The Playlist

Box Office: 'Paranormal Activity 4' Scares Up The Top Spot This Weekend

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • October 21, 2012 11:55 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Prepare for the paradigm shift. No one at Paramount is shedding tears that “Paranormal Activity 4” is set to open lower than the second and third films in the series. One very obvious reason for this is the series itself, which allows for very low production costs. The latest film in the horror franchise, bringing in $30 million this weekend, was the most expensive of the lot, and it still only cost $5 million. But, more importantly, worldwide the picture is looking at another $30 million, and like the third entry, its overseas receipts should handily overpower domestic grosses. Good on Paramount, who have been MIA for FIVE months, their last release being “The Dictator.”

Box Office: 'Taken 2' Takes Top Spot For 2nd Weekend

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • October 14, 2012 1:17 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Despite a recent lull in box-office activity, the last two weeks feel distinctly like summer sessions, with “Taken 2” pulling in blockbuster numbers at the top spot. Though critical reception was harsh, the picture seems as if it will lose only slightly more than half its audience in its second frame, when most figured it would lose a significant percentage from that opening weekend.

Weekend Box Office: Audiences Taken By 'Taken 2' To The Tune Of $50 Million

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • October 7, 2012 12:27 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Box office: you just got “Taken“! Despite reviews outlining diminishing returns, to say the least, audiences were pumped for a rendezvous with Liam Neeson’s Bryan Mills, who powered the first “Taken” to a $227 million global gross. The opening for "Taken 2," is the third-largest October bow in history, but the best showing by a PG-13 movie of all time (the best overall October debut still belongs to “Paranormal Activity 3”). Even more, it grabbed just as much cash abroad with the cheapie sequel snaring $117 million overseas.

Box Office: Sony Finishes September Strong With 'Hotel Transylvania' & 'Looper' Topping Weekend

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 30, 2012 12:17 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Conventional wisdom suggests a studio shouldn’t release two films on the same date, or even a week within each other, for fear of cannibalizing business. But this weekend, Sony took conventional wisdom out back and beat the life out of it, smashing records with the nation’s top two movies. Their animation division looks like they’ll have the biggest opening in September history with “Hotel Transylvania,” while through TriStar, “Looper” is set to be a superb debut for a heady sci-fi film.

Weekend Box Office: 'Trouble With The Curve,' 'End Of The Street' & 'End Of Watch' Battle For #1

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 23, 2012 12:22 PM
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  • 2 Comments
If you bet any money on this weekend’s box office, you'll have to wait on Monday’s actuals, because this is a tight race between three new releases jockeying for the top spot with lukewarm grosses. Also, maybe see someone for your gambling problem.

Box Office: 'Resident Evil' Takes Top Spot & 'The Master' Breaks Limited Release Record

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 16, 2012 11:53 AM
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  • 2 Comments
After an extended down period, the box office is back! Sorta! Kinda! Not really! We're not sure what this means! Regardless, after a weekend where no film registered a double-digit gross in the millions, there were two films from highly established brands battling for supremacy. In the end, the victory was had by "Resident Evil: Retribution," the fourth straight film from this franchise to open at the top spot. 'Retribution' also benefits from 3D like it's predecessor, "Resident Evil: Afterlife," though that film debuted to slightly under $27 million, and 'Retribution' is looking at a weekend tally of only $21 million.

Weekend Box Office: 'The Possession' Repeats At Top Of Box Office On Worst Weekend In Years

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 9, 2012 12:44 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Box office trends exist for a reason, and this weekend only cements that September by and large sucks, box office-wise – this weekend saw the worst results in several years, with no movie cracking the $10 million mark and the whole top ten taking only $46 million in total, a 22% drop from the equivalent frame last year. It's not like studios can help it: the product just isn't very appealing for the general audience (although one wonders if "Gangster Squad" might have picked things up – the film was originally set to open this weekend before Aurora-mandated reshoots put it back to January). The profits aren't entirely too thrilling for Lionsgate, but they have effectively ruled a flimsy roost for four weeks straight with "The Possession" taking the top spot for the second weekend in a row with $9.5 million following two weeks of "The Expendables 2" dominance. We use the term "dominance" loosely.

Weekend Box Office: 'The Possession' Ends Summer By Topping Quiet Labor Day Weekend

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 2, 2012 12:33 PM
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  • 2 Comments
There are few things more certain than death, taxes, and cheap studio horror, as long as you market that last one right. Lionsgate engineered a solid campaign and, surprisingly, people were able to tell the difference between “The Apparition,” which registered piddling numbers in it’s debut outside the top ten last week, and “The Possession,” which became the last number one movie of the summer with over $17 million. This is also the sixth number one debut for a film out of Sam Raimi’s Ghost House shingle, all of them with budgets in the low teens, all of them assured a solid profit. Who needs “Spider-Man”?

Box Office: 'The Expendables 2' Wins Weak Weekend, Conservative Doc '2016: Obama's America' Surprises

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 26, 2012 12:12 PM
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  • 17 Comments
There was a brief moment where August still seemed viable for blockbuster pictures. Generally, the month has been viewed as the weak sister of the hot season, usually a dumping ground for once-promising projects that fell by the wayside, gathering little attention from students preparing to return to school. A string of August hits over the last decade changed that, but here we are, back to the dog days. Last summer was plagued by low attendance for films like "30 Minutes or Less," "Conan the Barbarian" and "Fright Night," and if this weekend is anything to go by, with "The Expendables 2" handily defeating an onslaught of unattractive new product, we're in for even lower grosses. In fact, it's the first weekend in a decade where no new film opened to over $7 million. Ouch.

Weekend Box Office: 'Expendables 2' Opens At #1, But Can't Match First Film's Numbers

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 19, 2012 11:44 AM
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  • 12 Comments
The release of "The Expendables 2" felt like a celebration. Not only were the trailers boasting the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis in legit action roles, but it was also promising the addition of Jean Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris to the franchise. Along with the release and buzz over two new trailers featuring Schwarzenegger ("The Last Stand") and Sylvester Stallone ("Bullet to the Head"), most saw this as a sign that b-movie action was back to the big time at the box office. Of course, the question as to whether this is star power or "star" power (with an ironic eyebrow raised) may have been answered, with the highly touted actioner finishing at $28.8 million, 17% below the first film's $35 million opening.

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