September 21, 2013

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Prisoners” Has the Key


Preliminary numbers at Deadline give PRISONERS (Warners) an easy win on Friday and almost certainly for the weekend, with a $7.5M opening day that should mean $20-22M by Sunday.  Warners is following the Argo playbook with Prisoners, with acclaimed Telluride and Toronto Film Festival screenings followed by a quick wide release, and so far it’s working out perfectly:  Prisoners is ahead of Argo‘s $5.9M opening day.  (Argo, though, swelled by an extraordinary 47% on its second day of release, which Prisoners may be hard-pressed to match.)

The only other wide opening of the weekend, BATTLE OF THE YEAR (Screen Gems/Sony) was nowhere close, with a $1.7M Friday that may not get over $4M for the weekend.

Just a couple of months ago, James Wan’s The Conjuring showed it was going to have legs by falling just 57% on its second Friday, a terrific number for a low-budget horror release.  Wan’s INSIDIOUS CHAPTER TWO (FilmDistrict) isn’t as impressive, with a 75% slide to $4.8M.  Its weekend probably won’t be much over $12M, although that’ll still allow plenty of profit for the franchise.  THE FAMILY (Relativity) didn’t hold very well either, down 60% from its opening day to $2M, with a $6M weekend in store.

The Spanish-language INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED (Lionsgate) continues to hold extremely well, down just 20% Friday-to-Friday to $1.1M.  Also holding strong are THE BUTLER (Weinstein) and WE’RE THE MILLERS (Warners), each down about 30%, but RIDDICK (Universal) continues its steep fall.

In limited release, ENOUGH SAID (Fox Searchlight) is off to a good start, reporting a $17.5K average for its 4 theatres on Friday, which should mean a $60K weekend average.  (However, those numbers are skewed by in-person Q&As, so they may not be a reliable indication of how the film will do without celebrity guests.)  With Prisoners and Enough Said basking in festival and critical raves, Ron Howard’s RUSH (Universal) may be the odd picture out, despite its own favorable attention.  It’s at a $11K Friday average at its 5 theatres, with a good but not great $35K likely for the weekend.  Rush goes wide next weekend, while Enough Said will expand more slowly.



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."