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Weekend B.O. Nov.1-3 (This ‘Game’ Won't Surpass ‘Games’)

Box Office
by Sergio
November 3, 2013 12:15 PM
21 Comments
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Summit Entertainment’s great hope that they found their own Twilight or Hunger Games tentpole movie series fell way short of the mark.

Their Ender’s Game was No.1 this weekend, but making what’s considered to be a something of a disappointment with an opening $28 million. Compare that to what insiders are already predicting that Catching Fire, the second installment of the Hunger Games series which opens on Nov. 22, could gross as much as $150 million its opening weekend.

Why Ender’s Game, which is based on a 1985 popular book written by Orson Scott Card and spawned a series of sequels, didn’t do the blockbuster business that was hoped, is anybody's guess.

There was some talk about starting a boycott against the film due to Card’s own extreme right wing, Tea Partyish political views in which he has compared President Obama to “Hitler” and “Stalin” and that Obama was planning to start a “national police force of young out-of-work urban men." (Sounds like Card has watched Birth of a Nation one too many times. Which make me wonder what Viola Davis, who’s in Ender’s Game, feels about being in the film?) However no organized boycott ever materialized.

Meanwhile Disney/Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World which opens here in the U.S. this Friday and will, of course, be No.1 next weekend, opened with a very impressive $109.4 million overseas in 38 countries this weekend making it the fourth largest international opening this year.

Jackass’ Bad Grandpa held on very solidly for a second place finish this weekend.

And continuing in strength is 12 Years a Slave which took in $4.6 million in 410 screens, an increase from 123 theaters last week, with total so far of over $8.7 million an impressive figure in only after 17 days in limited release.

1) Ender's Game LG/S $28,000,000 -
2) Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa Par. $20,500,000 Total: $62,058,000 
3) Last Vegas CBS $16,520,000 
4) Free Birds Rela. $16,200,000 
5) Gravity WB $13,130,000 Total: $219,196,000 
6) Captain Phillips Sony $8,500,000  Total: $82,551,000 
7) 12 Years a Slave FoxS $4,600,000 Total: $8,760,000 
8) Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Sony $4,200,000 - Total: $106,195,000 
9) Carrie SGem $3,400,000 -Total: $31,973,000 
10) The Counselor Fox $3,250,000 Total: $13,368,000
11) Escape Plan LG/S $2,280,000 Total: $21,600,000 
12) About Time Uni. $1,100,000 
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21 Comments

  • lauren | November 4, 2013 8:49 AMReply

    In my opinion, and I haven't seen Enders Game, just the trailer... the problem here is the lead, Asa Butterfield. He lacks the "endearing kid" gene. It's what killed Hugo's box office.

  • Geneva Girl | November 5, 2013 10:02 AM

    Hugo died because it was billed as a kids movie, but it wasn't. All the kids whom I know were bored. The magic of the book didn't come alive in the film. Butterfield was okay, but not terrific.

  • BLK FUNNY HISTORIAN | November 3, 2013 5:40 PMReply

    I'm really just trying to understand the first two sentences of this article concerning Ender's Game and comparing to the hopes that SUMMIT would have a tentpole series?????

    Umm TWILIGHT is a SUMMIT series, and Hunger Games is a Lionsgate property - And LG is now The Parent Company of SUMMIT!

    Were you aware of that. With this information doesn't the first sentence make the entire article kinda ridiculous?

  • Sergio | November 3, 2013 7:21 PM

    Yes I know that Mr. (or Ms?) Smarty Pants. And Ulaanbaatar is the capital of what country?

    And did you know that Cindy Pritzker's Odd Lot Entertaiment financed most of the $110 million budget for the film? And that whatever money the film makes (that is if it does) after OddLot gets it's cut will be funneled into the Summit division not Lionsgate

  • DJP | November 3, 2013 3:55 PMReply

    Carey Carey should do some research. Requiem For A Dream grossed $7 million worldwide
    according to Box Office Mojo. Hard to take someone seriously when they make up figures.
    Ever heard of racial profiling?

