Sunday, January 12, 2014

"Lone Survivor" leads with second-highest January debut, "Her", "The Legend of Hercules" disappoint at weekend box office

While I knew that military movies were popular, I guess that I really had no idea how popular they really were. In last weekend's box office report, I predicted that Frozen would lead with $15.4 million, while Lone Survivor, the new war drama from Mark Wahlberg, would finish in second with $13.5 million. I've been wrong about things before, but I've never been THIS wrong. Lone Survivor topped the box office with $38.5 million this weekend, which is an exceptional start for the film. That's the second highest opening for the month of January ever. Also, Lone Survivor received an "A+" Cinemascore. While I won't see this film in time for my top ten list (which will be posted later today), I hope to see this next weekend. Lone Survivor has now grossed $38.8 million after this weekend and two previous weekends in limited release.

Frozen finished in second place with $15 million. That was right around what I predicted for the film. The animated comedy only dropped 23% this weekend and is obviously building on buzz and word of mouth. Frozen has now grossed $317.6 million, and could finish with around $350- $375 million if it remains strong. Another film that has continued to put up strong grosses is Paramount's The Wolf of Wall Street. The raunchy Oscar contender grossed $9 million this weekend in third place, which was enough to raise its total gross to $78.5 million. With Oscar nominations announced this week, there's no reason that Wolf can't finish with over $100 million. The strong grosses are actually pretty shocking because of the film's "C" Cinemascore.

This weekend's only true 2014 release (Lone Survivor and Her technically opened in 2013) was Summit's The Legend of Hercules. The film, which was lambasted by critics, grossed only $8.6 million this weekend in fourth place. That's a disappointment for Summit, but they'd have to be crazy to expect anything else. The film reportedly cost $70 million. In fifth place was Sony's American Hustle. The Oscar favorite grossed $8.6 million this weekend, so it could change spots with Hercules when the actual grosses are announced. American Hustle has now grossed $101.5 million.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug also continued its strong run in sixth place this weekend with $8 million. The second installment of The Hobbit trilogy has now grossed $242.2 million and will likely finish with around $270 million. August: Osage County expanded into 905 theaters this weekend and had a strong $7.3 million weekend in seventh place. The drama has now grossed $7.8 million after two strong weeks in limited release. Saving Mr. Banks also continued its strong run with $6.5 million in eighth place. The Disney drama has now grossed $68.9 million.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones dropped down all the way to ninth place this weekend and grossed $6.3 million. That's a 65% drop and the film has now grossed only $28.4 million through two weekends. And rounding out the top ten this weekend was Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which grossed $6.1 million. The Will Ferrell comedy has now grossed $118.5 million.

Outside of the top ten were two awards contenders that opened in wider release. Her, the new romance film from Spike Jonze, grossed $5.4 million this weekend. The Warner Bros. feature has now grossed $8.8 million. Look for the film to get an even wider release once Oscar nominations are announced. Also, CBS Films' Inside Llewyn Davis grossed $1.8 million in 729 theaters. The musical drama has now grossed $9.3 million. I gave the film an "A" in my review and highly recommend that you try it out. I can't guarantee anyone that they'll like it, but I think that it's most certainly worth a shot for all people who love film.

Next weekend sees the release of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Ride Along, The Nut Job and the rerelease of Gravity. Here are my predictions for the four-day Martin Luther King weekend:

1. Ride Along- $42 million
2. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit- $37.5 million
3. Lone Survivor- $28.4 million
4. The Nut Job- $15.3 million
5. Frozen- $11.9 million
6. American Hustle- $6.9 million
7. The Wolf of Wall Street- $6.8 million
8. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug- $5.9 million
9. August: Osage County- $5.8 million
10. Saving Mr. Banks- $5.7 million

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