Warm Bodies is kind of the classic “The Adults Don’t Get It” programmer for a January. Following on the troubled Hansel & Gretel opening well and invisible-to-adults Mama opening really well, a third opening of around $20 million for a “stupid film for bored teen idiots” is being explained away by the all-so-grown-up media. But almost the entire history of successful January launches at the box office is junk, horror, and Oscar expansions.
Bottom line, there have no been a lot of $100m hits out of January. Almost all of them are expansions from award season. But journalists also forget how sucked-dry the audiences are over the holidays. The lull is comparable in many ways to the summer leading to September. Just cyclical. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a Taken, but that movie truly was a phenom… and only ended up with $140m domestic, which would be “just okay” mid-summer.
Truly dumped movies like Bullet to the Head and Parker are dumped every month of the year. Teh strategy on these seems to be a cheap theatrical, hoping for a miracle, followed by milking post-theatrical as best they can. This is the new frontier of VOD, I think. Bachelorette, it should be acknowledged, kinda started it. But the VOD market for higher end junk than Magnet – meaning movie stars – seems ready to become a viable business.
At the end of the weekend, Lincoln passes $170m, Django Unchained passes $150m, and Les Miserables passes $140m.
The Gatekeepers is the muscular new limited release with over $14k per screen for the weekend on 3. Koch is doing some solid business in NYC. And Dave Grohl’s Sound City is also doing pretty well.