February 17, 2013



OPENINGS:   A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (20th) pulled ahead of the competition on Saturday, and should have a $38M 5-day opening.  (However, its Sunday projection is on the optimistic side, so it’s possible the number could come down a bit.)  That’s 25% below the opening of Live Free Or Die Hard, and could translate into an ultimate US total that struggles to reach $100M.  But don’t weep for John McClane:  as bad as it is, the movie also grossed $61.5M overseas this weekend (with China, India and France openings still to come), and that’s where it will make its big money.  SAFE HAVEN (Relativity), considering its much lower budget, did just fine, with a likely $34M over 5 days.  It may not quite reach the $80M totals of Nicholas Sparks’ biggest hits The Notebook and Dear John, but with nothing comparable entering the market until Admission in late March, it may not be far off.  BEAUTIFUL CREATURES (Warners) is the victim of an evil and unbreakable spell that causes audiences to have no interest in seeing it.  Its likely $12M 5-day opening will push it out of theatres as soon as contracts permit, and the best thing that can be said is that it serves as a good calling card for promising young stars Alice Englert and Arden Ehrenreich.

ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH (Weinstein), unlike the other newcomers, waited until Friday to open.  It should have $21M by Monday, but only gets one more free weekend until Jack the Giant Slayer and Oz The Great and Powerful arrive in early March.  With very modest production and marketing costs, though, it should show a small profit.

HOLDOVERS:  IDENTITY THIEF (Universal) fell only 32% from last weekend (cushioned by the holiday Sunday), and it seems headed to $125M.  (Bridesmaids had a phenomenal Weekend 2 drop of just 20%, and that was with no holiday in Week 2, so while Identity Thief is still considerably ahead after 10 days, it should fall behind over time.)  WARM BODIES (Summit/Lionsgate) had a terrific hold, dropping just 21% despite direct competition from Beautiful Creatures for the YA audience, and could make it to $70M before it’s done.  MAMA (Universal) also held well, down 34% with a chance to reach $75M.  HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS (Paramount/MGM) will hit $50M tomorrow, and not get much higher.  (H&G has also made $100M overseas, although that’s probably still not enough to make it the enterprise profitable.)

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (Weinstein) and ARGO (Warners) had tiny drops of 5-6% for the weekend, even though both lost hundreds of theatres (and Argo comes out on video on Tuesday).  Silver Linings will get to $100M in the next few days, and THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (Warners/MGM) will make its way to $300M (the latter on top of its $660M international boxoffice).  LINCOLN (Disney/DreamWorks/20th)LIFE OF PI (20th) and ZERO DARK THIRTY (Sony) are also holding well, with respective drops of 10%, 13% and 23%, while DJANGO UNCHAINED (Weinstein/Sony) and LES MISERABLES (Universal) are fading, down 35% and 45%–both of the latter, though, are doing extremely well overseas, with $209M and $233M respectively.  Another foreign result worth noting:  while THE IMPOSSIBLE (Summit/Lionsgate) has made only $17M in the US, it’s a smash hit overseas, with $143M to date.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Foreign Film nominee NO (Sony Pictures Classics) opened with a fine $19K average (over 3 days) at 4 theatres, while LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE (IFC) had a more problematic $8K average at 3.  AMOUR (Sony Pictures Classics) more than doubled its run to 306 theatres with an OK $2400 average, not as promising as the expansion of QUARTET (Weinstein) to 333 theatres with a $4K average. THE GATEKEEPERS (Sony Pictures Classics) added 1 theatre for a $12K average at 4.


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."