March 31, 2013



OPENINGS:  As usual with new arrivals, the eager studios behind GI JOE: RETALIATION (Paramount/MGM) have claimed a low Sunday decline (2d lowest in the Top 10), so the $41.2M weekend and $51.7M opening 4 days could slip a bit when final numbers are released tomorrow–and even if they don’t, that 4 day figure is less than the $54.7M that 2009’s GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, which wasn’t in 3D, made in its first 3 days.  But none of those numbers are as important as this one:  $80.3M.  That’s the amount Retaliation made overseas this weekend, the biggest international opening of the year and more than double Cobra‘s overseas launch in purportedly the same territories.  (Retaliation is open in 75% of the world, although the only major territories still to open are China and Japan.)  While Cobra‘s opening weekend split was $54.7M domestic/$38M international (59%/41%), Retaliation is at 34%/66% (or 39%/61% if the US Thursday is included).  In the current Hollywood economic model, that’s a healthier result, and if these numbers hold, it means the GI Joe franchise has a future.

The $22.3M weekend for Tyler Perry’s TEMPTATION (Lionsgate) puts it on the higher end of Perry’s non-Madea openings.  THE HOST (Open Road), though, made less in its $11M opening weekend than Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight movies made in their midnight screenings alone.

HOLDOVERS:  The 39% drop for THE CROODS (DreamWorks Animation/20th) to $26.5M wasn’t as good as the 34% slip that How To Train Your Dragon had, but it’s significantly better than the 45% drop for last year’s The Lorax.  With no other family movies opening for the next month, the path is clear for Croods to roll along for a while.  Croods also made $53M overseas, and although that includes openings in several important new territories, including the UK, it’s a very good hold from last week’s international $63M.  The 54% drop for OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (FilmDistrict) is the result of mediocre word of mouth plus the arrival of GI Joe, which aims at the same audience.

The story on OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (Disney) remains the same.  It’s hit $412.3M worldwide, but its international total ($214M) is just barely ahead of its US boxoffice ($198.3M), and both are running out of steam, with $11.6M here this weekend and $22.3M overseas.  Only a mega-performance in China (its last remaining major territory) will lift it above moderate success, thanks to its massive cost.

A 47% drop for ADMISSION (Focus/Universal) means that the movie’s hoped-for second wave of older ticket-buyers didn’t show up, and the picture is on the way to perhaps $20M and homevideo.  SPRING BREAKERS (A24) added 275 theatres, making its 43% drop look better than it is.  In terms of per-theatre average, it fell a more serious 55%.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The weekend’s gaudy number was the $68.5K average for THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (Focus/Universal) at 4 NY/LA theatres, but that’s considerably below the $87K average for Spring Breakers just a couple of weeks ago, and the latter picture is down to a $2000 average now that it’s in wide release, so the book on Place has yet to be written.  The Kubrick-nerdfest documentary ROOM 237 (IFC) had a very nice $18K average start at 2 NY theatres, although it’s also available on VOD and will probably make the bulk of its money there.  RENOIR (Goldwyn) started fairly well with a $11K average at 6, while BLANCANIEVES (Cohen) managed just a $6K average at 4.  A few expansions didn’t garner much interest:  GINGER AND ROSA (A24) widened to 76 theatres with a $2100 average, ON THE ROAD (IFC) doubled to 77 theatres but only increased 17% to a $1600 average, and THE SAPPHIRES (Weinstein) tripled to 12 theatres with a $6K 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."