The Playlist

Weekend Box Office: 'Hunger Games' Scores Third Highest Opening In Box Office History With Massive $155 Million Haul

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 25, 2012 12:30 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Who’s hungry? “The Hunger Games” proceeded to predictably beat the stuffing out of the box office, scoring $155 million, the third-highest opening weekend in history, and highest for a non-sequel. The fan base came out in full force, no doubt, but so did the normals, as the books don’t (yet) have nearly the support of “Harry Potter” or “Twilight.” But make no mistake, this property had a similar groundswell of opinion, including an ad blitz and news and web coverage suggesting this was the “good” version of those pre-existing properties. Within three days, Lionsgate has their highest grossing domestic release of all time, and Hollywood’s strongest new franchise. Because everyone secretly loves child murder.

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: '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 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: 'Underworld: Awakening' Sucks Its Way To #1, While 'Red Tails' Shoots Into #2

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 22, 2012 12:08 PM
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  • 9 Comments
If there was ever a weekend that better illustrated the divide between audience and critics, we certainly can't remember it. Following a financially successful franchise pattern thus far, "Underworld: Awakening" joined the other films in the series in opening to over $20 million. In the grand scheme of this vampires vs. werewolves franchise, this opening comes in lower than the second installment, but a shade beyond the first and third.

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.

Weekend Box Office: Strong Rebound Numbers For Entire Marketplace, With 'Mission: Impossible' On Top Again

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 1, 2012 1:55 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Yes, it was a down year at the box office in 2011, but sometimes it’s all about scheduling. While the family’s all together for Christmas, they might not exactly spend a holiday at the multiplex, particularly with many theaters closing early. The weekend after, when everyone’s glad to see their friends again, however, is just enough motivation to plunk down that $10-$12-$20 on an overpriced box office ticket and a mammoth, bladder-clogging, sugary fountain drink that can’t be good for you.

Weekend Box Office: 'Ghost Protocol' On Top Of Weak Holiday Weekend

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • December 25, 2011 7:22 PM
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  • 12 Comments
Twas the night before and/or the night of Christmas, and all through the theaters, it was empty and chilly, no maintenance, no heaters. Most moviegoers selected the 'Ghost Protocol,' with the legend from "Legend" and that guy from "Paul." "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" couldn't beat the Tom Cruise sequel. Not even the Steven Spielberg-Peter Jackson collaboration could be its equal.

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