February 3, 2013



The Super Bowl will take a chunk out of everyone today, the only Sunday that plays like a Monday with 60-70% drops from Saturday across the board.  That’s why the studios, for the most part, stay away.

OPENINGS:  Given that fact, WARM BODIES (Summit/Lionsgate) did fairly well with a $20M weekend (that includes $500K from the now-routine Thursday 10PM shows).  A 19% Saturday bump indicates good word of mouth before the Super Bowl plunge kicked in, and Bodies could make its way to $50M.  BULLET TO THE HEAD (Warners) won’t get anywhere near that with a $4.5M opening that should mean an embarrassing US boxoffice that won’t top $15M, as Sylvester Stallone tries to decide how to spin his Wheel of Franchises to come up with a new Rocky, Rambo or Expendables.

HOLDOVERS:  SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (Weinstein) tops all the veterans with $8.1M, a tiny 14% drop in its 12th week in theatres.  Even given Weinstein Company’s usual overexuberant estimates, it should end up well ahead of the other Oscar nominees.  ARGO (Warners), the sudden presumptive frontrunner for Best Picture, is back in 935 theatres, rising 16%, and topped $120M, some gas left in its tank before it hits homevideo. Other nominees held quite well, considering the Super Bowl black hole:  ZERO DARK THIRTY (Sony) down 45% to $5.3M, DJANGO UNCHAINED (Weinstein/Sony) down 39% to $3M, LES MISERABLES (Universal) down 42% to $2.4M, LINCOLN (Disney/DreamWorks/20th) down 38%, also to $2.4M, and LIFE OF PI (20th) down 30% to 1.8M.

The non-Oscar holdovers were less healthy.  HANSEL & GRETEL:  WITCH HUNTERS (Paramount/MGM) dropped 53% to $9.2M, which actually could have been worse, what with the poisonous reviews and the presence of Warm Bodies in the market.  MAMA (Universal) fell 49% to $6.7M, a tidy success with $58.3M already in the bank.  PARKER (FilmDistrict) fell 54% to $3.2M, and the wretched MOVIE 43 (Relativity) plunged 66% to $1.7M (that’ll be the last time Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman do a scrotum-neck movie).

LIMITED RELEASE:  STAND UP GUYS (LIONSGATE), on the bubble between limited and wide release in 659 theatres, had a pale $2300 per-theatre average for $1.5M.  AMOUR (Sony Pictures Classics) expanded to 94 theatres with a solid $5300 average.  THE GATEKEEPERS (Sony Pictures Classics) and KOCH (Zeitgeist)–the latter for unexpectedly tragic reasons–had good debuts with, respectively, a $22K average at 3 and a $20K 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."