ rip-off was far too soft for a $70 million flick.

The Weinstein Company’s 905-screen expansion of ‘August: Osage County‘ landed in seventh place with $7.3 million. It will be interesting to see if the movie earns any Oscar nominations, and if so, how that will affect its success.

The spin-off ‘Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones‘ tanked in its second weekend. Dropping nearly 66% in attendance, its $6.3 million second week plummeted from second place to ninth. Don’t feel too bad for the franchise, though. ‘The Marked Ones’ had a production budget of only $5 million, yet has already grossed $28.4 million over its first ten days.

Despite critical praise and rabid awards buzz, the expansion of Spike Jonze’s ‘Her‘ wasn’t much of a success. The film closed the weekend in eleventh place with $5.4 million. Playing on 1,682 screens, that’s a $3,129 per-screen average. To give that some perspective, ‘The Legend of Hercules’ had a better per-screen average with $4,087.

Debut numbers for indie releases ‘The Wait‘ and ‘The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box‘ have yet to be announced.

Top 10:

1. ‘Lone Survivor’ (Universal) – $38,511,000

2. ‘Frozen’ (Buena Vista) – $15,070,000

3. ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (Paramount) – $9,000,000

4. ‘The Legend of Hercules’ (Summit) – $8,600,000

4. ‘American Hustle’ (Sony) – $8,600,000

6. ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ (Warner Bros.) – $8,015,000

7. ‘August: Osage County’ (Weinstein) – $7,315,000

8. ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ (Buena Vista) – $6,578,000

9. ‘Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones’ (Paramount) – $6,300,000

10. ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ (Paramount) – $6,100,000

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