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

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood October 27, 2012 at 5:30PM

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 54), 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.
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Cloud Atlas Tom Hanks
'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

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office


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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.