  • CareyCarey | November 4, 2013 10:56 AM

    "racial profiling"?

    I don't know what you're implying but I do know that "race" always matters. If you do not believe that, then read Tambay's and Curtis's comments (below).

    Furthermore, I was simply proposing a system that would end the speculations on which genres blacks tend to spend their money on. You know, true or not, if the vast majority of blacks were given the opportunity to spend their money on a rom-com, comedy, sci-fi or a horror film, there's a belief they would overwhelmingly chose a rom-com/comedy.

    Furthermore, when a black director is attached to a film does that complicate matters? Obviously, from the viewpoint of the gate keepers, the answer is a resounding YES. From the viewpoint of moviegoers, there's many questions on the table. Are whites concerned with the color of the director and the cast? Does the average black moviegoer concern themselves with who's directing a film, or, are they focused on the subject matter?

    Listen, you may view those issues as racial profiling, I'm talking business... cause we all know if it does not make dollars... for those in control it does not make sense.

    Soooooooo, back to my original statement " is you is or is you ain't my baby", I'd simply like to propose a system that reflects the color/race of everyone who buys a ticket. Think about it, wouldn't it be great if we could stop all the ridiculous blather, doubt and fear that "blacks don't support this genre" and "white folks don't like black movies because..." and "The Butler was mainly supported by the church going crowd"?

  • CareyCarey | November 3, 2013 4:25 PM

    OPPS... blame it on my eyes. I saw an opening weekend of "64" and a few zeros ( ESP 15,606,075 (Spain) but obviously it wasn't 6 zeros... USA dollars. My bad but hey, it did get a 8.4 user rating so point still made. Many people loved that mess.

    Can I now have my creditability back? :-)

  • Tambay | November 3, 2013 3:24 PMReply

    The even more pertinent question is why Gavin Hood, who directed "Ender's Game" continues to get work - especially big budget action/adventure movies like this one. The man directed "Tsotsi," the South African drama which I thought was one of the most undeserving Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winners. And immediately after that, he was hired to direct "Rendition" (his Hollywood debut, which starred *name* actors like Meryl Streep, Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon). "Rendition" was both a critical and commercial flop (a $30+ million film that brought in less than $10 million total, and was reviewed poorly overall). But then, despite that, what does Hollywood do next for Mr Hood? They give him an even larger budget, to direct the first "Wolverine" movie - $150 million budget (not including P&A costs). And, as we all know, that movie was also a critical flop. It was reviewed even worse than "Rendition" was. And even though it grossed $179 domestic, expectations were for higher numbers. And the fact that the studio felt the need to make a second "Wolverine" movie, just a few years later, with a different director, says something about how they felt about Gavin Hood's film. And you'd think, after that, we'd hear a bit less about Gavin Hood, or, at least, it might be a long while before he's hired to make anymore Hollywood films. But no! After a couple of years picking up some TV work, he's hired to direct yet another big budget special effects-heavy, action/adventure movie in "Ender's Game" - a film that, based on pre-release trailers and clips alone, I felt just wasn't going to do very well. And based on results thus far, it doesn't look like it's going to be the commercial success that Lionsgate's Summit was hoping for. In fact, I'd be surprised if it even makes $100 million domestic. After an OK 62% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (83 critics give it a thumbs up; 51 give it a thumbs down) thus far, word of mouth - at least from those who've seen it, whose thoughts I've been reading and hearing - isn't very strong. So I don't think it's a movie with legs going into next weekend and after. I expect a large drop in ticket sales next weekend.

    Gavin Hood is one very lucky man! By all accounts, he really shouldn't be in the position he's in now. If he were a black director, after the first flop, he'd be done. Actually, if he were a black South African director, work may not have even been guaranteed after winning the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for "Tsotsi," let alone, being hired to direct Hollywood stars in big budget action movies. I'd make a somewhat similar statement about Zack Snyder. Black directors just don't get the same kinds of opportunities to fail. Once we fail, that's it. No more opportunities. Or we are relegated to directing "Black movies" only (see Tim Story as an example). Although, even those are going to white directors, more and more, it seems.

