April 27, 2013

EARLY FRIDAY BOXOFFICE: “Pain & Gain” Doesn’t Pump Audiences Up


PAIN & GAIN (Paramount) may take the last weekend before the summer movie season starts, but based on the preliminary numbers at Deadline, it’s not going to win very impressively, with a $7M Thursday night/Friday that should give it a $17-19M weekend, right where Mitch Metcalf’s weekend predictions had put it.  Pain was shot on a low budget by Michael Bay standards, but it still had a full-on studio marketing campaign, and seems unlikely to be any kind of a hit–especially with Iron Man 3 engulfing multiplexes next week.

Pain is a blockbuster, however, compared with the day’s other wide opening, the atrocious THE BIG WEDDING (Lionsgate), which is rightly revolting moviegoers with a $2.6M Friday that should mean a $7-8M weekend, even lower than predicted.  It won’t come close to earning back its marketing spend, let alone its $35M production cost.

Right behind Pain & Gain, and with an outside chance of pulling ahead for the weekend depending on how word of mouth goes, is last week’s #1 OBLIVION (Universal), but its makers have nothing to celebrate either.  The Tom Cruise vehicle took a 60% hit from last Friday to $5.3M, and even though that should stabilize over the course of the weekend, it’s still likely to decline well over 50% by Sunday for a $17M weekend.  There seems to be little chance of Oblivion reaching $100M in the US with such a fast decline, so it’ll need a big boost from overseas ticket sales to have any hope of making back its $250-275M production/marketing cost.

Other holdovers were in better shape, with 42 (Warners) down about 45% Friday-to-Friday and heading for perhaps $90M at the US boxoffice, THE CROODS (DreamWorks Animation/20th) down about 35%, THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (Focus/Universal) down about 47%, GI JOE: RETALIATION (Paramount/MGM) down about 39%, and OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (FilmDistrict) down about 40%.


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."