April 6, 2013



OPENINGS:  Saturday will tell the tale on EVIL DEAD (TriStar/FSony/FilmDistrict).  Its $11.9M Friday was stronger than the $10.1M/10.2M starts for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D and Mama earlier this year (although it comes with a $1.8M asterisk from Thursday night screenings), and the question is whether word of mouth will lead to a solid increase (Mama) or a swift decline (Chainsaw).  That was the difference between an ultimate $71M gross and just $34M for the two previous horror flicks.  The $7M Friday for JURASSIC PARK 3D (Universal) was OK, although since there’s negligible ancillary value in 3D conversions (because no one went out to buy 3D TV sets), the real profit, if any, will come overseas.

HOLDOVERS:  This will be an odd weekend for comparisons, because last week’s Good Friday was unusually high, while Easter Sunday was unusually low.  So holdovers will appear to hold better over the course of the weekend than they do in a Friday-to-Friday comparison.  Therefore the 58% hit that GI JOE: RETALIATION (Paramount/MGM) took yesterday will probably be moderated into a more normal 50% drop by Sunday, and the picture continues to head toward a $125M or so US total, $50M less than its predecessor (but at a somewhat lower cost, and hoping for a better international result).  TEMPTATION (Lionsgate) and THE HOST (Open Road) were both aimed at traditionally front-loaded audiences, and the result was a Friday with 64%/66% drops.  Even though those will likely stabilize by Sunday, both pictures are still looking at heavy declines–fine for the Tyler Perry picture, which is in line or even a bit above his usual non-Madea results ($60M), but leaving Host out in the cold with perhaps a $30M total.

The Friday/Sunday dichotomy is particularly clear on family holdovers.  THE CROODS (DreamWorks Animation/20th) dropped 44% from last Friday, but will probably have a much gentler decline for the weekend, and the result should be similar for OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (Disney).  OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (FilmDistrict) is holding notably well, down only 35% from last Friday and probably 25% for the weekend.  ADMISSION (Focus/Universal) continues its slow vanishing act, and SPRING BREAKERS (A24) was strictly a one-weekend wonder.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Good starts for both of the weekend’s NY/LA arrivals, with a likely $30+K per-theatre average for Danny Boyle’s TRANCE (Fox Searchlight) at 4 theatres, and a $25K average for Robert Redford’s THE COMPANY YOU KEEP (Sony Pictures Classics) at 5.  As usual, the question is whether these pictures can sustain themselves beyond the coasts (and in the case of Trance, Searchlight also amped up opening weekend with Q&As from Boyle and Rosario Dawson, so those numbers may be shaky).  THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (Focus/Universal) expanded from 2 to 30 theatres, and although its total will naturally be up for the weekend, its per-theatre average will be about one-third of last weekend’s, around $20K.  THE SAPPHIRES (Weinstein), on the other hand, had a fairly stable expansion from 12 to 48 theatres, albeit at a lower level, with a per-theatre average that should dip just a bit to about $5K.

NEXT WEEKEND:  A pair of contrasting arrivals, with 24 (Warners) for (probably older) baseball fans, and SCARY MOVIE 5 (Dimension/Weinstein) for the younger crowd.


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."