The Call

No surprise that Oz The Great and Powerful was No.1 again this weekend. But what was more surprising was the much stronger than expected b.o. opening for the Halle Berry thriller, The Call, which came in second.

Beating the lackluster The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, which became another thorn in the side of Warner Bros' poor box office performance so far this year, The Call opened to an excellent  $17.1 million, making it, since 2003’s Gothika, which opened at $19 million and went on the make $60 million domestically, the best opening b.o. for any film with Berry in the lead role.

Even more impressive, for the modestly budgeted film ($12 million)  directed by indie film and TV director Brad Anderson (The Machinist, Fringe, Treme, Boardwalk Empire) is the fact that it’s playing in some 650 theaters less than Wonderstone.

No doubt the aggressive PR hype with Berry front and center doing TV appearances (and of course even S & A, with yours truly) and the fact that the basic female empowering premise of two women who band together to stop a serial killer targeting women, helped greatly.

Meanwhile Harmony Korine’s controversial and violent Spring Breakers, with Oz’s James Franco along with Serena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens breaking free from their family friendly Disney image, opened in limited release in just three theaters in N.Y. and L.A. to an astounding  $90,000 average per screen, making it the biggest opening for any film in limited release so far this year.

1) Oz The Great and Powerful BV $42,222,000 Total: $145,026,000
2) The Call TriS $17,100,000
3) The Incredible Burt Wonderstone WB $10,305,000
4) Jack the Giant Slayer WB (NL) $6,220,000 Total: $53,913,000
5) Identity Thief Uni. $4,519,000 Total: $123,706,000
6)  Snitch LG/S $3,500,000 Total: $37,257,000
7) 21 and Over Rela. $2,619,000 Total: $21,868,000
8) Silver Linings Playbook Wein. $2,587,000 Total: $124,613,000
9) Safe Haven Rela. $2,495,000 Total: $66,953,000
10) Escape From Planet Earth Wein. $2,327,000 Total: $52,166,000
11) Dead Man Down FD $2,040,000 Total: $9,287,000
12) The Last Exorcism Part II CBS $1,325,000 Total: $14,430,000