November 13, 2011



IMMORTALS is claiming the same drop for Sunday as it had on Saturday, so that total may come down in actuals.  Even so, as long as the final amount is over $30M (which it certainly should be), that’s a win for Relativity, no matter what the movie’s budget actually was.  Immortals also launched widely overseas, including in such important territories as China, the UK, Germany, Italy, Japan and South Korea, and should hit a solid $36M there.  

JACK AND JILL‘s $26M opening is the lowest for any Adam Sandler comedy vehicle since The Wedding Singer in 1998.  Sony seems to be counting on a multiple like the one that got Bedtime Stories over $100M in 2008, but this picture will likely be long out of theatres before the lucrative Christmas week bonanza kicks in, and J&J will be one of Sandler’s lowest-grossing pictures ever.  Is that meaningful, or did audiences just sense what a stinker this one was?  We won’t know until Sandler’s next movie opens (I Hate You, Dad in June).
If you want to know what “older-skewing” means, look no further than J. EDGAR:  two-thirds of its audience was over 50 years old.  Although an $11.5M opening is nothing to cheer about, that audience is generally in no rush to get to theatres (it takes a while to maneuver those walkers), and Warners is hoping for a slow build that lasts through the end of the year.  Last year’s Hereafter dipped 47% in its second weekend, and that was the end of it, as it only reached $33M in total–J. Edgar will need to hold better than that.
PUSS IN BOOTS had another great hold in its final weekend before kiddie movie competition arrives.  TOWER HEIST‘s 45% drop seals its fate as a money-loser, unless overseas audiences take to it in a big way.  A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR 3D XMAS was, as expected, a one-weekend-and-out proposition, and despite the 3D ticket prices, it may not even get to the $38M grossed by the last picture in the series.  PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 went over $100M, and has a shot at exceeding $108M and becoming the highest-grossing of the franchise.
In limited release, ANONYMOUS plummeted, and is unlikely even to reach $5M on a $35M budget.  MARGIN CALL expanded a bit more to 199 theaters, and should have an average of around $3K.  It could get to $5M in theatrical alone (not counting VOD), which would be a triumph for a picture that cost $3.5M and has spent very little on marketing; in addition, distributor Roadside Attractions has decided to make a well-deserved awards run for the film, so it’s all good.  
MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE almost doubled its theatre count to 183 and saw little incremental income with a $2700 average.  LIKE CRAZY widened to 70 theatres at a promising $7500 average.  THE SKIN I LIVE IN increased to 91 theatres at a $3400 average.  TAKE SHELTER seems to have reached its limit (barring a strong showing by Michael Shannon in critics’ awards) with a $1600 average at 82.  
The only notable indie opening was Lars Von Trier’s MELANCHOLIA (also on VOD and HDMovie Net), which did a very nice $14K in each of 19 theatres.  Werner Herzog’s death-penalty documentary INTO THE ABYSS had a $4200 average at 12.  These will likely be dwarfed next week by the arrival of THE DESCENDANTS, which will open in 5 theatres on Wednesday and then go to 27 on Friday.

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."