April 14, 2013



OPENINGS:  42 (Warners) had no trouble taking the weekend with an estimated $27.3M.  With very limited overseas appeal, the picture isn’t likely to be a huge moneymaker (production and marketing costs will reach at least $100M worldwide, and it probably won’t make that much in US theatres alone), but even a small amount of black ink will be admirable for such a risky project. SCARY MOVIE 5 (Dimension/Weinstein) probably marks the end of that franchise with a puny $15.2M start, and it leaves the Dimension unit of the studio still trying to figure out how it lost its genre-movie touch.

Overseas, OBLIVION (Universal) opened to $61.1M in 52 territories.  It’s very difficult to do apples-to-apples comparison of foreign distribution because of different territorial strategies, but Universal says this is 75% higher than Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher a few months ago (of course, Oblivion also cost double what Jack Reacher cost).

HOLDOVERS:  It was an expected 63% plunge for EVIL DEAD (TriStar/Sony/FilmDistrict), and somewhat more surprisingly, JURASSIC PARK 3D (Universal) wasn’t that far behind with a 53% drop.  GI JOE: RETALIATION (Paramount/MGM) fell 48% and won’t do more than match its production cost in the US–luckily, it appears to be doing the kind of overseas business that it needed.  Family movies THE CROODS (DreamWorks Animation/20th) and OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (Disney) held well, down just 36% and 38%, but the strongest hold of all belonged to OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (FilmDistrict), very impressively down only 28% in its 4th weekend.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (Focus/Universal) had a good if not remarkable expansion to 514 theatres, with a $7900 per-theatre average.  The same can’t be said for TRANCE (Fox Searchlight), DOA with a $2100 average at 438.  THE COMPANY YOU KEEP (Sony Pictures Classics) went to 41 theatres with an OK $7600 average.  THE SAPPHIRES (Weinstein) increased its theatre count by 50% to 93, but still went down 16% for the weekend with a $2600 average.  RENOIR (Goldwyn), an old-fashioned art-house biography, found a little traction with an expansion to 49 theatres and a $3400 average.  DISCONNECT (LD) had an $8300 average at 15 theatres, while the extremely esoteric UPSTREAM COLOR, which is being self-distributed by filmmaker Shane Carruth, widened to 11 theatres with a $6700 average.  ROOM 237 (IFC) didn’t have much punch with a $1700 average in 20 theatres, but it’s doing well on VOD.  Also on VOD is Terence Malick’s TO THE WONDER, which nevertheless had a $7300 average in 18 theatres.

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."