March 30, 2013



For the studios, a Good Friday that generally lived up to its name.

OPENINGS:  GI JOE: RETALIATION (Paramount/MGM) had a very solid second day, rising 48% for a $15.5M Friday.  That’s still only 2/3 of the $22.2M that its predecessor GIJoe: The Rise of Cobra did on its opening day (despite 3D ticket premiums for Retaliation), and Easter Sunday will be taking a hit on everything in the market as families spend less time in multiplexes, but Retaliation should still get to $37.5M for the weekend and $48M with Wed/Thurs included.  That should certainly mean a $100M+ US total.  However, it may be a concern that early international numbers have Retaliation at $18.4M on Friday in 75% of the world’s territories.  As with Oz the Great and Powerful, studios now count on big-budget action movies and spectacles to make considerably more overseas than domestically, but Rise of Cobra only managed a 50/50 split, and Retaliation may not do too much better.  A worldwide total of $250M, while not terrible (Retaliation cost $50M less than Rise of Cobra) wouldn’t be very encouraging, either.

Tyler Perry’s TEMPTATION (Lionsgate) had a $9.4M opening day, quite strong for one of his non-Medea movies (below only the sequel  Why Did I Get Married Too? and its $12.2M).  A large chunk of Perry’s audience will be otherwise occupied on Easter Sunday, but the picture should still reach $22.5M or more for the weekend, THE HOST (Open Road) was less impressive, with a $5.5M opening day that was probably front-loaded to boot, giving it around $12.5M for the weekend, as Stephenie Meyer’s audience clearly prefers her starry-eyed (in this case, literally) protagonists with fangs.

HOLDOVERS:  THE CROODS (DreamWorks Animation/20th) had an exceptionally good hold and is clearly benefiting from (somewhat mystifying) strong word of mouth, down only 8% from its opening day last week.  That’s a How To Train Your Dragon-level hold, and that movie ended up starting a franchise with a $218M total.    However, as DreamWorks is no doubt aware, chunks of its family audience won’t be available on Easter Sunday, and the weekend total won’t be quite so impressive, although it should still fall only 35% or so from opening weekend.

OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (FilmDistrict) was more earth-bound, sinking 52% from opening day to $4.8M and a likely $13M weekend.  That should still get it to $80M before it’s done, a tidy amount that’s better than anyone expected.  ADMISSION (Focus/Universal) had a mediocre 44% drop on Friday to $1.2M and probably won’t do more than $3.5M for the weekend, not much for a picture that was supposed to get a new wave of older audiences in its second week.  SPRING BREAKERS (A24), not surprisingly, was very front-loaded, plunging 51% to $1.1M despite adding 25% more theatres, and heading for a $2.5-3M weekend.

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (Disney), thanks to an influx of holiday children, dropped only 24% from last Friday to $4.3M, on its way to a $10-11M weekend.  It’s still headed to $225M in the US, and needs more international love than it’s found so far.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (Focus/Universal) is off to a good start at 4 theatres, with what should be a $75K weekend average.  As usual with these kind of high-profile NY/LA openings, the question will be whether there’s an audience for the film outside those cities.  THE SAPPHIRES (Weinstein) expanded from 2 to 12 theatres, and will only rise 50% in total for the weekend, with an unpromising $5K average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  How do you like your carnage?  For enthusiasts of intense gore, EVIL DEAD (TriStar/Sony) will be peddling its demon-ridden mutilations, while the family audience can enjoy some wholesome dinosaur rampages in the 3D re-release of JURASSIC PARK (Universal).  Limited releases include Robert Redford’s thriller THE COMPANY YOU KEEP (Sony Pictures Classics) and Danny Boyle’s TRANCE (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."