October 7, 2012



This is why studios love franchises.

OPENINGS:  TAKEN 2 (20th) almost doubled its closest competition (even though that $50M weekend estimate, like all round number estimates, may come down a bit when final numbers are released tomorrow).  Plus the movie earned an additional $55M overseas in only 27 markets, which means the sequel will leap over the relatively paltry $81.8M international gross of its predecessor.  And all this at a reported $45M budget!  (Plus marketing, of course.)  The result could be one of the most profitable pictures of the year.  PITCH PERFECT (Universal) could also be seeing some profit, with a healthy $14.7M start ($21.6M, including last week’s limited release) on a cost (sans marketing) of $17M.  The question for Pitch will be whether its young female audience is so front-loaded that the movie slumps badly next weekend–it should help, though, that nothing else for that audience will be opening.  On the other side of the scale is the sad FRANKENWEENIE (Disney), adrift with an embarrassing $11.5M weekend (and that number could still come down, as Disney is currently claiming the lowest Sunday drop of the Top 10 by far).  Disney is also claiming Frankenweenie cost $39M to produce (not including a large advertising spend), which seems… unlikely.

HOLDOVERS:  HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (Sony) remains king of the animation castle by far, more than doubling Frankenweenie‘s start with $26.3M in its 2nd weekend, down only 38%.  The picture also grossed $13.1M in only 22 overseas markets, and will easily top $200M worldwide.  LOOPER (TriStar/Sony/FilmDistrict) also stood up to Taken 2 fairly well, dropping only 41% to $12.2M, on its way to a likely $60M total in the US alone.  END OF WATCH (Open Road), TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE (Warners) and HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET (Relativity), as is their pattern, were within percentage points of each other, down 47-49% from last weekend.  Meanwhile, Harvey Weinstein’s strategy for releasing THE MASTER (Weinstein) remains a mystery, as the brilliant, difficult film drops slowly (down only 31%), but is in grave danger of being out of theatres as awards season gets going.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER (Summit/Lionsgate) doubled its theatres to 221 but increased its weekend gross by only 38%, now at an OK $7K per-theatre average.  ARBITRAGE (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions) continues to hold like a champion, down only 28% in its 4th weekend, and with a total gross over $6M, now the most successful film ever to simultaneously debut in theatres and on pay-per-view.  THE PAPERBOY (Millenium) had an OK $10K average at 11 theatres.  THE ORANGES (ATO), had the dismal result it deserved with a $1600 average in 110 theatres.

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."