March 24, 2013



OPENINGS:  The only reason to make a movie like THE CROODS (DreamWorks Animation/20th) is to get a piece of the remarkable overseas business that the Ice Age franchise sees ($716M on the last one alone), but so far, Croods is looking a little soft internationally, with $63.3M this weekend in territories covering roughly half the world.  That’s better than the film’s $44.7M domestic opening (a number that may come down tomorrow, as the studio is estimating a very low 25% Sunday drop), but it doesn’t suggest overwhelming demand outside the US.  Still, for DreamWorks it’s a much-needed hit.

Ditto for Gerard Butler and OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (FilmDistrict), with its $30.5M opening.  That number may well start with “29” when final numbers are in tomorrow, but in any case it’s a substantial number for a movie that frankly doesn’t deserve the success.

The weekend’s other wide openings are sketchier.  ADMISSION (Focus/Universal) only managed $6.4M at 2160 theaters, and although that included a nice 32% Saturday bump, it’s not likely to reach much of a total.  SPRING BREAKERS (A24) fell 14% on Saturday, never a good sign, and while $5.4M at only 1104 theaters is a fairly good launch, word of mouth may keep this exploitational art object from going very far.

HOLDOVERS:  OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (Disney) is still running virtually parallel in the US and overseas:  a $22M weekend and $177.6M total here, and a $21.7M weekend and $178.8M internationally, with only China left to open.  That’s a lot of money, but it’s not good news for Disney, which needed the film to have the kind of double or triple (or more) business outside the US that other 3D spectacles have had.  Oz won’t lose money, and no one at Disney will get fired over it, but there won’t be any promotions, either.  It’s only going to do about half the business Alice in Wonderland did 3 years ago.

THE CALL (TriStar/Sony) and THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE (Warners) showed no strength in their 2d weekends, down 49% and 58% respectively.

LIMITED RELEASE:  STOKER (Fox Searchlight), continuing to expand, is the definition of diminishing returns, with a $1300 average in 275 theatres.  GINGER AND ROSA (A24) expanded to 34 theatres with a dull $3K average.  THE SAPPHIRES (Weinstein) was only OK with a $10K average at 4.  GIMME THE LOOT (IFC) had a nice launch with $23.4K in 1 NY theatre.


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."