January 20, 2013



OPENINGS:  MAMA (Universal) had a 9% bump on Saturday, not bad for a horror movie, and should have a very healthy $33M by the end of the 4-day weekend.  BROKEN CITY (20th) and THE LAST STAND (Lionsgate), with their older-skewing audiences, had proportionately better Saturdays (up 19% and 25%, respectively), but there’s still such limited interest in both pictures that the increases won’t affect their bottom lines, as Broken City heads for $11M over 4 days and Last Stand for $7.5M.  However, even those numbers could be optimistic if the action movies are hurt by Sunday’s football playoffs.

HOLDOVERS:  18 months ago, no one knew who Jessica Chastain was, and now she’s the star of the #1 and #2 films at the boxoffice.  Her higher class entry ZERO DARK THIRTY (Sony) should enjoy a strong hold, dropping only 30% over the 3-day weekend, and with $21M added to its total over 4 days, putting it en route to $100M.  SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (Weinstein) is having its first big weekend with $11.4M over 3 days at its newly-expanded 2523 theatre count ($14M over 4 days), and depending on how it fares in the awards picture, it could reach $80M+ (although that will come after 3 solid months of expensive marketing).  Their fellow Oscar contenders continued to enjoy small weekend drops:  DJANGO UNCHAINED (Weinstein/Sony) down 25%, LES MISERABLES (Universal) down 19%, and LINCOLN (Disney/DreamWorks/20th) down only 15%.  Meanwhile, LIFE OF PI (20th) added 499 theatres for a 25% increase, and Golden Globe winner ARGO (Warners) had a dynamite 94% increase while adding only 135 theatres (about 20% of its total moviehouses), proving itself again one of the most popular of the nominees.

Last weekend’s openings didn’t hold anyone’s attention, as GANGSTER SQUAD (Warners) fell 47% despite the holiday Sunday, and A HAUNTED HOUSE (Open Road) plunged 54%.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Just a few expansions on a slow weekend.  The Oscar-nominated AMOUR (Sony Pictures Classics) more than doubled its theatre count to 36, and increased 61%, with a solid $11K per-theatre average.  QUARTET (Weinstein), without any Oscar love (but also without subtitles) did almost as well, expanding to 32 theatres with a $10K average.  RUST AND BONE (Sony Pictures Classics), though, was badly hurt by Marion Cotillard’s Oscar snub, and although it more than doubled its theatre count to 168, its boxoffice climbed only 32%, for a pale $1500 average.

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."