By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood March 3, 2013 at 1:16PM
$9,000,000 in 2,771 theaters; PSA: $3,248; Cumulative: $9,000,000
Made cheaply ($13 million) and directed by the co-writers of "The Hangover" (from their script), this raunchy college comedy underperformed by a significant margin. Held back from critics and without major names, Relativity -- fresh off its success with "Safe Haven" -- had hoped to score with a counterprogrammer against "Jack the Giant Slayer." But instead the flick fell short of the fourth weekend of the comedy hit of the moment ("Identity Thief").
With production costs funded in part from Chinese sources (apparently the release there will be edited), this looked like a good bet up front. But unlike some of the low-budget horror successes in recent weeks, capturing the audience for an R-rated comedy with unknowns can be a challenge.
What comes next: Unless word of mouth is better than expected, this will likely be a two-week film in the top ten topping out at $25 million, somewhere in the range of the film's marketing costs.
4. The Last Exorcism Part II (CBS) NEW - Cinemascore: C-; Metacritic score: 38
$8,300,000 in 2,700 theaters: PSA: $2,974; Cumulative: $8,300,000
Lionsgate released the initial film to a #1 opening of $20 million (doubling to $40 domestic). This sequel was made on a modest scale - $4 million cost, with CBS acquiring for $3 million, then providing the much higher cost marketing.
The latter makes this gross less than overwhelming despite its initial economy, particularly with a Cinemascore suggesting a brief shelf life.
This was not directed by an unknown as so many horror sequels are, but rather by Canadian Ed Gass-Donnelly, whose 2010 "Small Town Murder Songs" showed at Toronto before gaining a cult-following in its limited release.
What comes next: CBS early last year scored with both "The Woman in Black" and the more limited "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen." This will have a much briefer run.
5. Snitch (Lionsgate) Week 2 - Last Weekend: #2
$7,700,000 (-42%) in 2,511 theaters (unchanged); PSA: $3,067; Cumulative: $24,410,000
Normal fall off for this father-son crime drama starring The Rock, showing reasonable audience reaction despite the less than spectacular opening.
What comes next: This seems headed to around a $40 million total, with likely modest foreign revenue kicking this into break-even or a bit above.
6. Escape from Planet Earth (Weinstein) Week 3 - Last Weekend: #3
$6,726,000 (-37%) in 3,110 theaters (-243); PSA: $2,163; Cumulative: $43,213,000
Whatever this project's internal complications (the producers and Weinstein settled a lawsuit last week over the latter's handling of the film), this continues to perform adequately. Though "Jack the Giant Killer" cut into its core kids' audience, this still had a modest drop. Its total gross is still less than two thirds of what "The Lorax" opened to a year ago for its first three days, but the budget was far lower as well.
What comes next: With spring breaks ahead, this should hold on most of the month and have a shot at $70 million or more, which would be better than anticipated.
7. Safe Haven (Relativity) Week 3 - Last Weekend: #4
$6,300,000 (-40%) in 2,951 theaters (-272); PSA: $2,135; Cumulative: $57,093,000
Continuing its successful run, this now appears likely to exceed the level of most other recent Nicholas Sparks adaptations and provide Relativity with one of its most successful releases.
What comes next: Clearly getting a solid audience reaction, this should be around in or near the top ten for a few more weeks.
8. Silver Linings Playbook (Weinstein) Week 16 - Last Weekend: #7
$5,941,000 (+3%) in 1,836 theaters (-176); PSA: $3,236; Cumulative: $115,521,000
Getting the biggest post-Oscar bump as the Weinstein timing of its multi-month release proved on target, this Best Actress-winning film shows no sign of disappearing anytime soon.
What comes next: This won't be the biggest grossing Oscar film - its ultimate total likely will fall short of the winners in the other top categories. But it was by far the least expensive in initial budget, and even with massive marketing/Oscar campaign costs, their bet has paid off.
9. A Good Day to Die Hard (20th Century-Fox) Week 3 - Last Weekend: #5
$4,500,000 (-56%) in 2,589 theaters (-966); PSA: $1,738; Cumulative: $59,624,000
Falling hard and fast, this is limping toward a disappointing domestic take of about $70 million.
What comes next: Foreign could push this to breakeven, but whatever the total, this has been a disappointment, although not to the same degree as other action releases so far this year.
10. Dark Skies (Weinstein) Week 2 - Last Weekend: #6
$3,556,000 (-57%) in 2,313 theaters (unchanged); PSA: $1,537; Cumulative: $13,453,000
The horror-film pickup next gained traction and is headed for a quick fade-out.
What comes next: Weinstein's Dimension division has a long track record of genre success, but in a winter with some real success in scary movies, their entry fell quite short.