Weekend Box Office: Hollywood Stays Green, Not Red

Despite some stiff competition, ‘The Lorax’ held off every other opener with a second #1 weekend at $39.1 million, which brings its ten-day total to $121.9 million. Too bad Dr. Seuss isn’t around to see everyone making boatloads of money off him.

Disney’s risky March blockbuster hopeful ‘John Carter‘ performed even worse domestically than predicted. The studio expected it to make $38.9 million, but the film only managed to wrangle $30.6 million. However, ‘John Carter’ performed fantastically overseas, with a $70.6 million opening. According to The Hollywood Reporter, in order for it to break even, ‘John Carter’ must gross over $600 million worldwide. At this pace, it’s unlikely that the movie will end up in the black during its theatrical run.

Elizabeth Olsen’s indie horror film ‘Silent House‘ opened in the #4 spot with $7 million. That’s impressive if the marketing campaign for it has been as absent in your market as it has been in mine. Open Road Films has not publicized the film’s budget, but since it’s both a little Sundance title and a cheap horror movie, we can assume that it’s going to be a success.

After winning audiences over again in ‘Tower Heist‘, Eddie Murphy wasn’t able to draw them back this weekend with ‘A Thousand Words‘. You might think that a $6.3 million opening wouldn’t be bad for a small movie like this, but the production budget for this atrocious-looking title was a staggering $40 million, so it’s likely to end in the red too.

On only 374 screens, the little indie romantic comedy ‘Friends with Kids‘ pulled in an impressive $2.1 million. The $5,799 per-screen average is a big success for this limited release. With a platform expansion expected, it’s likely that ‘Friends with Kids’ will please the studio behind it. Yet ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen‘ performed even better. In fact, its per-screen average ($13,333) was even higher than the week’s #1 flick, ‘The Lorax’, which came in at $10,438.

Top 10:

1. ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’ (Universal) – $39,100,000

2. ‘John Carter’ (Buena Vista) – $30,603,000

3. ‘Project X’ (Warner Bros.) – $11,550,000

4. ‘Silent House’ (ORF) – $7,010,000

5. ‘Act of Valor’ (Relativity) – $7,000,000

6. ‘A Thousand Words’ (Paramount/DreamWorks) – $6,350,000

7. ‘Safe House’ (Universal) – $5,000,000

8. ‘The Vow’ (Screen Gems) – $4,000,000

9. ‘This Means War’ (Fox) – $3,750,000

10. ‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’ (Warner Bros.) – $3,685,000


  1. Not surprised that John Carter’s under-performing. It’s an uneven mess of a film, with very little relation to the superb original book, other than character names and places and the vaguest general plot-outline.

    It could’ve been the best movie in years, instead Stanton thought he knew better than an author who’s influenced great science fiction writers and film makers and remained popular for a hundred years.

    Just goes to show that directing/scripting animation doesn’t always mean you can direct/script live action.

    • Barsoom Bob

      It may not have followed the book chapter and verse but it definately caught the spirit of Barsoom and the adventures. When I was young, I read all 11 Ace paperbacks with the Frazetta inspired, oh so sexy covers, multiple times.

      Yes, he rearranged the story timelines and introduced the Therns in this story which, I must admit, over complicated this story just a little bit. But it is still 90% A Princess of Mars, just minus the atmosphere factory.

      The highlights of the things he got right to me were the flying ships, killing the young Thark hatchlings that weren’t going to be strong enough, Dejah Thoris and John Carter’s frenzy of battle. In the books he loves a good fight and the battles were epic, he would fight hordes of enemies for hours against incredible odds. Stanton put that up on the screen when he fights off the horde of Wahoons to let Dejah and Sola escape and the bodies of his enemies pile up so high around him that he is almost buried alive. Pure pulpy bliss that I never thought I would see realized on the screen.

  2. lordbowler

    I really enjoyed John Carter, it was better than I expected. I was worried it might be bad because of the flack its gotten.

    Full disclosure, I haven’t read the books so I’m only going on what little I know of the overall story line. But, It was a fun film. I’d actually would see it again.

      • lordbowler

        Although, I’ve checked and see the entire book series is available on Kindle for free, so I may start reading the series. So the movie succeeded for me.

        Why didn’t Disney produce a game along with the movie and advertise that this is the 100th anniversary of The Princess of Mars?

        Every big-budget movie comes out with a game, and it had to have helped Disney’s Prince of Persia make some money. Disney’s marketing team really dropped the ball.

    • CK

      Maybe it depends on whether or not you’ve read the books. I haven’t read them and enjoyed the movie, but it sounds like the couple of people I’ve encountered who have read the books either didn’t like it or seem to have decided they don’t like it just from the promotional material.

  3. JM

    ‘John Carter,’ by way of Disney, is worth more in toys than box office.

    If this grosses $300M in theaters, sells another $300M in blu-ray/tv deals, and makes sexy toy money, I bet Disney will finance at least two sequels.

    And now that they’re done with the origin story, the next trip to mars could be a leap in quality on the scale of ‘Batman Begins’ to ‘The Dark Knight.’

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