A week to the day of TIFF wrapping up, one of the most buzzed about films of that festival and Telluride, "Prisoners," takes the top spot at the domestic box office. Making $21.4 million this weekend, the kidnapping drama starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal marks a career best for French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, with "Prisoners" already surpassing the entire run of "Incendies" ($3.5 million). Disregarding Hugh Jackman's 'Wolverine' films, "Prisoners" marks his best opening in a non-musical film (both "Australia" and "The Prestige" opened with $14.8 million). This is also Jake Gyllenhaal's best since "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" ($30 million) and fourth overall (after "The Day After Tomorrow," 'Prince,' and "Jarhead"). It looks like Logan and Donnie have a lot to smile about this weekend. Comparatively, star-packed action thriller drama "Contagion" had a similar opening weekend ($22.4 million) back in 2011 and went on to make $75 million, which bodes well for "Prisoners" to make back its estimated $46 million budget and then some as awards season chatter builds around the film.
Creeping its way into second place, "Insidious: Chapter 2" made $14.2 million, crossing the $50 million domestic mark (with a running total of $60.9 million). Mob comedy "The Family" was shot down to third and made $7 million. Another family-themed comedy, "Instructions Not Included" made $5.7 million and also grew up a bit, going up two spots on the leader board and 17.2% in ticket sales.
Coming in at a worse-than-predicted fifth, "Battle of the Year" made a meager $5 million. From Benson Lee, the director behind documentary "Planet B-Boy," the film marks his best opening and Chris Brown's worst.
In sixth, "We're The Millers" is still standing with $4.5 million. Close behind, "Lee Daniels' The Butler" made $4.3 million in seventh as it continues to ride over $100 million. "Riddick" tumbled down to eighth with $3.4 million.
A lion, a tiger, a bear. Oh my! "Wizard of Oz 3D" made $2.8 million, which may not sound that great, but it made an astonishing $9,503 per theater. "Great and powerful," indeed (to borrow a quote Nikki Finke used in her 1 A.M. analysis). Although in terms of recent re-releases it shadows in comparison to the massively successful "Jurassic Park 3D" ($18.6 million), it had remarkably better box office receipts than this year's dismal 60th anniversary "Cleopatra" re-release. Finally, swooping low but still in the game, "Planes" came in tenth and made $2.5 million.
As for specialty box office, audiences couldn't get enough of Nicole Holofcener's "Enough Said." The romantic comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini was a darling at TIFF and opened this weekend in four theaters. Making a total of $240,000, the film had an astonishing $60,000 per theater average (the largest of the entire weekend, both indie and mainstream). In second, Haifaa al-Mansour's holdover "Wadjda" screened in nine theaters and made $72,072, averaging $8,078 per theater. In third, Martha Shane and Lana Wilson's abortion-themed documentary "After Tiller" opened in 2 theaters and made $15,000, averaging $7,750 per theater. In a very close fourth, Jeremy Seifert's holdover "GMO OMG" screened in two theaters and made $14,469, averaging $7,235 per theater. In fifth, Andrew Dosunmu's holdover "Mother of George" screened in five theaters and made $30,000, averaging $6,000 per theater.
1. Prisoners (Warner Bros.) - $21,430,000
2. Insidious: Chapter 2 (FilmDistrict) - $14,500,000 ($60,855,000)
3. The Family (Relativity Media) – $7,000,000 ($25,641,000)
4. Instructions Not Included (LionsGate) - $5,700,000 ($34,262,000)
5. Battle of the Year (ScreenGem) - $5,000,000
8. Riddick (Universal) - $3,672,000 ($37,180,000)
7. Lee Daniels' The Butler (The Weinstein Company) - $4,304,000 ($106,452,000)
6. We're The Millers (Warner Bros.) - $4,670,000 ($138,176,000)
9. Wizard of Oz (3D/IMAX) - $3,022,000
10. Planes (Buena Vista) - $2,861,000 ($86,543,000)