With only one nationwide release opening against a two-week-old animated flick, it was no question as to which would walk away the winner. Yet despite the better-than-expected win, the box office totals for this weekend were lower overall than this time last year.
The R-rated, big-screen continuation (note that I did not call it a reboot) of television’s ‘21 Jump Street‘ was the shocker of this weekend. Based on the trailers and casting alone, I thought that the studio was aiming high with a $32.5 million prediction. But the movie is much better than it looks and Sony knew it. The studio screened the hell out of it to create some positive word of mouth. It worked. ’21 Jump Street’ dethroned two-week champion ‘The Lorax‘ with a $35 million opening weekend. ‘The Lorax’ dropped more than 41%, but still managed to pull in another $22.8 million, which brings its 17-day domestic total to $158.4 million. You can expect Universal to greenlight big screen adaptations of each and every Dr. Seuss book within the next week or two.
The wildest of the weekend numbers are those for Will Ferrell’s Spanish-language comedy ‘Casa De Mi Padre‘. On only 382 screens, the Lionsgate title managed to crack the Top 10 and score a $2.2 million opening. I think it’s fair to assume that this flick will expand next weekend. Meanwhile, Mark and Jay Duplass’ indie comedy ‘Jeff, Who Lives At Home‘ also did well this weekend, pulling in $840,000 on 254 screens.
Starring Nic Cage, January Jones and Guy Pearce, the unknown thriller ‘Seeking Justice‘ didn’t fare too well. On 231 screens, it warranted a $1,126 per-screen average and finished with $260,000. I predict that we’ll see this title on Blu-ray in the very near future.
The other three limited openers all pulled in exceptional numbers. On three screens, Cannes winner ‘Kid with a Bike‘ earned $51,000. Adrien Brody’s ‘Detachment‘ grossed $11,100 on two screens. And on only one screen, ‘Juan of the Dead‘ managed to bring in $12,000.
It’s a real shame that audiences are still favoring ‘The Lorax’ more than Disney’s flop ‘John Carter‘. Dropping 55% from its weak debut, ‘John Carter’ only brought in $13.5 million. With the $250 million movie’s 10-day total at a measly $53.1 million, it’s going to take some serious studio stones to go through with the previously planned sequels.
‘Project X‘ finally took the plummet that I expected it to, but it took an extra week for it to do so. I’m still shocked that a movie this bad can make the $48 million that it has made so far. Although Eddie Murphy’s ‘A Thousand Words‘ opened quietly last weekend, it actually jumped up a spot in the rankings to round out the Top 5 by only dropping 39%.
With the pre-sales for next week’s ‘The Hunger Games’ already through the roof, plan on next week’s Box Office post to talk about the first $100 million debut of 2012.
1. ’21 Jump Street’ (Sony) – $35,000,000
2. ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’ (Universal) – $22,800,000
3. ‘John Carter’ (Buena Vista) – $13,515,000
4. ‘Project X’ (Warner Bros.) – $4,005,000
5. ‘A Thousand Words’ (Paramount/DreamWorks) – $3,750,000
6. ‘Act of Valor’ (Relativity) – $3,678,000
7. ‘Safe House’ (Universal) – $2,800,000
8. ‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’ (Warner Bros.) – $2,460,000
9. ‘Casa De Mi Padre’ (Lionsgate) – $2,200,000
10. ‘This Means War’ (Fox) – $2,125,000