February 23, 2013



It’s a yearly irony that on the most moviecentric weekend of the year, hardly anyone goes to the movies.

OPENINGS:  Dwayne Johnson’s vehicle SNITCH (Summit/Lionsgate) will lead the newcomers, but may face difficulty over the course of the weekend as The Rock’s fans discover it isn’t really the action movie it’s been marketed as being.  With a $4.1M Friday, it should still reach $11-12M.  DARK SKIES (Dimension/Weinstein) is off to an undistinguished start with $3.1M, on its way to $8-9M for the weekend.

HOLDOVERS:  The combination of last weekend’s holiday and tomorrow’s Oscars won’t make the holdovers look very strong this week.  The weekend winner will be IDENTITY THIEF (Universal), which was only $40K behind Snitch on Friday and will pull ahead on Saturday for about a $13M weekend.  That will put it over $90M and on its way to perhaps $125M.  The only numbers that will matter now for A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (20th) are the international ones, as it collapsed here on its second Friday, down 61% from last Friday and heading for a $8-9M weekend and a US total that may not reach $75M.  SAFE HAVEN (Relativity) didn’t show a lot of strength either, down 51% from last week, but it held better than Die Hard, at a far lower cost (although also far lower overseas appeal).  ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH (Weinstein) still has the family market to itself, and held well, down only36% from its opening day and on its way to a $10M Weekend 2 and perhaps $50M.  BEAUTIFUL CREATURES (Warners) played out its string with a $1M Friday, down 55% from its lackluster showing last week, and may not get to $25M.

As you’d expect, the Best Picture nominees are all doing well this weekend despite losing, in most cases, hundreds of theatres.  SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (Weinstein) is on top, barely down from last week for what should be a $5-6M weekend, and none of the others were down more than 27%–even ARGO (Warners), which is now available on homevideo and pay-per-view, slipped just 7% from last Friday.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The indie studios are still in no hurry to get started this year, and this weekend’s only significant arrival was BLESS ME ULTIMA (Arenas), which is off to a very slow start, heading to a $1500 weekend per-theatre average at 263.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The long-delayed JACK THE GIANT SLAYER (Warners) finally makes its appearance, and early indications are that it’s more likely to be slain at the boxoffice.  The other arrivals are low-budget product:  teen comedy 21 AND OVER (Relativity), horror sequel THE LAST EXORCISM PART 2 (CBS) and thriller PHANTOM (RCR).  Also opening in just a few theaters is the Sundance chiller STOKER (Fox Searchlight).

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."