The Playlist

Weekend Box Office: '21 Jump Street' Takes The Box Office To School

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 18, 2012 11:56 AM
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  • 6 Comments
It really doesn’t matter how popular a show was back in the day - as long as it’s a vaguely recognizable title with a good cast, you’re guaranteed a certain level of results. “SWAT” lasted only one year, memorable mostly for its theme song, and yet the movie version grabbed $37 million back in the summer of 2003. Nine years later, a similar opening has greeted “21 Jump Street,” the television show of which ran for four forgettable years in the late '80s and is more famous for spawning megastar Johnny Depp than for having any great story lines or standout moments.

Weekend Box Office: 'The Lorax' Tops Again, While 'John Carter' Fulfills Its Prophecy & Underperforms, Underwhelms Domestically

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 11, 2012 1:01 PM
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  • 8 Comments
There's no real joy in reporting on a massive bomb. Mostly because, why hate? Usually the participants involved will cry into piles of hundred dollar bills why you return to your menial workday job, gloating seems like a waste of energy. It's especially disconcerting when it comes from someone like Andrew Stanton, who previously directed "Wall-E" and was making his transition to live-action with the uber-expensive "John Carter." Analysts have been predicting doom for a long time now, in a way fueling the negative buzz with their irresponsible reporting, leading to a soft opening only slightly surpasses similar boys-n-sand actioner "Prince Of Persia," and that's mostly due to 3D prices.

Weekend Box Office: 'The Lorax' Rules The Roost, While 'The Artist' Fails To Capitalize On Oscar Night

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 4, 2012 1:48 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Will Smith, Steven Spielberg, Nicolas Sparks, Tyler Perry – to these foolproof brands, add one more: the late Dr. Seuss. “The Grinch,” “The Cat in The Hat“ and “Horton Hears a Who” have all grossed over $100 million, and now, opening with stronger numbers than the three of them is “The Lorax.” The environmentally-minded ‘toon, which ironically has helped market SUVs, is the third effort from Illumination Entertainment, and it looks very likely to outgross the openings of both “Despicable Me” and “Hop.” Industry expectations pegged this as a huge opener, as it was a notably deflated market with no animated blockbusters since last winter’s mostly well-received “Puss-In-Boots.” In other words, duh.

Weekend Box Office: Relativity Hoo-Rahs 'Act Of Valor' To The Top Spot In Another Strong Weekend

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 26, 2012 12:42 PM
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  • 0 Comments
It’s been a red meat kinda year at the box office. The number one slot at the box office has been taken over by an R-rated action movie five times thus far, the latest example being hoo-rah Navy SEALs film “Act of Valor”. With constant studio waffling over ratings, mid-budgeted fare like “Contraband” and “Safe House” have still handily trumped PG-13 four-quadrant "alleged" blockbusters like “This Means War” and “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” all year long despite the supposed ratings handicap. And those films all had noted stars, familiar leading men and women, while “Act of Valor” is populated entirely by real armed forces.

Weekend Box Office: 'The Vow' And 'Safe House' Tussling Again For First Place; 'Ghost Rider' Does Less Than Half Of Predecessor

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 19, 2012 12:37 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Love is in the air, but "Safe House" ain't hearin' it. In weekend two, the film surpassed last week's champ, "The Vow," if only barely. While the film hasn’t done quite the same weekday business as the Tatum-McAdams romancer so far, it’s outperformed its modest programmer aspirations and should easily leapfrog $100 million. Amusingly enough, this would give Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds both four $100 million domestic earners on their resume. Sometimes the line separating a star and a journeyman can be very thin, though to Denzel’s credit, he’s never really been the type to command massive $200 million budgets. Though, yeah, he probably would have been a good “Green Lantern.” Now that that’s been brought up in conversation, let us ignore it forever. Apologies.

Weekend Box Office: 'The Vow' And 'Safe House' Lead Four $20 Million+ Debuts

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 12, 2012 1:44 PM
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  • 10 Comments
It’s a crowded non-holiday weekend in February. Clearly, all these new releases should do somewhere in the vicinity of $10-$15 million, cannibalizing their own audiences, right? It’s early, but in a year of box office surprises, consider this weekend the most unlikely. With the final tallies to be announced on Monday, this will be the first non-holiday weekend to feature four $20 million+ debuts. And, surprisingly, none of them are costly flops.

Weekend Box Office: 'Chronicle' And 'The Woman In Black' Slug It Out For Number One

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 5, 2012 1:12 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The numbers don't lie – 2012 movie attendance is far above what we saw in 2011. And while there have been no real breakout hits, a number of films – some very modestly budgeted – have broken out to solid, eye-opening numbers. That trend looks to continue on Super Bowl weekend, with a race to the finish between two low-budgeted genre entries. Early signs say "Chronicle" will hang on to defeat "The Woman in Black" for the number one spot. But 'Black''s audience is heavily female, which suggests it could surpass "Chronicle" while the Super Bowl airs tonight because anybody who knows women knows that they're all like, WHAT IS FOOTBALL WHY DO THEY NOT USE THEIR FEET MEN ARE GROSS SPORTS YUCK.

Weekend Box Office: 'The Grey' Sees Green, While Audiences Stay Away From The 'Ledge'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 29, 2012 12:14 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Good ole’ dependable Liam Neeson. This is the third straight early-year period where the character actor turned badass leading man has scored a number one hit. While “The Grey” couldn’t pull in the same numbers as “Taken” or “Unknown,” it did top $20 million. Not a bad figure considering this was a much less commercial beast, with an R-rating, and it’s arguable that few leading men could have gotten a man-vs.-wilderness drama into an eight figure debut. This is distributor Open Road’s second ever release. Their first, last year’s “Killer Elite,” seemed like a surefire commercial proposition, but it pulled in half of what “The Grey” is looking to make on this opening weekend. You could argue this was a bait and switch, as the ads centered around spoiling, and misinterpreting, the film’s ending -- Cinemascore was a not-entirely-kind B-. But everyone got the opening they wanted -- this puts Open Road on the map, it gets Joe Carnahan out of Director Jail following “The A-Team” and it continues Neeson’s winning streak. Also worth noting: throughout each week in 2012 so far, the number one slot at the box office has been filled by R-rated fare.

Weekend Box Office: Audiences Smuggle 'Contraband' Into The Number One Spot Over 'Beauty & The Beast 3D'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 15, 2012 1:43 PM
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  • 2 Comments
After a year which sported the lowest attendance numbers in sixteen years, studios are looking for all the bright sides they can find. Thus far, 2012 has provided them, with big number one debuts for a cheap horror acquisition and, now, a solidly mid-budgeted star vehicle. "Contraband" nailed the top spot this weekend, of the four day holiday weekend, that was slightly down from last year. However, this is a solid win for Universal, who spent $40 million on the Mark Wahlberg project, gambling that the film would open uncharacteristically big for an R-rated January offering.

Weekend Box Office: Audiences Hate 'The Devil Inside' All The Way To The Top Of The Box Office

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 8, 2012 12:04 PM
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  • 20 Comments
The smash-and-grab -- who needs a fourth or fifth weekend, when you can nail down a profit after your first day? Paramount dipped into the kitty and spent a million producing “The Devil Inside” (through their low budget shingle Insurge) and a little bit of marketing later, we have our first big winner of the new year. Final estimates have the studio looking at a big $30 million+ weekend for the latest in a wave of cheap found-footage horror films.

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