Weekend Box Office: Zombies Limp to First Place

Each of this weekend’s wide releases underperformed studio predictions, but there’s one bit of news worth noting. In limited release, P.T. Anderson’s latest drama, ‘The Master‘, crushed an indie record recently set by Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’. (Is it just a coincidence that both directors carry the last name Anderson?) In May, the latter scored a record for Best Per-Screen Live-Action Opening with $130,749. This weekend, ‘The Master’ toppled that with a $146,000 per-screen average on five screens. The expansion for ‘The Master’ can’t come quickly enough. Since I’ll be in Southern California next weekend, I hope that a nearby screen will play it there.

The #1 movie this weekend was ‘Resident Evil: Retribution‘, the fifth entry in Paul W.S. Anderson’s videogame-based action series. The stylized 3D flick pulled in $21.1 million, which is actually the weakest opening of the series since its big screen debut in 2002. The respective premieres for the franchise were $17.7 million, $23 million, $23.7 million, $26.7 million and (now) $21.1 million. Taking into account the 3D surcharge and attendance, ‘Retribution’ actually brought in the least number of domestic viewers of any of the five films to date.

Disney’s 3D re-release of Pixar’s ‘Finding Nemo‘ brought in enough to earn the #2 spot. Its $17.5 million opening isn’t as noteworthy as last year’s reissue of ‘Lion King‘, but it’s right on par with ‘Beauty and the Beast‘. It will be interesting to see how the ‘Monsters Inc.‘ 3D re-release plays out later this year.

The Possession‘ was finally dethroned from its two-week stint in the top spot, but its 38% drop-off still gave the PG-13 horror title another $5.8 million. To date, the $14 million movie has grossed more than $41 million domestically.

The Weinstein Company’s ‘Lawless‘ and Focus Features’ ‘ParaNorman‘ fared very well again this weekend. ‘Lawless’ took fourth place, sliding less than 30%. The bootlegging crime thriller added another $4.2 million to its $30.1 million haul. After five weekends, ‘ParaNorman’ rounded out the Top 5 with a 27% decline, adding another $3 million to its nearly $50 million run.

The twelfth-place opening of ‘Arbitrage‘ would be notable had ‘The Master’ not eclipsed it as it the best per-screen debut this weekend. On 197 screens, ‘Arbitrage’ pulled in $2 million, which warrants a $10,508 per-screen average – almost identical to that of last year’s ‘Margin Call‘.

The #15 spot went to a movie that I’d never heard of until now, a Christian drama titled ‘Last Ounce of Courage‘. The story of the grieving father and son of a fallen soldier, ‘Courage’ brought in $1.7 million on 1,407 screens. This lackluster total doesn’t hold a candle to other recent faith-based dramas such as last September’s ‘Courageous‘, which opened to $9.1 million.

Performing slightly better than ‘Courage’ was ‘Stolen‘. On 141 screens, the Simon West-directed, David Guggenheim-penned Nic Cage action flick pulled in $204,000. Josh Radnor’s comedy ‘Liberal Arts‘ performed much better, drawing $30,000 on just four screens.

Top 10:

1. ‘Resident Evil: Retribution’ (Screen Gems) – $21,100,000

2. ‘Finding Nemo (3D)’ (Buena Vista) – $17,504,000

3. ‘The Possession’ (Lionsgate) – $5,800,000

4. ‘Lawless’ (Weinstein) – $4,219,000

5. ‘ParaNorman’ (Focus) – $3,039,000

6. ‘The Expendables 2’ (Lionsgate) – $3,030,000

7. ‘The Words’ (CBS) – $2,880,000

8. ‘The Bourne Legacy’ (Universal) – $2,875,000

9. ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’ (Buena Vista) – $2,511,000

10. ‘The Campaign’ (Warner Bros.) – $2,405,000

1 comment

  1. William Henley

    I saw Stolen on Friday night. We were looking for something to do, and my friend wanted to see it. I had never heard of it. I had actually thought the movie must have been out for a while, as there were only four people other than ourselves there, at a brand new megaplex in a heavily populated area at a prime-time showing on a Friday night. We were disappointed the movie didn’t have closed captioning – we are both loosing our hearing and have started using the little closed captioning devices when we went to the theater.

    Anyways, its an okay movie. Not great, but it was entertaining. Kind of surprised the movie is not being promoted more than it is.

    Also, the R rating is REALLY harsh. No nudity, little to no cussing, minimal violence. I honestly think this movie deserved a PG or PG-13 rating at most.

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