February 10, 2013



OPENINGS:  Melissa McCarthy is now a genuine Hollywood player with the enormous debut of IDENTITY THIEF (Universal), beating all pre-release estimates with $36.6M.  (Take that, Rex Reed!)  Apart from Universal, the happiest studio in town is Fox, which has the McCarthy/Sandra Bullock vehicle The Heat coming up in the thick of summer movie season on June 28.  The Sunday estimate for SIDE EFFECTS (Open Road) would require it to have the best retention in the Top 10 to hold true, even better than Silver Linings Playbook, which has been holding phenomenally well.  So that barely-$10M weekend estimate will more than likely come down tomorrow.

HOLDOVERS:  As noted, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (Weinstein) is basking in great word of mouth, down an amazing 11% even after 13 weeks in theaters.  Could that help it pull a Harvey Weinstein shocker and edge ahead of Argo for the Oscar?  Probably not, but the notion isn’t ludicrous.  (In any case, Jennifer Lawrence’s statuette seems a sure thing.)  Almost all of the holdovers looked good this weekend, thanks to week-to-week comparisons with Super Bowl Sunday, one of the lowest moviegoing weekend days of the year.  WARM BODIES (Summit/Lionsgate) and HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS (Paramount/MGM) were down only 44% and 39%, respectively, and MAMA (Universal), along with all the non-Silver Linings Oscar hopefuls, was down under 36%.  ARGO (Warners), which added 470 theatres for a pre-Oscar push, was up 24% and should have $130M by the time the awards are given out.  The only exception to the good news:  Sylvester Stallone’s disastrous BULLET TO THE HEAD (Warners), down 57% from its opening.  Overseas, DJANGO UNCHAINED (Weinstein/Sony) ruled the boxoffice, with an additional $18.7M and a running total of $187.1M.  It should get close to $400M worldwide before it’s done, as should LES MISERABLES (Universal), which made $10M overseas for a $215M international total to date.  LINCOLN (Disney/DreamWorks/20th) is quieter overseas, as one might expect, with $10M this weekend and $47M so far.  All the Oscar nominees, however, are dwarfed by LIFE OF PI (20th), with an unbelievable $456M overseas.   Hansel & Gretel is also doing decent business internationally, with $11.6M this weekend and $84M so far, well ahead of its US take (but still probably enough only to get it to break-even at best).  Meanwhile, A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (20th), which won’t open here until next week, is already off to a strong start overseas with $10.6M this weekend in only 7 Asian territories.

LIMITED RELEASE:  No major openings this week.  QUARTET (Weinstein) and AMOUR (Sony Pictures Classics) both expanded fairly well, with Quartet now at 244 theatres with a $3900 per-theatre average, and Amour at 125 with a $3K average.  Despite a rave NY Times review, LORE (Music Box) had just a $5200 average at 6, and A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III (A24)–also on VOD–had a $6K average at 2.

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."