    Don't be surprised if Gavin Hood's next project is directing one of the upcoming "Star Wars" movies that Disney has in its pipeline. Or maybe the "Black Panther" movie Marvel has been talking about for years.

  • CareyCarey | November 5, 2013 9:53 AM

    Tsotsi = Rendition = Wolverine = Ender Game. You know, I've always loved math because a prejudice teacher couldn't move the line. One plus one always equaled two. I guess that's why I participated in the types of sports in which judges (who are never really impartial) do not determine the winner.

    Now I'm looking at Gavin Hood's road to victory... and something is not adding up. How does one go from you basic Boys In The Hood (African style) to Wolverine? I mean, I watched Tsotsi last night, now I am trying to figure out what others saw that lead them to believe Mr. Hood should jump to the front of the line?

    Really, I'm serious, I realize there are those who love watching blacks in roles as dysfunctional mothers, slaves, maids, chauffeurs, thugs, hustlin' & flowin' pimps & hoes, but as I said, somebody is using a form of new math.

    Hey, I didn't attend film school so maybe I'm missing something. I mean, I know a director wears many hats, so maybe I can't see the finer details of Gavin Hood's genius? Was his input the defining factor in Tsotsi's "success"? Even if that's true, how does one go from black thugs, through flopping with Meryl Streep, to greener pastures like Wolverine and Ender Game?

  • slb | November 4, 2013 1:49 PM

    @CC: I understand your point, but "King Arthur" still performed well overseas and pulled in $203 million worldwide. Also, it's not like Fuqua continued to get films with huge budgets after that. Each of his films after "King Arthur" had budgets less than $70 million. But it appears this Gavin Hood guy continues to get huge tent pole films and has not demonstrated he "deserves" them.

  • slb | November 4, 2013 1:46 PM

    @Tambay: I'm glad you brought this up and it should be something explored in a long form post on S&A. This is something I've thought about many times over the years with respect to unproven white directors getting big budget gigs. It's happened time and time again. There would be black directors with significant experience from music videos, to television dramas, to small budget "urban" flicks who never get the shot at the big time. But unproven white directors seem to get $100 million budgeted movies.

    With respect to Gavin Hood, and others like him, white directors are allowed to fail. They are allowed to produce flop after flop. If they continue to produce flops, then studios stop hiring them, but they are given many more opportunities than black directors.

    One that comes to mind immediately is Clark Johnson (Meldrick Lewis on Homicide:LOTS) and director of many primetime dramas (The Shield, The Wire, Homeland, etc.) Dude is a very accomplished director and his feature film debut was "S.W.A.T." starring Sam Jackson and Colin Farrel. The movie made $116 million domestically and $207 million total worldwide. Reportedly he had some clashes with Sam Jackson on the set, but the movie was still a hit and the man is one of the few Black directors to have a $100 million film at the box office. His next film was "The Sentinel" and that was a flop. After that zilch. No more feature film gigs. What happened? One flop and now he can't do feature films?

    Dude is a very talented director and for the life of me can not figure out how he's not good enough to get feature films. I wonder why.....

  • Curtis | November 4, 2013 8:58 AM

    @CC - Even if we were to include Fuqua (I wouldn't in this case), the point is that white directors get way more chances to fail than black directors do. But I wouldn't even count Fuqua because the difference is that he was already an established, proven director before King Arthur. This Gavin Hood guy was not. He made one small drama set in South Africa and then he's immediately promoted to top director getting huge budget Hollywood movies. Fuqua and Hood are not on the same level and never have been. If you can find me a young black director who made a low budget independent film that was successful relative to its budget and then was hired by a hollywood studio to direct a $100 million movie, then we can talk.

  • CC | November 4, 2013 12:12 AM

    Well, Antoine Fuqua has managed to find work even after King Arthur flopped badly.

