Of course, some at Disney are more than happy to write the film off, since it's a by-product of the reign of retired exec Dick Cook. In other words, it's very much like the parent saying, no, guys, we don't need to talk about Kevin. Still, Disney, vainly hoping to appeal to modern boys who equate Disney with princesses, is going to bank harder on Marvel now that 'Carter' likely isn't spawning a franchise. Disney is purposely limiting the amount of films it produces per year, so every hit counts, and when they reportedly let someone as green (as far as live action) as Stanton to go reshoot heavy to corral the 'Carter' story, they're clearly throwing bad money after even worse money.
"The Lorax" continued to dominate the marketplace, managing a decent drop to stay atop the box office for a second straight week. But "The Hunger Games" is coming in two weeks, and next week brings older teen-adult-skewing "21 Jump Street." In other words, the "John Carter" audience could be drawn and quartered completely by the time 'Hunger Games' does its expected $80-$90 million opening, and "The Lorax" could very well weather the storm.
"Silent House" and "A Thousand Words" both flopped, despite one getting an aggressive push by an up-and-coming studio, the other released by a conglomerate who couldn't care less. Open Road, who debuted "The Grey" to big numbers earlier this year, couldn't find a solid hook for their marketing campaign, and Elizabeth Olsen still isn't a noticable face for most audience-goers, which normally doesn't matter for genre projects unless the star is front and center, as Ms. Olsen was here. And 'Words,' dumped onto the marketplace by Paramount at less than 2,000 engagements, looked and smelled like a leftover. This is Eddie Murphy's third starring role in the last four years, and the other two didn't crack $6 million in their first three days.
In indie theaters, "Friends With Kids" benefitted from importing half the cast from last year's megahit, "Bridesmaids." The film brought in $2.2 million at 374 locations, a not-entirely-muscular showing, but still enough to crack the top fifteen. "A Separation" was only slightly behind, continuing an expansion to 281 locations, bringing in $8k for a $4.8 million total. With a strong debut, "Salmon Fishing In the Yemen" scored $240k on eighteen screens for a $13k per-screen average, though this is one of the first limited release pictures from CBS Films and it will be interesting to see how they handle the expansion. And the week's biggest per-screen was for Oscar nominee "Footnote," which grabbed $48k on two screens. Support your local arthouse theater, boys and girls.
1. Dr. Seuss' Cash-Grab Bonanza (Universal) - $39.1 million ($122 mil.)
2. Juan Carter a Planeta Roja (Disney) - $30.6 million
3. Project X (Warner Bros.) $11.5 million ($40 mil.)
4. Silent House (Open Road) - $7 million
5. Act Of Valor (Relativity) - $7 million ($56 mil.)
6. Some Eddie Murphy Outtakes We Had Lying Around (Paramount) - $6.3 million
7. Safe House (Universal) - $5 million ($116 mil.)
8. The Vow (Sony/Screen Gems) - $4 million ($118 mil.)
9. This Means War (Fox) - $3.8 million ($47 mil.)
10 Journey 2: More Journeys (Warner Bros.) - $3.7 million ($91 mil.)