By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood April 27, 2014 at 1:44PM
3. Heaven Is for Real (Sony) Week 2 - Last weekend #2
$13,800,000 (-39%) in 2,705 theaters (+288); PSA: $5,102; Cumulative: $51,911,000
A 39% drop after the ready-made Easter holiday weekend (with the help of added theaters) confirms what was apparent already - this sleeper faith-based low budget film is on its way to a possible $100 million-plus domestic take. Its per-screen-average, actually, is second only to "The Other Woman" this weekend. The strong hold was predictable after this managed the daily #1 spot for last Easter Sunday, and Tuesday and Wednesday.
What comes next: Already reaching beyond the core religious demo, this seems to be clicking with a broader middle-American audience, which should at least double its total. Its gross in 12 days is about equal to the other recent, more ideologically fervent "God's Not Dead," in play since late March.
4. Rio 2 (20th Century Fox) Week 3 - Last weekend #3
$13,650,000 (-39%) in 3,703 theaters (-272); PSA: $3,686; Cumulative: $96,158,000
Though it lags about $8 million behind the first "Rio" through three domestic weekends, the worldwide take -- over $300 million so far, with considerably more to come -- ranks it among the most successful films thus far this year. A 90% Saturday pickup shows that this is firing on most cylinders with its core kids audience.
What comes next: Though indie "Legend of Oz" opens in two weeks, this has nearly all of May without another studio animated film to compete with, so "Rio 2" might yet equal the domestic take of the first go-round.
5. Brick Mansions (Relativity) NEW - Cinemascore: B+; Criticwire: B-; Metacritic: 40
$9,600,000 in 2,647 theaters; PSA: $2,390; Cumulative: $9,600,000
This French-Canadian coproduction is yet another film from Luc Besson's EuropaCorp ("3 Days to Kill" and "The Family" previously) to be released by Relativity. Like most of Besson's English-language films, it replicates American studio elements at a much lower cost ($28 million reported), with likely international returns supplementing the domestic take to expectedly profitable results. This is a decent but hardly spectacular opening. While it at least exceeds pre-weekend estimates, Saturday was barely up from Friday. A remake of the 2004 low budget Paris-set actioner "District B13" (released by Magnolia in the U.S.), "Brick Mansions" most notably features the late Paul Walker in one of his last performances. He stars as a cop battling a crime lord in Detroit in this English-language replication of the story, if not setting, of the original. Walker, of course, thrived in the "Fast and Furious" franchise, but never fully blossomed into a go-to leading star in other projects. His only other top-billed film to open to over $20 million was "Eight Below" (he was also among the "Flags of Our Fathers" ensemble). The first-time director, Camille Delamarre, was known previously as an editor on Besson's productions.
What comes next: It's hard to see this film not getting overwhelmed by the "Spider-Man 2" onslaught next week. Without an average hold, this will fall short of Relativity's recent "Oculus," which at a much lower budget looks to get to about $25 million
6. Transcendence (Warner Bros.) Week 2 - Last weekend #4
$4,105,000 (-62%) in 3,455 theaters (unchanged); PSA: $1,188; Cumulative: $18,472,000
Weakness in the overall Top Ten kept this Johnny Depp starrer from placing lower as it seemed likely to as of yesterday, but that's the extent of the good news, as a 62% drop from a very weak start confirms that this is going to be among the top losers of the first third of 2014
What comes next: Foreign, led by Depp-friendly China, is ahead of domestic so far, but initial returns suggest Warner Bros. will fall far short of what is needed to propel this into success.
7. The Quiet Ones (Lionsgate) NEW - Cinemascore: C+; Criticwire: C+; Metacritic: 45
$4,000,000 in 2,027 theaters; PSA: $2,027; Cumulative: $4,000,000
Yet another horror-genre misfire, as once-reliable Lionsgate -- well-positioned with its bigger franchises -- is no longer able to use horror movies as a money-making machine. But unlike some of their more successful ones (e.g. the "Saw" films), this was an acquisition with more limited investment. This British production stars Jared Harris of "Mad Men" (itself a Lionsgate production) as an Oxford professor conducting experiments on an apparently demon-possessed girl. Produced by one of the top names in earlier horror films -- recently revived Hammer -- this already opened to mild response in the U.K. (#5 its first week, with a 72% second weekend drop). Of note is the co-screenplay credit: Oren Moverman, director/writer of "The Messenger" and "Rampart."
What comes next: With only one new wide release ahead, this might eke out a second Top Ten week.
8. Bears (Buena Vista) Week 2 - Last weekend #10
$3,606,000 (-24%) in 1,720 theaters (unchanged); PSA: $2,097; Cumulative: $11,153,000
This is a week where a drop of only 24% can result in jumping two slots. Disney's latest low-budget nature documentary actually managed to gross ahead of their other, Spring nature-based releases after opening behind them, showing that this might have a longer run and more success than it seemed likely last week.
What comes next: The lack of family-oriented fare near-term will aid the cause.
9. Divergent (Lionsgate) Week 6 - Last weekend #7
$3,600,000 (-36%) in 2,066 theaters (-420); PSA: $1,742; Cumulative: $139,463,000
continued loss in screen count, the combination of decent word-of-mouth
and lack of intense competition helped sustain the ongoing solid
performance of Lionsgate's most recent young adult franchise starter.
What comes next: This appears headed for above $300 million worldwide, not at "Hunger Games" or "Twilight" levels, but with a source material lacking the same initial appeal, this is a strong showing for the Lionsgate/Summit production.
10. A Haunted House 2 (Open Road) Week 2 - Last weekend #5
$3,265,000 (-63%) in 2,310 theaters (unchanged); PSA: $1,413; Cumulative: $14,246,000
This second weekend grossed only about 40% of the similar one for the original last year, even further behind in results than its disappointing first weekend.
What comes next: "Haunted House 2" will find it tough to scare up much more than $17,500,000, while last year Open Road managed to get to $40 million.