March 9, 2013



OPENINGS:  There was more loose change behind the Friday cushions for OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (Disney) than the early estimate had found, and at $24.1M, it seems likely to reach at least $70M for the weekend, sparing Disney some embarrassment.  But opening at the same level as last year’s The Lorax–down 40% from the opening for Alice in Wonderland–is a disappointment for a massively expensive, all-quadrant tentpole like Oz, and the spectacle will need (and probably get) overseas help to make its way out of red ink.  In any case, don’t hold your breath waiting for that “sequel” that the studio blared it was putting into development this week.

The only other wide opening was the comparatively puny DEAD MAN DOWN (FilmDistrict) with a $1.8M Friday that will probably reach a sad $5M for the weekend, on a quick road to homevideo.

HOLDOVERS:  It was clear–except, apparently, to its studio–from the time the new opening date for JACK THE GIANT SLAYER (Warners) was announced that even if it managed to open, it would be running into a buzzsaw in Weekend 2, and indeed, Jack plunged 67% from last Friday to $2.5M, on its way to a $10M weekend and, barring mammoth overseas business, an ugly write-off on the Warners balance sheet.  THE LAST EXORCISM PART 2 (CBS) also had a 67%  plummet, but that’s more par for the course in the world of low-budget, front-loaded horror, and it probably won’t reach $20M.  21 AND OVER (Relativity) held up relatively well, and after a $1.6M Friday, should fall less than 50% from its unimpressive opening, heading for $25M in all.

IDENTITY THIEF (Universal) led a squad of longrunning titles that should only be down 35-40% for the weekend, including SNITCH (Summit/Lionsgate), SAFE HAVEN (Relativity) and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (Weinstein).  The post-Oscar bounce is pretty much done, by the way, as only Silver Linings will make even $2M this weekend among the year’s awardees.  QUARTET (Weinstein) continues to be very steady, and should have a $1.3M weekend at 715 theatres as it climbs toward $20M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  EMPEROR (Roadside) may make it to $1M for the weekend at 230 theatres, with an unexciting $4K per-theatre average.   STOKER (Fox Searchlight) is already running out of gas, more than doubling its theatres for a total of 17 and yet falling from last Friday, with what will probably be just a $6K per-theatre weekend average.  Sadly, the excellent (but lengthy and disturbing) BEYOND THE HILLS (IFC) isn’t finding an audience despite critical raves, and will probably have a $5-6K average at just 3 theatres.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The good news for Oz is that it faces very little challenge in its immediate future, as the only openings are the wan-looking comedy THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE (Warners) and the Halle Berry thriller THE CALL (TriStar/Sony).  The interesting limited release is Harmony Korine’s SPRING BREAKERS (A24), which has gotten enormous buzz because of its cast of ex-Disney teen stars throwing caution to the winds.


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."