Weekend Box Office: A Slow Start for March

It can’t be a good thing when the biggest movie of the weekend gets compared to last year’s big failure ‘John Carter‘ by all of the major news outlets.

After its release date was bumped from last summer to this spring for major re-shoots (I assume due to multiple continuity issues), ‘Jack the Giant Slayer‘ opened modestly with $28 million. That’s $2 million above expectations, but is only a fraction of what the film needed to earn in order to become profitable. The Bryan Singer flick has an estimated budget of $195 million. Warner Bros. has reported that 12% of the gross stemmed from IMAX showings, but hasn’t yet announced the 3D percentages.

Even with another 30% drop-off, the $9.7 million fourth weekend for ‘Identity Thief‘ was able to hold off the three other new wide releases. Expected to come in at second with $14.7 million, ‘21 & Over‘ actually placed third with only $9 million. That compares poorly with the $21 million opening for last year’s similar ‘Project X‘. The debut of ‘The Last Exorcism Part II‘ did about the same. The original movie opened to $20 million and this new sequel only earned $8 million, which is actually less than last week’s ‘Dark Skies‘.

Despite a 41% drop-off, The Rock’s ‘Snitch‘ managed to stay in the Top 5 in its second weekend with $7.7 million, which brings the drama’s total up to $24.4 million.

The weekend estimate for ‘Phantom‘ has yet to be announced. While originally reported to open on more than 2,000 screens, it turns out that the movie actually only opened on 1,118. Some projections have it listed as only bringing in $500,000 this weekend, which would be the death of first-time distributor RCR if true. But we’ll have to wait until the weekend actuals are announced to find out for sure.

Park Chan-wook’s English-language thriller ‘Stoker‘ opened strongly in limited release. Debuting on just seven screens, the Fox Searchlight film earned $158,800, for an average of $22,686 per-screen. A platform expansion is expected over the next several weeks.

Last week’s Oscars boosted box office totals this week. ‘Silver Linings Playbook‘ is still going strong in the Top 10. This weekend, it finished in eighth place with $5.9 million. With the high quality of home entertainment systems, I’m baffled as to how Best Picture ‘Argo‘, which has been available on Blu-ray for two weeks already, managed to bring in another $2.2 million. ‘Life of Pi‘, which is available on streaming VOD services, also brought in another $2.3 million.

Top 10:

1. ‘Jack the Giant Slayer’ (Warner Bros.) – $28,010,000

2. ‘Identity Thief’ (Universal) – $9,706,000

3. ’21 & Over’ (Relativity) – $9,000,000

4. ‘The Last Exorcism Part II’ (CBS) – $8,030,000

5. ‘Snitch’ (Summit) – $7,700,000

6. ‘Escape from Planet Earth’ (Weinstein) – $6,726,000

7. ‘Safe Haven’ (Relativity) – $6,300,000

8. ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ (Weinstein) – $5,941,000

9. ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ (Fox) – $4,500,000

10. ‘Dark Skies’ (Weinstein/Dimension) – $3,556,000

1 comment

  1. I think the main difference here is that Warners just dumped JACK into March after poor screenings (it was supposed to be a summer tentpole for them last year), while Disney promoted the hell out of JOHN CARTER last year and was hoping for a big hit.

    I actually don’t think Warners is all that upset with JACK’s opening, because they already knew it wasn’t going to play well.

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