April 21, 2013



OPENINGS:  OBLIVION (Universal) had a solid $38.2M start (although the studio is estimating the lowest Sunday drop in the Top 10, so that number may come down tomorrow), with a 12% Saturday bump.  The less good news is that overseas, which holds the key to the film’s success, business was down to $33.7M after last weekend’s $60.4M, despite adding 7 new territories.  The movie’s worldwide total is currently at $150.2M, but may not get much higher than $300M–and if the movie’s rumored cost of $275M+ for production and worldwide marketing (Universal says it’s less) is true, that means breakeven at best.  Incidentally, comparisons with other Tom Cruise openings are misleading, because apart from the Mission: Impossible franchise and War of the Worlds, Cruise’s career is surprisingly light on big-budget tentpole releases–and Oblivion is behind all of those, just slightly ahead of 2002’s Minority Report.

In its first weekend of wide release, THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (Focus/Universal) had a mediocre $3100 average at 1542 theatres (that’s just slightly higher than the per-theatre average for The Croods in its 5th weekend).

HOLDOVERS:  A very solid hold for 42 (Warners), down 34% from its opening weekend, and headed for $90-100M.  THE CROODS (DreamWorks Animation/20th) continues strong, down only 28% from last weekend to $9.5M in the US, and with another $23.4M overseas, for a global total of $429.4M.  Also strong internationally is GI JOE: RETALIATION (Par/MGM), which is fading in the US (down 47% to $5.8M), but roaring overseas with a $40M weekend, thanks primarily to a huge $33M opening in China.  Joe is at $322.9M worldwide, and seems likely to hit $400M, which would be $100M more than its franchise predecessor.  OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (FilmDistrict), down 38%, and OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (Disney), down 37%, are still in the picture.

Taking the express train down, though, are SCARY MOVIE 5 (Dimension/Weinstein), which fell 56% from opening weekend, EVIL DEAD (TriStar/Sony/FilmDistrict), down 55%, and JURASSIC PARK 3D (Universal), also down 55%.

LIMITED RELEASE:  FILLY BROWN (Lionsgate) was extremely front-loaded, with a 40% drop on Saturday that pushed its per-theatre average for the weekend at 188 to a merely OK $7300.  That was far better than HOME RUN (Goldwyn), with a $4300 average at 381.  And that was far better than LORDS OF SALEM (Anchor Bay), with a $1800 average at 354.  THE COMPANY YOU KEEP (Sony Pictures Classics) doubled its run to 84 theatres with a decent $5100 average.  DISCONNECT (LD) went to 67 theatres with a $3800 average.  UPSTREAM COLOR (erbp) found tough going as it went to 30 theatres with a $2500 average.  TRANCE (Fox Searchlight) collapsed completely with a pathetic $900 average at 443.


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."