  • sergio | November 3, 2013 7:26 PM

    Which reminds me that I read that Paramount wants Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) to direct the next Star Trek movie

  • Erik W. | November 3, 2013 3:31 PM

    Maybe Gavin Hood has some friends in high places or some damaging pictures of executives with hookers or something. Or maybe he has tea party friends who are studio execs. I wouldn't doubt it. All about who you know.

  • Donella | November 3, 2013 2:12 PMReply

    I tried to read Ender's Game and couldn't get into it. The movie looked even less interesting than the book.

  • CareyCarey | November 3, 2013 1:59 PMReply

    HELL NO... we won't go!

    Well, I should have said these box office numbers ( from a black's perspective) is a bunch of BS. Listen, I'm looking at those numbers wondering which ones are black dollars? I mean, I can safely assume 12 Years A Slave's total is comprised of black faces, but what about the rest of those silly *coughwhitecough * movies... do blacks actually pay to see them?

    Well, as the song goes "is you is or is you ain't my baby" is not really my bone of contention today, I'd simply like to propose a system that reflects the color/race of everyone who buys a ticket.

    I am dead serious. Think about it, wouldn't it be great if we could stop all the ridiculous blather about "blacks don't support this genre" and "white folks don't like black movies because..." and "The Butler was mainly supported by the church going crowd"?

    Think how useful this information could be for black filmmakers. Look at it like this, the black dollar and black viewership (to be brutally honest) is a very small segment of the moviegoing audience. So it's safe to say a black filmmaker, producer or director, directing a majority black cast film cannot expect a healthy return on his dollar with a movie like Requiem Of A Dream. OH MY GOD! That film starring Jennifer Connelly in that infamous "Butt-to-Butt" porn scene grossed over 150 million dollars. For those who haven't seen that movie (it's playing on Netflix) Jennifer Connelly is a dope head who will do anything to get what she needs. So in the ending scene we see her and another woman double-donging each other back-to-back, butt-to-butt while a crowd of frenzied white guys yell "COME COME COME". Yep, that's some grossed out mess... but the movie made millions.

    But I wonder if black dollars was in the mix? Well, Sergio might have paid to see that but...

    Anyway, I'm just saying, if we can put a man on the moon, spy on our e-mails and find out if Mr. Obama was really born in Hawaii, I am pretty sure there's a way to determine what movies Betty Crocker, Leon, Becky, Big Willie, Big Bubba and snotty LaTisha are paying to see.

  • Truth | November 3, 2013 5:02 PM

    Yes idiot it is Requiem FOR a Dream. Very good.

    I didn't read the rest of your useless babble after that. Stop blogging in Meth labs. The fumes are getting to you. lol

  • CC | November 3, 2013 4:55 PM

    OPPS... Requiem "For" A Dream... not "Of" A Dream.

  • CareyCarey | November 3, 2013 4:50 PM

    Truth, you appear to be slightly confused. First, who said Requiem "of" not "for" is a good flick? I mean, if you equate Butt-to-Butt double dong fking as your good viewing pleasure, have at it. Or maybe it was all the on screen blow jobs Jennifer Connelly gave that has you so excited? Then again, could it be Marlon Wayan's no acting behind that has you rooting for the black guy? Or, it could be the grossed out canker sore ozzing from the arm of Jennifer's boyfriend that has you carrying pom-poms for this flick, huh?

    Please Truth, please talk about something you know. Yeah, like, I didn't say nor imply that black folks money was actually printed on black paper. Have you ever heard of black music or black films... DUH. Nor did I say that some blacks did not see some of the movies on this list. Hell, I know a few black folks who paid their money to see 4 of them. Only a fool would imply otherwise. Now I am not calling you a foolish man, but...

    Please, please please man please, get yourself together or change your name to knuckle head.

  • Truth | November 3, 2013 3:23 PM

    So what does a black dollar look like? a dollar painted black only owned by "black" folk? Can you ask a dumber question? Black folk are included in the numbers idiot. That is why it's called mainstream. It includes EVERYONE.

    And if you are just now realizing Requiem for a Dream is a good flick you are behind in movie watching and further prove you are an idiot troll.

    Go have some tea or something.

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