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Friday Box Office: 'Spring Breakers' Top Limited Opening of Year, 'Wonderstone' Underwhelms

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood March 16, 2013 at 4:24PM

A24’s SXSW hit “Spring Breakers” from veteran indie Harmony Korine opened in three New York/Los Angeles theaters to a stunning total of $95,000, by far the biggest limited opening of the year, and likely to approach a $100,000 per screen average for the weekend. To give some indication of what a shock this gross is, none of Kormine’s previous films have grossed as much in their entire runs as this likely will do for it opening weekend.
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"Spring Breakers"
A24 "Spring Breakers"

2013's weak box office performance problems continued yesterday with another down day compared to the previous week and 2012. Hopes that the strong performance of Disney's “Oz: The Great and Powerful” would bleed over to business in general so far seem unrealized. Total grosses for the top 10 totaled around $28 million, down from $38 million last weekend and $34 million a year ago.

Warner Bros.' 2013 woes continued with the weak performance of its magician comedy “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” despite the lack of competition from any recent new comedies in the market, ending up #3 behind Sony’s “The Call.”

Though not yet showing an impact on a wider scale (an expansion is planned starting next Friday), A24's SXSW hit “Spring Breakers” from veteran indie Harmony Korine opened in three New York/Los Angeles theaters to a stunning total of $95,000, by far the biggest limited opening of the year, and likely to approach a $100,000 per screen average for the weekend. To give some indication of what a shock this gross is, none of Kormine’s previous films have grossed as much in their entire runs as this likely will do for it opening weekend.

“Oz” fell a bit over 50% from its opening day, with the entire weekend expected to fall a bit less to come in at around $40 million, making it the standout film of the year so far and likely to realize a total domestic gross somewhere around $250 million or more. The negative cost of over $200 million plus marketing expenses could keep this from being a major profit center for Disney (international has performed well but not extraordinarily so far). But whatever the company’s bottom line, having at least one strong new film in play keeps the overall industry situation less bad than it could have been.

The Halle Berry-starring thriller “The Call” looks like an easy #2 for the weekend, with a Friday gross of over $6 million continuing the string of modest low-budget genre successes that have filled a big part of the box office this year so far. The Steve Carrell/Jim Carrey starring “Burt Wonderstone” failed to reach $4 million to become the latest in a string of star-driven films from Warners to underperform. The rest of the top 10 all took in under $2 million for the day.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Spring Breakers, Harmony Korine


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.