Usually studios will capitalize on major moments on the sports calendar to release a corresponding movie, whether it be the NBA Finals, NCAA March Madness, or The Lumberjack Championships, with “Moneyball” and “Trouble With The Curve” being the last major baseball films hitting the multiplex right before the start of the postseason. “42” similarly capitalized on the excitement from the start of the season two weeks ago (as well as Sunday’s Jackie Robinson Day), utilizing an aggressive marketing campaign boosted by Jay-Z’s “Brooklyn (We Go Hard),” an example of a pop song doing an ad campaign’s heavy lifting. Speaking of which, it would be interesting to examine the demographics behind this opening (which generated a rare ‘A+’ Cinemascore), as various smartypants sports journalists love writing articles about how baseball has lost popularity among black Americans.
Each “Scary Movie” film thus far has been something of a smash, with the last entry in 2006 pulling in over $40 million in its first three days. But as the Weinsteins took their Miramax/Dimension franchises to The Weinstein Company, they waited a bit too long to capitalize on whatever heat those titles had left. So in the tradition of “Scream 4” and “Spy Kids: All The Time In The World” comes “Scary Movie 5,” a movie that only Simon Rex asked for. With the absence of Anna Faris and Regina Hall, two actors that starred in all previous four films, you had to wonder if the promo team knew what they were doing spotlighting the presence of Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan as some sort of substitution, even if an allegedly more sane Sheen was apparently in the last one.
Since that fourth “Scary Movie,” the spoof well has been poisoned by the “Date Movie” and “Epic Movie” guys, as their annual offerings eventually saw diminished returns. However, it has to sting that this opening doesn’t even match that of “A Haunted House,” the horror spoof made independently by “Scary Movie” originator Marlon Wayans that grossed over $40 and is now slated for a sequel. The Weinstein Company, you just got kicked in yo’ ghost balls.
Tradition dictates that horror films fall off sharply after that first weekend, and in that respect, “Evil Dead” didn’t disappoint. The $17 million-budgeted effort did indeed fall off a cliff from the number one slot last weekend, though it’s likely a considerable success at this point. Given that Sam Raimi and company stretched the original series to increasingly ridiculous directions, does Sony have the stones to go weirder with an “Evil Dead 2”? Maybe the better, more relevant question is why does Sony have to spend $17 million on an “Evil Dead” movie? For Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures, a shingle specifically for very low budget horror, it’s worth noting this will be their eighth release to gross over $30 million domestic.
“Oz the Great and Powerful” has hung on long enough to await being punched out of the top ten by the latest big blockbuster, though Disney’s potential franchise-starter is the year’s highest-grossing film, even if it may not even sniff $600 million worldwide. “Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions Of A Marriage Counselor” should land over $50 million, a spectacular result for a film without Perry’s Madea character that received the smallest wide release of any Perry films in years. And expanding from 30 to 514 theaters was “The Place Beyond the Pines,” gate-crashing the top ten right ahead of “Trance,” itself at 438 locations, collecting a little less than a million.
In limited release, an expansion from five to 41 theaters for "The Company You Keep" established the film as the strongest holdover with $311k. Moderately in the same ballpark was the 15-theater debut of "Disconnect," which grossed a so-so $124k. "Upstream Color" expanded from its single location into ten more theaters, collecting $74k, while "The Angels' Share" and "It's A Disaster" opened with $21k and $17k in three theaters each, respectively. Support your local arthouse theater, boys and girls.1. 42 (Warner Bros.) - $27.3 million