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Weekend Top Ten: 'Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' Take Off

Box Office
by Tom Brueggemann
November 24, 2013 1:12 PM
1 Comment
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'Delivery Man'
'Delivery Man'

4. Delivery Man (Buena Vista) NEW (Cinemascore: B+ ; Criticwire: C; Metacritic: 43

$8,215,000 in 3,036 theaters; PSA: $2,706; Cumulative: $8,215,000

Dreamworks Productions non-animated problems continue. Following the disastrous "The Fifth Estate" a few weeks ago, which in wide release reached only $3.2 million, they now have another failure to deal with. This roughly $25 million production failed to deliver as counterprogramming, even coming during a period when some comedies seem to be overachieving.

A remake of the Quebecois local hit "Starbuck" (released in the U.S. earlier this year by EOne, only grossing $340,000), this story of a one-time sperm donor who finds out years later that he has hundreds of biological children was backed with a major TV campaign, so awareness was hardly the issue. Star Vince Vaughn is often reliable enough to achieve a $12 million or better opening. But audiences may have been burned in the past: this turns out to be the first of his 16 previous starring films to open wide and not gross at least $10 million. Even badly reviewed "The Internship," "The Watch" and "The Dilemma" all ranged between $12-17 million, so this result comes as a major disappointment.

Original writer-director Ken Scott did the remake, which, as with all of Dreamworks' live action films, is distributed by Buena Vista.

What comes next: The competition gets tougher right away, but at least there aren't any new comedies, so any sort of good audience reaction will give this a chance to stabilize a bit.

5. Free Birds (Relativity) Week 4 - Last weekend #4

$5,300,000 (-%) in 3,071 theaters (-439); PSA: $1,726; Cumulative: $48,594,000

Maintaining solid placement in its fourth week, and guaranteeing at least matinee showings going into next week, this still hasn't grossed its pre-marketing cost of $55 million. With "Frozen" taking over at the animated film of choice on Wednesday, this doesn't have much more to add to its domestic take, so this will need strong international sales to make it a success.

What comes next: Despite all the high-end animated grossers, this flop reminds that it's not a risk-free genre even when done less expensively.

6. Last Vegas (CBS) Week 4 - Last weekend #3

$4,400,000 (-48%) in 2,926 theaters (-311); PSA: $1,504; Cumulative: $53,926,000

Taking something of a hit after three solid weeks, this "Hangover" for the Medicare set is now a few dollars shy of overtaking "The Woman in Black" as CBS's top-grosser so far. More importantly, this gross positions them to keep playing for a few more weeks in most theaters.

What comes next: Will this be the last "Vegas"? Look for a sequel announcement, which may depend on international results (which are still preliminary).

7. Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa (Paramount) Week 5 - Last weekend #5

$3,450,000 (-53%) in 2,625 theaters (-565); PSA: $1,314; Cumulative: $95,451,000

Coming down to earth, but still doing well enough to push this close to a better-than-expected $100 million.

What comes next: Can "Bad Grandma" be too far away?

8. Gravity (Warner Bros.) Week 8 - Last weekend #6

$3,905,000 (-46%) in 1,845 theaters (-715); PSA: $1,791; Cumulative: $245,503,000

Falling the most it has in any weekend, with a particularly big fall in theaters and also losing full showtimes at some of those remaining, this long-running hit (which just opened in China to large numbers) is approaching $250 million domestically, which despite attrition it should reach soon.

What comes next: This will take another big hit with next Wednesday's new openings.

9. 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight) Week 6 - Last weekend #8

$2,800,000 (-39%) in 1,474 theaters (+63); PSA: $1,900; Cumulative: $29,393,000

This took its biggest drop this weekend, with the PSA down even more (with the small uptick in theaters), but more important, "Slave" is on the verge of overtaking "Blue Jasmine" as the biggest specialized release of the year (the latter over $32 million as of now), a total within sight for this awards frontrunner.

What comes next: This should sustain a strong majority of these through the holiday despite major competition for screen space.

10. Dallas Buyers Club (Focus) Week 4 - Last weekend #12

$2,761,000 (+59%) in 666 theaters (+482); PSA: $4,159; Cumulative: $6,450,000

Rapidly expanding (adding on this week means lucrative holiday playdates), this Matthew McConaughey film placed in the top 10 despite relatively few theaters. The results overall though fall short of roughly the same stage for Focus' earlier expansions of "The Place Beyond the Pines" or "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" (both of which ended up over $20 million total). The PSA is also less than 75% of "12 Years a Slave" in its fourth weekend, when that film had nearly twice as many theaters, again reinforcing that "Dallas" remains more of a niche release, at least at this point

What comes next: With its early November release, this will be able to sustain some theatrical presence for the weeks ahead, then relaunch in January when awards attention is at its peak.

1 Comment

  • Ashley | November 26, 2013 8:54 PMReply

    Such a great movie, I was able to watch The Hunger Games and Frozen for free moviesatyou.com, check it out!

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