Sunday, July 14, 2013

Weekend Box Office

We can bemoan til the end of the time that the summer movie seasons is nothing more than a cacophony of sequels and spectacles (not to mention the latest iterations of global terrorists on display for our popcorn enjoyment), and yet we bemoan as well when Hollywood has the nerve or gall to present a grandly expensive original property in the mix.  "Original" is a strange choice for words in the case of the last weekend big Disney blunder The Lone Ranger, a property that has existed for decades, as well as this weekend's offering, Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro's Transformers meets Godzilla, monsters vs. machines spectacular spectacular, but for all the franchise-in-wait question marks, both films couldn't excite audience interest more than the readily-disposable, already franchises.  Whatever the cause and whatever the effect, Despicable Me 2 again topped the box office charts this weekend, and Grown Ups 2, the latest in Adam Sandler's middle finger to cinema opened in a close runner-up showing, assuring that #3's are coming to a theater new a few summers from now.

  1. Despicable Me 2 (-46%)- $44.7 million / $229 total
  2. Grown Ups 2 (new)- $42 million- which is slightly ahead of the 2010's original, and a bright spot for distributor Sony after expensive flops After Earth and White House Down-- "bright spot" is a loose term.
  3. Pacific Rim (new)- $38.3 million- Guillermo del Toro may not yet be ready for primetime, but this will be a curious one to watch, considering it's widely all-over-the-place reception.
  4. The Heat (-43%)- $14 million / $112 million total
  5. The Lone Ranger (-61%)- $11 million / $71 million total
  6. Monsters University (-46%)- $10 million / $237 million total
  7. World War Z (-48%)- $9.4 million / $177 million total
  8. White House Down (-54%)- $6.1 million / $62 million total
  9. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain (-50%)- $5 million / $26 million total
  10. Man of Steel (-57%)- $4 million / $280 million total

The Way, Way Back- The Fox Searchlight comedy expanded nicely in its second weekend of limited play grossing $1.1 million on 79 screens for a stellar per-screen average of $14,000.  It has now earned $1.8 million total.
Fruitvale Station- The Weinstein Company Sundance winner concerning the real life story of the murder of a young black Bay Area resident in 2009 opened as the Zimmerman trail was closing, providing a frightening, even-more-in-the-headlines sense of urgency to the from-the-headlines story.  While it's strikingly cynical, it's a story that even media shark Harvey Weinstein himself couldn't have concocted to be so eerily in-sync.  The awards hopeful had one of the years strongest per-screen averages of $53,000 on a mere seven screens, debuting to a stellar $377,000 first weekend gross, with the potential to be a counter-programming summer success story.
Crystal Fairy- Michael Cera's drug comedy, which debuted at Sundance this year, netted a $12,000 per-screen average on 2 screens.

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