Weekend Box Office Top Ten: 'Texas Chainsaw' Wreaks Havoc; 'Django' Bests 'Les Mis;' 'Zero Dark Thirty' Soars

Box Office
by Tom Brueggemann
January 6, 2013 12:55 PM
2 Comments
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'Les Miserables'
4.  "Les Miserables" (Universal) Week 2 - Last Weekend: #3

$16,100,000 (-41%) in 2,904 theaters (+90); PSA: $5,550; Cumulative: $103,600,000

The good news easily exceeds the less good news for the second weekend for this front-ended musical hit. Over $100 million in under two weeks, adding another hefty total to push this to that level, most of the world yet to open and Oscar nominations ahead -- what could be a problem?

The clouds on the horizon, such as they are, concern how much higher this will go, particularly compared to expectations for its first great days. This weekend comes in at about $2 million less than its opening Christmas Day, not a great sign. ("Django Unchained," also a 12/25 opener, did $5 million more). It has now fallen behind "Django" in total gross. The 41% drop is a sign of mixed word of mouth.

Still, to have grossed this much with its first two weekends ranked at three and now four is pretty extraordinary (and a factor of the grossing potential of Christmas week and right after). This could easily end up being the highest grossing film never to be in the top two for a weekend - not a bad distinction, but a little less than hoped for.

What comes next: The upcoming nomination Oscar total -- the range could be fairly wide -- will help to keep the film visible for the near future (although it also means that Universal would have to spend extra marketing dollars, often just a trade-off for revenue). But it could be a challenge for this to keep playing down the line when rivals like "Zero Dark Thirty" and even "Lincoln" have stronger legs.

5.  "Parental Guidance" (20th Century-Fox) Week 2 - Last Weekend: #4

$10,125,000 (-19%) in 3,368 theaters (+1); PSA: $3,006; Cumulative: $52,760,000

Another decent weekend for this low-budgeted PG-rated film that has managed to sneak in and do well over the holidays. It fell less than any of the films that grossed higher, indicating continued strong audience reaction.

What comes next: Nothing opens right away to challenge this for family audiences, so this should still have a lot of revenue ahead.

6. "Jack Reacher" (Paramount) Week 3 - Last Weekend: #5

$9,300,000 (-32%) in 3,288 theaters (-64); PSA: $2,834; Cumulative: $64,804,000

A normal dropoff from an OK level previously keeps this Tom Cruise-starrer -- still to open in most of the world -- on track to modest success. Coming off the flop "Rock of Ages" Cruise remains one of the more reliable "A" players, at least with action vehicles like this.

What comes next: This will take a hit with the male-oriented releases next weekend and beyond, but Paramount made the right decision to brave the tough Christmas market in the U.S., where this had less competition for its core audience than might have been expected.

7. "This Is 40" (Universal) Week 3 - Last Weekend: #6

$8,559,000 (-31%) in 2,931 theaters (+17); PSA: $2,920; Cumulative: $54,460,000

This has quietly become a surprising success. Holding very well, and clearly benefiting from positive audience reaction so far, "This Is 40" initially seemed a disappointment (there had been awards buzz). But it has held on and now, after adult audiences have sampled other films, seems to be gaining some steam. That it is a lower-budget film (around $35 million) makes these relatively modest totals (for Judd Apatow at least) more exciting.

What comes next: Though it won't get close to $100 million-- barring a very strong hold going forward--this still is gratifying to Universal, which took a big risk in having two new films going at the same time.

8." Lincoln" (Buena Vista) Week 9 - Last Weekend: #7

$5,258,000 (-28%) in 1,901 theaters (-65); PSA: $2,766; Cumulative: $143,933,000

A modest drop, this long-legged hit is far from being done. The last film to spend nine weeks in the top ten was "The Avengers," and that was as far as it got. This likely has more ahead.

What comes next: The equivalent to the second Inaugural comes Thursday when the film is expected to lead the Oscar nominations. That will give the film yet another boost on its road to a possible $200-million domestic total.

9. "The Guilt Trip" (Paramount) Week 3 - Last Weekend: #8

$4,530,000 (-31%) in 2,312 theaters (-119); PSA: $1,959; Cumulative: $31,207,000

Looking slightly less bad as more post-holiday gross gets added, the film still lags behind the other Christmas releases, as it has from the start.

What comes next: This will start to lose a sizeable number of theaters this week, with most gone before too long.

10. "The Promised Land" (Focus) Week 2 - Last Weekend: #51

$4,312,000 () in 1,676 theaters (+1,651); PSA: $2,572; Cumulative: $4,661,000

Its first week in wide expansion finds this Matt Damon/John Krasinski co-starring and written fracking drama with an adequate PSA (a little less than "Lincoln" at slightly fewer theaters), indicating some appeal and the potential for planting the seeds for good enough reaction to soldier on. However, comparisons aren't promising. Exactly one year ago, Focus widened "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" to 809 theaters (fewer than half here) and grossed $5.5 million, then shortly after had the boost of a handful of Oscar nominations, not expected to factor in here.

What comes next: With "Zero Dark Thirty" expanding wide next week and "Gangster Squad" opening along with well Oscar-related action, competition will remain intense ahead, so it will take very strong WOM for this to hold on very long. Even with its much better initial wide week, "Tinker" only ended up at $24 million.

11. "Monsters, Inc. 3D" (Buena Vista) Week 3 - Last Weekend: #

$3,900,000 (-40%) in 2,103 theaters (-515); PSA: $1,865; Cumulative: $27,916,000

Considering the loss of theaters and the post-holiday factor, this is actually a normal or even better than usual drop for this kids-oriented reissue. It's still disappointing, but at least most of the expense was in marketing, not production.

What comes next: This will be off most screens in the next couple weeks.

12. "Silver Linings Playbook" (Weinstein) Week 8 - Last Weekend: #12

$3,611,000 (-11%) in 745 theaters (unchanged); PSA: $4,847; Cumulative: $34,672,000

An encouraging hold at the same number of theaters as last week, as this heads to over $35 million before its wider release ahead, coordinated to see the first national TV buy and largest number of theaters come after the expected major nominations ahead.

What comes next: The two months of exposure of course has already taken a chunk of potential business away, and makes the upcoming expansion not as fresh as "Zero Dark Thirty" will be next weekend. But the unusual (particularly for Weinstein) strategy has worked well so far, as indicated by the very strong holds this has had so far.

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2 Comments

  • jtp | January 7, 2013 1:12 AMReply

    Tom, how can you write anything negative about Les Miserables ? I read that Les Mis is the first musical to hit the $100 million mark so quickly at the domestic box-office, and the Oscar nominations will boost the box-office even more. I am sure many studios would love to have Les Miserables, and the international box-office will be beyond great.

    Silver Linings Playbook should have already been released wider, especially after the solid reviews. I didn't care for the overrated SLP, and this movie will not be a huge hit, mainly, because it is a rom-com that has no chemistry between Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence ( the weak link) . The Weinstein Company is not rushing to release this film, because they know they have a film that will not do well at the box-office.

  • AR | January 6, 2013 8:51 PMReply

    wonderful article

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