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Saturday Box Office Preview: 'Cloud Atlas' Does Not Float

Box Office
by Tom Brueggemann
October 27, 2012 5:30 PM
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'Cloud Atlas'

Warner Bros. could have bragging rights with the top two films this weekend (based on Friday's grosses), but the reality is they can't be too happy with the poor performance of "Cloud Atlas." The Wachowski siblings/Tom Tykwer collaboration actually came in #3 for the day (just under $3.5 million). But with weak reviews (Metacritic score 55), an audience response of C+ on Cinemascore and a reported $100 million budget, this looks like it is headed for cult status rather than hit.

A perfect storm of negatives -- major population centers focused on Hurricane Sandy, competition from Halloween parties and a weak set of new films (since most distributors shun pre-Halloween weekend for top releases) led to a big downturn in grosses for Friday. "Argo" -- holding well on strong word of mouth but still falling 20% -- is set to be #1 for the three days after two weeks as #2, with "Cloud Atlas" and new horror film of the week "Silent Hill: Revelation" battling for runner up -- that is, unless the fifth weekend of "Hotel Transylania" leaps ahead, which is quite possible with matinees the next two days.

Business fell almost 40% from last Friday, with storm preparations one factor. But any time two new wide release studio releases don't even make the top 10 -- which could happen to both Paramount's "Fun Size" and Fox's "Chasing Mavericks," the problems go much deeper.

"Flight" next week should get much more positive results (assuming the storm has passed). But these grosses are enough to make both studio execs and theater owners lose sleep. ( Check back for detailed analysis Sunday.)

The Friday top 10:

  1. "Argo" (Warner Bros.) - $4.0 million
  2. "Silent Hill: Revelation" (Open Road) - $ 3.5 million
  3. "Cloud Atlas" (Warner Bros.) - $3.5 million
  4. "Paranormal Activity" (Paramount) - $3.1 million
  5. "Taken 2" (20th Century-Fox) - $2.6 million
  6. "Hotel Transylvania" (Sony) - $2.6 million
  7. "Sinister" (Lionsgate) - $1.8 million
  8. "Alex Cross" (Lionsgate) - $1.7 million
  9. "Here Comes the Boom" (Sony) - $1.6 million
  10. "Pitch Perfect" (Universal) - $1.4 million
Box Office
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  • Able Lawrence | October 28, 2012 5:25 AMReply

    If you look at the fine print, Cloud Atlas has the highest average collections per screen and show. One big factor is the "R" ratings which immediately take many families with kids out of the picture. The average meta-critic ratings are a poor reflection on the quality of the film which is either liked immensely or disliked depending on your inclinations mental abilities Either you get it or you dont. This is a movie which is best enjoyed over repeated viewings with the enjoyment increasing as you absorb more of it

  • sergio | November 2, 2012 5:53 PM

    No it wasn't the rating. The problem was that Warners did a really lousy job of selling it. Or rather they had NO idea how to sell it. Even that extended six minute trailer they released was of no help. And audiences like to know what a film is about before they decide whether to see it or not. In Atlas case they couldn't figure it out so they stayed away

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