April 28, 2013



OPENINGS:  The biggest story of the weekend took place off American shores, as IRON MAN 3 (Disney) topped all expectations to open with a fantastic $195.3M in 42 territories (China and Russia are the notable ones still to come).  That’s higher than the $185.1M opening for The Avengers (in 39 territories that didn’t include Japan as well as China and Russia), which went on to earn $888M overseas.  Iron Man 2 had a comparatively puny $100.3M overseas launch (in 53 territories), which puts Iron 3 into a new league.  The US expectation for Iron 3 had been for a moderate increase over Iron 2‘s $128.1M start, but now all bets are off.  (Avengers set the US opening weekend record last year with $207.4M.)

Things were much quieter in the US, where PAIN & GAIN (Paramount) is currently claiming a $20M weekend that’s unlikely to hold up tomorrow, since the studio is–ahem–reporting an unconvincingly low 30% drop on Sunday–even after the movie fell 2% on Saturday, a sure sign of terrible word of mouth.  THE BIG WEDDING (Lionsgate) is such a flop at $7.5M that its studio didn’t even bother lying, with an acknowledged 40% Sunday drop even after a 22% rise on Saturday.

Robert Redford’s THE COMPANY YOU KEEP (Sony Pictures Classics) jumped into semi-wide release at 807 theatres, but it won’t be keeping those theatres long with a $1500 per-screen average.  (In comparison, even The Big Wedding had a $2400 average.)

HOLDOVERS:  The news was bad on all fronts for OBLIVION (Universal), even though it was #2 for the weekend.  It fell 53% in the US to $17.4M, for a $64M total that’s unlikely to get beyond $100M.  Far worse, it only made $12.8M overseas (in all major territories except China and Japan) for a $134.1M international total.  It’s unlikely to get beyond $300M worldwide, and while that’s above the $216M glotal total for Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher, Oblivion also had double the production cost.

Other holdovers, including 42 (Warners), GI JOE: RETALIATION (Paramount/MGM), THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (Focus/Universal) and OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (FilmDistrict) all dropped 37-45% for the weekend, a standard hold when there’s nothing strong at the top of the list.  The strongest holdover continued to be THE CROODS (DreamWorks Animation/20th), benefiting from a lack of family competition, which fell only 29% to $6.6M for a $163M US total, and also took in $13.1M overseas for an international total of $308M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  A 363-theatre opening for MUD (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions) yielded a $2.2M weekend with a decent $6K average.  ARTHUR NEWMAN (Cinedigm), in 248 theatres, had one of the worst openings in recent memory with a $435 average–not quite the $206 average of Oogieloves territory, but too close.  The weekend’s expansions were largely unimpressive or worse, as  FILLY BROWN (Lionsgate) added 30% more screens but still fell 62% for the weekend with a $2200 average and DISCONNECT (LD) added 50% more theatres but only went up 4% for a $2400 average.  Both THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST (IFC) at 3 theatres and KON-TIKI (Weinstein) at 2 had $11K averages, while the worthy AT ANY PRICE (Sony Pictures Classics) was much slower with a $4200 average at 4.

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."