February 24, 2013



The Rock’s second-worst opening is second-best at the boxoffice this slow Oscar weekend.

OPENINGS:  Boosted by a 36% Saturday rise, SNITCH (Summit/Lionsgate) is projecting a $13M weekend, although like all round numbers, that one will likely come down, beginning with a “12” when final figures are released tomorrow.  The best that can be said is that it easily beat out Faster‘s $8.5M opening in 2010, so Dwayne Johnson didn’t set any new negative records for himself.  Thinking of overestimation, the Weinstein Company was, as usual, more enthusiastic about its Sunday grosses than any other studio, in this case predicting that DARK SKIES (Dimension/Weinstein) will drop less on Sunday than any other picture in the top 10–except for another of its own movies.  So expect that $8.9M weekend number to come down tomorrow.

HOLDOVERS:  IDENTITY THIEF (Universal) rode the weak new crop to a Weekend 3 victory with $14.1M, lifting its total to $93.7M, with little comedy competition arriving in the next few weeks.  A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (20th) slumped 60% to $10M, on its way to a $70-75M total in the US, but more importantly, overseas it fell to $35.7M, despite adding some major new territories, way down from last weekend’s $61M.  At $133M to date, it seems unlikely to reach Live Free Or Die Hard‘s $250M international total, which is bad news for the franchise.  SAFE HAVEN (Relativity) held better with a $10.6M Weekend 2, although its 51% drop was nothing to crow about.  Still, Safe Haven should end up around $70M, at the high end of Nicholas Sparks adaptations.  (In noncoincidental news, this week Fox bought the rights to Sparks’ new book for $5M, and has already announced an opening date of Valentine’s Day weekend 2015.)  According to its studio, ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH (Weinstein) fell a mere 31% for an $11M weekend.  BEAUTIFUL CREATURES (Warners) dropped an ugly 55% for a $16.4M total, and barring an overseas miracle, will lose all of its investment.

However the Oscars may go tonight, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (Weinstein) will win the Oscar weekend boxoffice battle, with a strong $6.1M in its 15th weekend of release, down an almost invisible 3% and now over $107M.  Also still doing significant business are ZERO DARK THIRTY (Sony), with a $2.3M weekend and $92M total, and ARGO (Warners)–the latter down only 10% despite being available on homevideo and pay-per-view–with a $2M weekend and $130M total.

LIMITED RELEASE:  BLESS ME ULTIMA (Arenas) didn’t make much of an impression with a $1900 per-theatre average at 263 theatres.  Best Documentary nominee THE GATEKEEPERS (Sony Pictures Classics) expanded to 19 theatres with an OK $8K average, and Foreign Film nominee NO (Sony Pictures Classics) went from 4 to 6 theatres and had a $14K average.  Neither is expected to win tonight, so they’re unlikely to benefit from an Oscar bounce.

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."