By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com
The Weekend Report
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey staved off a torrent of new product to easily retain top spot in the marketplace with an estimated $36.6 million. Its closest competition came from Tom Cruise actioner Jack Reacher and mid-life comedy This is 40, which debuted respectively with $15.5 million and $12.1 million. Two other national releases opened to listless results. The mother-son road movie The Guilt Trip had an opening weekend of $5.3 million and the reissue of Monsters Inc. found $5 million in its stocking.
The frame also saw the national launch (it opened in home ring Québec two weeks ago) of Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Apart with $2.1 million and Bollywood’s Debangg 2 was a solid but not record breaking $980,000 at 155 locations. And also in Québec, the hockey comedy genre went pint-sized with Les Pee-Wee 3D scoring $280,000 at 88 rinks.
In exclusives the big bang was the controversial Zero Dark Thirty with $408,000 ($640,000 since Wednesday) at five sites. Also off to a strong start was Foreign-Language Oscar-tipped Amour with a $68,300 tally from three apartments. Otherwise results for late-year contenders, including the tsunami-themed The Impossible, Beat classic On the Road and coming-of-age Not Fade Away were softish but not yet irreparable.
Weekend revenues crawled toward $115 million for a 19% decline from seven days earlier. The soft openings of several new entries also translated into a 14% drop from 2011 when the second weekends of Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows led with respective grosses of $29.5 million and $20.3 million. The top freshmen titles were The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ($12.7 million) and The Adventures of Tintin ($9.7 million).
Still, box office to date (with eight days left in the year) has surpassed last year’s total and is now almost 2% ahead of the entire 2011 figure with a week and a bit to slip into the stocking.
Critical response to Jack Reacher was generally positive with caveats about the film’s violent strain. Regardless, it fell short of a $20 million-plus projected opening and may not be the new franchise hoped for in the star’s future. The film tilted 60% male and needs to connect more demonstrably with Cruise’s female base. It was also 76% aged 25 years and older according to studio exit polls.
This is 40 was considerably closer to expectations and demographics. Its opening weekend crowd was 57% female and 74% aged 25 and over. Its future largely rests on word-of-mouth which thus far has been less than four-star endorsements.
But it looks like a traffic accident for The Guilt Trip, which failed to bring in younger fans of Seth Rogen and was largely skewered by the critical community. Barbra Streisand fans anxious to see the icon in her first major film role in a decade translated into a viewership that was 60% female and 82% aged 25 years on up.
The vacuum of films for a younger demographic could well elevate the opening box office of Django Unchained next week.
Tensions continue to mount between the film industry and the Motion Picture Academy over the latter’s ramped-up nomination-broadcast schedule. Ballots are already out and historically members are quick to return their ballots, which can’t be good for the likes of Les Misérables and Zero Dark Thirty. Reaction to the announcement of nominees on Jan. 10, 2013 could well result in some tweaking of the process in what appears to be an awkward period of adjustment.
|Weekend (estimates) December 21 – 23, 2012|
|Title||Distributor||Gross (avg)||% chng||Thtrs||Cume|
|The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey||WB||36.6 (8,930)||-49%||4100||149.8|
|Jack Reacher||Par||15.5 (4,630)||NEW||3352||15.5|
|This is 40||Uni||12.1 (4,160)||NEW||2913||12.1|
|Rise of the Guardians||Par||5.9 (1,750)||-17%||3387||79.7|
|The Guilt Trip||Par||5.3 (2,200)||NEW||2431||7.4|
|Monsters Inc. (reissue)||BV||5.0 (1,910)||NEW||2618||6.5|
|Life of Pi||Fox||3.8 (2,190)||-29%||1750||76.2|
|The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2||Lions Gate||2.7 (1,340)||-48%||2000||281.7|
|Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Apart||Par||2.1 (2,490)||NEW||840||2.2|
|Wreck-It Ralph||BV||2.0 (1,360)||-39%||1444||171.9|
|Silver Linings Playbook||Weinstein Co.||1.8 (4,800)||-16%||371||19.9|
|Debangg 2||Eros||1.0 (6,290)||NEW||155||1|
|Red Dawn||Film District||.79 (780)||-67%||1011||42.6|
|Anna Karenina||Focus||.67 (2,020)||-34%||331||9.6|
|Hitchcock||Fox Searchlight||.59 (1,100)||-47%||535||4.2|
|Playing for Keeps||Film District||.42 (500)||-46%||851||12.4|
|Zero Dark Thirty||Sony||.41 (81,660)||NEW||5||0.64|
|Hyde Park on Hudson||Focus||.39 (4,510)||32%||86||0.92|
|Hotel Transylvania||Sony||.32 (980)||331%||331||144.3|
|Les Pee-Wee 3D||Seville||.28 (3,200)||-25%||88||0.28|
|Taken 2||Fox||.21 (770)||-27%||275||138.5|
|Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)||$107.95|
|% Change (Last Year)||-14%|
|% Change (Last Week)||-19%|
|The Impossible||Lions Gate||.13 (8,970)||15||0.13|
|Rust and Bone||Sony Classics||.12 (4,610)||117%||27||0.36|
|Amour||Sony Classics||68,300 (22,770)||3||0.1|
|Chasing Ice||National Geo||57,600 (1,240)||-12%||47||0.72|
|On the Road||IFC||39,800 (9,950)||4||0.04|
|Sarocharu||Blue Sky||32,400 (1.350)||24||0.03|
|Not Fade Away||Par||18,200 (6.070)||3||0.02|
|Whatcha Wearin’?||CJ Entertain.||6,600 (6,600)||1||0.01|
|Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Dec. 20, 2012)|
|Distributor (releases)||Gross||Market Share|
|Warner Bros. (27)||1532.6||14.80%|
|Buena Vista (17)||1503.3||14.60%|
|Lions Gate (20)||1201.1||11.60%|
|20th Century Fox (18)||976.5||9.50%|
|Weinstein Co. (18)||178.2||1.70%|
|Open Road (6)||138.5||1.40%|
|Fox Searchlight (10)||115.3||1.10%|
|Film District (5)||58.3||0.50%|
|Sony Classics (20)||47||0.45%|
|Other * (339)||289.3||2.80%|
|* none greater than 0.4%|
|Top Domestic Grossers (Jan. 1 – Dec. 20, 2012)|
|The Dark Knight Rises||WB||448,159,219|
|The Hunger Games||Lions Gate||408,043,896|
|The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2||Lions Gate||279,005,734|
|The Amazing Spider-Man||Sony||262,083,357|
|Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted||Par||216,509,794|
|Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax||Uni||214,571,106|
|Men in Black III||Sony||179,199,159|
|Ice Age: Continental Drift||Fox||161,029,989|
|Snow White and the Huntsman||Uni||155,326,249|
|21 Jump Street||Sony||138,591,227|