January 4, 2014

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Marked Ones” Stumbles To Start 2014


Based on preliminary numbers at Deadline, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES (Paramount) is likely to win Friday but lose the weekend.  Its $8.5M start positions it not only to come in below the wide releases of all the previous installments of the Paranormal franchise (which opened in October), but also below the recent January horror movies Texas Chainsaw ($10.2M opening day), Underworld: Awakening ($9.3M), Mama ($10.1M) and The Devil Inside ($16.8M).  Since even at the best of times, low-budget horror tends to be frontloaded with a low opening multiple, its weekend is unlikely to reach even $20M.

FROZEN (Disney) is the reverse, a long-running family film, so its $6.5-7M Friday should propel it to a weekend around $24M.  That would be remarkably close to last weekend’s holiday $28.6M, and might bring the blockbuster to $300M in the US by Sunday.  THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (Warners/MGM), with a $5M Friday, is likely to be around $16-17M for the weekend.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (Paramount/Red Granite), AMERICAN HUSTLE (Sony) and ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES (Paramount) look to be closely bunched on Friday, all in the $3.8-4.3M range and all heading for $12-14M weekends.  That would put Anchorman 2 over $100M, Hustle near $90M and Wolf over $60M.

In the next tier, SAVING MR. BANKS (Disney) and THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (20th) have $2.5-2.7M on Friday, with weekends at $8-9M.  Banks still has weeks of Oscar season ahead, but Mitty is unlikely to get near its $90M production budget, let alone the marketing costs that come with it.  By the end of the weekend, THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (Lionsgate) should be close enough to almost touch the $408M total for the first Hunger Games and the $409M for Iron Man 3, with both benchmarks ahead in the next week.

Bringing up the rear are GRUDGE MATCH (Warners), 47 RONIN (Universal) and WALKING WITH DINOSAURS (20th), all with $1.3-1.7M on Friday and weekends that won’t get beyond $5-7M.


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."