It’s a relatively uneventful Super Bowl weekend. My apologies, but this will be another short Friday piece. The top new release of the weekend is That Awkward Moment. The Focus Features-distributed romantic comedy, which cost just $8 million to produce, earned $9.01 million on its debut weekend. Super Bowl weekend didn’t help, as it fell victim to the usual game day Sunday plunge, losing 65% of its Saturday audience. That’s sadly normal for Super Bowl weekend. With relatively poor reviews, little real buzz, and little sense of what the film was actually about from its marketing, the film got by purely via its star power.
Zac Efron will get most of the credit, as perhaps he should, but Miles Teller and especially Michael B. Jordan are names with growing recognition, offering what amounts to “added value”. Of course, considering The Spectacular Now and Fruitvale Station both earned well below $20m, maybe they meant nothing at all. This is no smash hit, but considering the core Efron fan base still aren’t quite old enough to get into an R-rated film, there isn’t much to complain about. A bigger debut may have meant something, especially for its up-and-coming male stars, but that didn’t happen. This is a clear case of low cost, tiny risk, and small reward. Focus Features payed $1.5m to distribute the film, which played 61% under 25 and 64% female.
The only other new release was Jason Reitman’s Labor Day. The film was originally supposed to debut over Christmas weekend last year as a would-be Oscar contender, but it was moved to this Super Bowl weekend slot. The reviews were pretty vicious towards the Josh Brolin/Kate Winslet romantic drama, even if many of them reek of “Eww, female escapist fantasy gave me cooties!”. As such, with no Oscar heat and the lack of any actual box office draws (Winslet and Brolin are “names” but are not draws), the Paramount film earned $5.3 million for the weekend. The film only cost $18m, so the damage will be minimal. The bad news is that this adds fuel to the idea that a would-be Oscar bait film moved out of December is automatically terrible, which is unfortunate for those who want would-be Oscar movies year-round.
The most interesting holdover of the weekend is once-again Frozen. In an effort to gin up more box office and/or screw over Warner Bros.’ The Lego Movie (which of course opens next weekend), Walt Disney released a special sing-along version of the animated adventure. The trick seems to have worked, as the film earned another $9.3 million, up 2% from last weekend, with $2.2m coming from the sing-along version itself. It scored the fourth-biggest “10th weekend” (in wide release) and the third-biggest “11th weekend” (overall) on the books. With a new domestic cume of $360m, it should pass the $368m domestic gross of Despicable Me 2 by the end of this week. Oh, and it’s at $864m worldwide to boot. Also in good Disney news, Saving Mr. Banks crossed $80m domestic this weekend, although it will probably top out at over/under $90m.
The top film of the weekend was once again be Ride Along. The Kevin Hart/Ice Cube franchise-starter earned another $12.3 million in its third weekend, bringing its impressive total up to $92.9m. Lone Survivor, also a Universal (a division of Comcast) release, earned $7.4m over the weekend, bringing its total to $104m. It’s just $4m away from Black Hawk Down‘s $108m domestic gross, which it should pass over the next week. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit earned another $5.4m in its third weekend, down and bringing its cume to $38.9m. It’s already losing screens (-480) and should crawl to the $50m mark and exit accordingly.
The Nut Job is enjoying its last weekend of peace before getting stomped by The Lego Movie, earning a solid $7.6m (-40%) and bringing its total up to $50.25m. Also of note, Gravity returned to IMAX this weekend and dropped just 1% from last weekend earning another $2m for a $263.972m cume, with $1.1m coming from IMAX. Speaking of IMAX, The Monkey King broke the single-day record for an IMAX film in China, earning $1.8m on 140 IMAX screens and $4.5m for the weekend in IMAX alone.
The Wolf Of Wall Street crossed $100m domestic over the last week, and it earned another $3.5m to push its domestic total to $104m. That puts it just over the $102m gross of The Aviator to make it Scorsese’s third-biggest grosser behind Shutter Island ($128m) and The Departed ($132m). A fellow Oscar contender, Sony's American Hustle, earned $4.3m (-39%), bringing its cume to $133,6m. It has officially surpassed the $130m domestic gross of The Silver Linings Playbook to become David O’Russell’s biggest domestic earner ever.
Her won a Best Original Screenplay award from the Writer’s Guild last night and crossed $20m domestic on Friday. It’s weekend total was just $1.21m for a new total of $21.258m. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug earned another $1.24 million (-42%) for a cume of $254.27m while Grudge Match earned $69k (-32%) for a $29.34m cume. I, Frankenstein, from Lionsgate, dropped an expected 59% from last weekend, earning $3.5m and bringing its total to a sad $14 million. The Legend of Hercules, also distributed by Lionsgate, dropped 57% and earned another $525k, bringing its total to $17.9m.
Sony’s Captain Phillips earned $176k (-30%) for a cume of $106.547m while Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 earned another $186k (-31%), bringing the cume to $119.122m. Nebraska earned another $1.14m on 875 screens for a new total of $13.6m, while Anchorman 2 earned $320k for a $124.4m cume. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones earned $80k for a new domestic total of $32.2m.August: Osage County also passed the $30m mark, but it will need a surprise Oscar victory to get much higher than $40m.
That’s it for this weekend. Join us next time for the sure-t0-be-huge debut of Warner Bros.’ The Lego Movie (review Monday morning) and the release of Sony’s Monuments Men (review Wednesday morning).