March 17, 2013



OPENINGS:  $17.1M for THE CALL (TriStar/Sony) is more than the movie cost to produce (although it won’t pay for the marketing), and sets the Halle Berry vehicle up to be a modest hit.  However, there’s no spinning the $10.3M for THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE (Warners), which will lose much more than its $35M production budget indicates because of the marketing dollars Warners poured into it.

HOLDOVERS:  The cup was half full and perhaps half empty for OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (Disney).  In the US, it had a perfectly decent (although not exceptional) 47% drop to $42.2M in its second weekend.  Depending on how big a hit it takes from The Croods next weekend, it should reach $230M and perhaps a bit higher.  Overseas, however, it had a misleadingly strong $46.6M weekend–misleading because the 33% drop doesn’t reflect the fact that it added several important territories, including France and Taiwan.  The only major territory left is China, and even if it’s a significant hit there, with $136.8M overseas to date, it’s difficult to see how Oz gets much past $300M overseas or $500-550M worldwide.   And while half a billion dollars sounds like it should be enough to make anybody happy, it’s only a mild return on a an investment (including worldwide marketing) of $350M+.

Oz is, however, better off than A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (20th).  That would-be blockbuster overperformed internationally, including a $15.7M China opening this weekend, and it sholuld have an overseas take of around $250M.  But that can’t make up for its dismal $70M in the US, and although an eventual reboot is probably inevitable, for now the franchise is dead.  (Incidentally, the China boxoffice for blockbusters is as front-loaded as ours:  as an example, take Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which opened with a $56M weekend and ended up with about $165M, a very standard 2.95 multiple.)

JACK THE GIANT SLAYER (Warners) led the weekend’s longer runs, down just 37% but still headed for only $65M in the US.  (it has $35M overseas but has opened in less than half the world.)  IDENTITY THIEF (Universal) is still holding up beautifully, down only 29% in its 6th weekend with a total of $123.7M.  DEAD MAN DOWN (FilmDistrict) and THE LAST EXORCISM PART 2 (CBS) were the only two titles to collapse, down a respective 62% and 58%.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Harmony Korine’s SPRING BREAKERS (A24) had a spectacular $90K average in each of its 3 theatres (that may conceivably be more than the entire boxoffice for his previous Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy, Trash Humpers and Mr. Lonely combined).  It expands to 600 more mainstream locations next week.  GINGER AND ROSA (A24) had a decent start with a $15K average at 3, but UPSIDE DOWN (Millenium) is going nowhere with a $2600 average at 11.  After an expansion to 94 theatres,  STOKER (Fox Searchlight) had a very unpromising $2800 average.  NO (Sony Pictures Classics), however, held up nicely with a $4K average after an expansion from 35 to 48 theatres.   BEYOND THE HILLS (IFC) spread to 17 theatres with a $1500 average, and LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE (IFC) went to 18 theatres with a $1900 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."