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'After Earth' Fails to Open at Number One, Lags Behind 'Now You See Me' As Top Newcomer

Box Office
by Tom Brueggemann
June 1, 2013 2:37 PM
4 Comments
  • |
Jaden Smith in "After Earth."

As Sony's "After Earth" opened Friday, an irresistible force (Will Smith, with a two-decade record of #1 openings) met an unmovable object (director M. Night Shyamalan's declining box office and critical appeal), and the latter won. "After Earth," top-heavy with Smith family involvement (Smith's co-star is his son Jaden) looks to end up in third place for the weekend with a below-expectations $9.8 million for Friday.

In the sci-fi movie's defense, it fell only $700,000 below repeat #1 "Fast and Furious 6" (Universal) which dropped around 70% from its opening day. Lionsgate's less-heralded "Now You See Me," featuring a cast of respected if not box office-marquee actors Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine, looks to eke out a narrow #2 showing after grossing $10 million its first day, above what was anticipated.

Despite the disappointing news for Sony (facing a $135 million production budget, which means that international will need to gross a higher than usual multiple of the domestic gross for the film to break even), overall business actually was up around 20% from the same weekend last year for the top 10 ($49 million, up from $41). This comes after the best week of 2013, at $368 million more than 50% better than exactly one year earlier, suggesting that the slate this year could bring the cumulative total closer to 2012. "Man of Steel" coming in two weeks could be a big boost to closing the gap.

The rest of the holdovers in the top 10 fell 50% or more from last Friday, led by an almost two-thirds drop for Warner Bros.' "Hangover 3," which for the moment is #4, with Paramount's "Star Trek Into Darkness" in fifth place. Twentieth Century Fox's "Epic" could jump up as high as #4 when weekend matinees are totaled, but at the moment it is lagging behind what high-end 3-D animated films should be. "Iron Man 3," "The Great Gatsby" and Indian film "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deew" (Eros, in only 169 theaters) look to round out the top 10.


4 Comments

  • 13616fa46w1vwe.s.m | June 2, 2013 10:21 PMReply

    " an irresistible force (Will Smith, with a two-decade record of #1 openings) met an unmovable object (director M. Night Shyamalan's declining box office and critical appeal)" -- nice

  • Ramesh | June 1, 2013 5:34 PMReply

    East. Go east old lady!

  • A | June 1, 2013 4:07 PMReply

    Another M.Night movie that is bad? Who would have guessed?

  • DJ | June 1, 2013 5:39 PM

    What happened to Night? A victim to, and believer of, his own hype and success, or is he now getting exposed for the cine-fraud of a filmmaker that he always was? The Sixth Sense was indisputably a clever mind and narrative trick, Unbreakable was legit underrated, and Signs, a money maker, but the others? Hmm...

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