April 13, 2013



OPENINGS:  After a painful post-Hobbit winter, Warners was in dire need of a hit, and Jackie Robinson became its great American hero, as 24 (Warners) had a very strong $9.1M opening day.  Word of mouth should be on the movie’s side–the challenge for the studio was to get people into the theaters in the first place–so the weekend could hit $25-27M, not quite The Blind Side‘s $34.1M, but still first-rate for a sports movie.  (Although Warners still has to deal with the fact that a historical baseball story is unlikely to have much international appeal.)  No such luck for the Dimension division of The Weinstein Company, though, which failed again–remember Scre4m?–to regenerate interest in an old franchise, as SCARY MOVIE 5 (Dimension/Weinstein) had a dismal $5.5M Friday for a weekend that’s unlikely to reach $15M, by far the worst of the Scary Movie series.  (The last entry in 2006 had a $40.6M opening weekend.)

Meanwhile, although the Tom Cruise vehicle OBLIVION (Universal) won’t open here until next week, it’s already playing in most of the world.  The studio is reporting $23.1M from 52 territories ($13.1M of it earned on Friday), and claims to expect a $60M weekend.  That wouldn’t be exceptional–just 2 weeks ago, GI Joe: Retaliation had a $80.3M opening in 54 territories, and The Croods made $63.3M from 47 territories–but it’s a solid start.

HOLDOVERS:  As low-budget horror movies usually do, EVIL DEAD (TriStar/Sony/FilmDistrict) plummeted in its second weekend, down 73% from its opening day and headed for a 65% weekend drop to around $9M.  That should still get it to $50M or so before it’s done, a fair haul.  GI JOE: RETALIATION (Paramount/MGM) is finding no traction, and will likely drop by more than 50% again this weekend to $9M, as it heads for around $125M in the US.  THE CROODS (DreamWorks Animation/20th) is losing steam and should fall around 45% to $11M, on its way to perhaps $165M domestically.  The curious and nostalgic had their fill of JURASSIC PARK 3D (Universal) last weekend, and it’s set to drop over 50% to $8M, and probably won’t reach $50M in the US.  OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (FilmDistrict) continues to hold very well, down just 35% from last Friday, but TEMPTATION (Lionsgate), THE HOST (Open Road) and OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (Disney) are all down 50% or more.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Two recent openings expanded into semi-general release.  THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (Focus/Universal) fared decently, with a likely $7500 average at 514 theatres for a $4M weekend.  TRANCE (Fox Searchlight), though, failed to put anyone under its spell, and faces a dismal $2K average at 438 for a weekend that probably won’t reach $1M, as Searchlight’s losing streak continues. THE SAPPHIRES (Weinstein) expanded to 93 theatres with a soft likely weekend average of $2500.  Terence Malick’s TO THE WONDER (Magnolia), also available on VOD, opened in 18 theatres with an OK $7500 average likely for the weekend, and DISCONNECT (LD) started in 15 with a $6500 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Cruise may not be the mega-star he used to be, but he’s still enough of a name that the other studios are giving Oblivion the weekend to itself, which should boost its opening.



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."