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Super Bowl Weekend Saved by Strong Holdovers 'Ride Along' and 'Frozen;' 'Labor Day' Opens in Seventh Place

Thompson on Hollywood By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood February 2, 2014 at 1:44PM

Despite two new disappointing films (Focus's "That Awkward Moment" and Paramount's "Labor Day"), holdovers sustained this typically low-grossing Super Bowl weekend. Universal sleeper hit "Ride Along" and Disney's unstoppable "Frozen" led the way to a Top 10 that totaled $67 million, up slightly from last year, and continuing the steady improvement so far in 2014.
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Kate Winslet in 'Labor Day'
Kate Winslet in 'Labor Day'

$7,200,000 (-44%) in 3,285 theaters (+123); PSA: $3,285; Cumulative: $104,900,000

Still solid in its fourth wide release week, passing $100 million, Peter Berg's war rescue film now has outgrossed "Zero Dark 30" despite not remotely having the same level of critical acclaim or awards.

What comes next: Expect more military-themed projects ahead as once again middle America responded to a gritty, tough story that combined heroics with action.

6. Jack Ryan - Shadow Recruit (Paramount) Week 3; Last weekend #5

$5,400,000 (-41%) in 2,907 theaters (-480); PSA: $1,858; Cumulative: $38,968,000

The good news for Paramount is that the slower-opening international take is ahead of lagging domestic so far, with the chance still of breaking even (the $60 million budget is low for this kind of film). But this will struggle to come close to much more than $50 million stateside.

What comes next: Tough to see this being sustained as a franchise with this kind of response.

7. Labor Day (Paramount) NEW Cinemascore: B-; Criticwire: B; Metacritic: 51

$5,300,000 in 2,584 theaters; PSA: $2,051; Cumulative: $5,300,000

The first of Jason Reitman's films to open wide (although this had a one-week qualifying run in Los Angeles in late December, with its only reward a Golden Globe nomination for Kate Winslet; his previous films had a normal initial-platform slower roll-out), this is a disappointing result that parallels the critical response, far below what most of his previous ones (including "Juno" and "Up in the Air") received. Though Kate Winslet is one of the most acclaimed actresses of her time, she hasn't been a major factor since her Oscar win (a more commercial project "Contagion" in 2011 was more of an ensemble piece, and "Carnage" made little impact), so this looked like a potential return to form. Instead, this is struggling to reach even the low level of Reitman's last film, "Young Adult," which ended up at $16.3 million. The comparisons are ugly for "Labor Day." "Adult" opened limited in mid-December 2011, then in only a bit more than a third as many theaters on a usually weak pre-Christmas weekend grossed $3.4 million, for a PSA of $3,451, much better than for this wider run, then benefited from the later holiday playtime. This at least went up Saturday from Friday, suggesting that it might have some life left, but clearly this is a disappointing response.

Reitman makes economical films, but even at a thrifty $18 million, the added cost of the wide release will make this a financial loss for them and co-producers Indian Paintbrush (who also are associated with Wes Anderson's recent films as well as Reitman's last film and "Stoker" - all risky but interesting projects). This was a straightforward romantic drama without the comedic elements that elevated his previous successes.

Winslet has a co-starring role in the bigger budget "Divergent" coming up in three weeks, so this might be a temporary blip on her radar. Costar Josh Brolin hasn't had a big hit since "True Grit," with both "Oldboy" and "Gangster Squad" as 2013 disappointments.

What comes next: Next weekend will show if the Saturday increase might suggest some decent word of mouth. But unless it recovers quickly, this will be off screen soon after.

8. American Hustle (Sony) Week 8; Last weekend #7

$4,300,000 (-39%) in 2,216 theaters (-88); PSA: $1,940; Cumulative: $132,100,000

With its recent Producers, Directors and now Writers' Guild losses hurting its once strong Oscar hopes, Sony and Annapurna Productions can take solace in the fact that this now has reached the gross of David Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" and now is his biggest film ever, at least domestic (it has some distance to go worldwide yet).

What comes next: Irrespective of awards, this should easily top $150 million by some distance.

9. The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount) Week 6; Last weekend #8

$3,550,000 (-35%) in 1,607 theaters (-97); PSA: $2,209; Cumulative: $104,077,000

Remember that C Cinemascore? Now that this has passed $100 million, that looks a bit silly. Though this is fading and doesn't have a lot further to go, this result combined with even stronger initial foreign results (handled by a number of distributors, led by Universal) has made this a success despite divisive content and a three-hour length.

What comes next: After the commercial flop of "Hugo," Scorsese is clearly back.

10. I, Frankenstein (Lionsgate) Week 2; Last weekend #6

$3,520,000 (-59%) in 2,753 theaters (unchanged); PSA: $1,279; Cumulative: $14,490,000

The latest and most expensive horror flop dropped 60% from its weak opening.

What comes next: Don't expect "I Dracula" anytime soon.





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


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