October 28, 2012



The biggest boxoffice story of the weekend happened overseas:  in only 25 international markets, SKYFALL (Sony) the new James Bond, has opened at a scorching, record-setting pace, with a reported $77.7M in 3 days (including $32.4M in the UK alone).   The movie doesn’t open in the US for 2 weeks, but it’s already kicking off the holiday season to come in fine style.

OPENINGS:  CLOUD ATLAS (Warners) was the best Hollywood could do this weekend, a $9.4M take that’s embarrassing in light of its $100M production cost (and likely another $100M in global marketing).  The studio couldn’t figure out how to sell the unique spectacle, and mixed reviews closed the coffin.  SILENT HILL REVELATION (Open Road) only managed $8M, despite being ahead of Cloud Atlas on Friday (and the weekend number may still come down, as it’s currently claiming a smaller Sunday drop than any of the other new arrivals).  FUN SIZE (Paramount) was the opposite of fun, with a $4.1M weekend that makes its low budget irrelevant.  Even it looked good, though, compared to CHASING MAVERICKS (20th), which could only attract $2.2M worth of moviegoers (an $1100 per theatre average) for its soggy surfing tale.

HOLDOVERS:  ARGO (Warners) had its first (and likely last) weekend at the top of the boxoffice, with a terrific 3rd weekend of $12.4M, down only 25% from last week.  It’s now firmly in the Oscar race, although its relatively early opening may yet catch up with it.  HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (Sony) was equally impressive, down just 27% in its 5th weekend.  Both movies will face direct competition next weekend, from Flight and Wreck-It Ralph respectively.  Even though Silent Hill flopped, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 (Paramount) plunged 70% from its disappointing opening, and won’t end up much higher than the far less heralded Sinister.  (And so much for its hyped “improved” overseas results, as the movie added 12 territories this weekend and still fell 47% from last week.)  The collapse of ALEX CROSS (Summit/Lionsgate) was less extreme, but a 56% drop is still awful for a movie that had hoped to establish a franchise (and an acting career for Tyler Perry dressed as a man).  SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS (CBS) is on its way out with a 55% drop in its 3rd weekend, but TAKEN 2 (20th), HERE COMES THE BOOM (Sony), PITCH PERFECT (Universal) and SINISTER (Lionsgate) were all down a reasonable 35-45%.

LIMITED RELEASE:  A quiet weekend didn’t help THE SESSIONS (Fox Searchlight) in its initial expansion, with only a $11.6K average in 20 theatres.  Despite the nearly universal raves, the movie’s premise and lack of major stars may keep it from wide success–Searchlight will have to hope that potential critics awards in December can spark some interest.  THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER (Summit/Lionsgate) and THE MASTER (Weinstein) both seem to be headed for $15M, but Wallflower is getting there with good holds over time, while the much more expensive Master is almost out of gas.   SMASHED (Sony Classics) is holding well, almost even with last week with just 1 new theatre added, but at only a $2100 average at 21.

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."