Weekend Box Office (February 8 - 10, 2013)
by Sujit Chawla
THIS WEEKEND Universal's Identity Thief blew onto the scene with a surprisingly strong opening, while Steven Soderbergh's supposed last directorial effort debuted mildly in third. Returning films held on reasonably well, especially those of the Oscar variety.
Exploding into first place was Identity Thief starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy with $34.6M from 3,141 theaters for a potent average of $11,000, according to final studio figures. Despite the controversial review of formerly influential reviewer Rex Reed, audiences dug the film which outgunned the opening weekends of Bateman's Horrible Bosses ($28.3M) and McCarthy's Bridesmaids ($26.2) both from the summer of 2011. Instead Identity Thief opened in line with last year's spring hit 21 Jump Street which debuted with $36.3M on its way to $138.7M. If last year was the year of Tatum, could this year be the year of McCarthy, who has The Heat co-starring Sandra Bullock on tap for later this summer.
Second place belonged to the warm and fuzzy zombies of Warm Bodies. Dipping a reasonable 44% from its debut weekend, the Summit release ate up $11.4M bringing its cume to $36.5M.
Third place belonged to Side Effects directed by Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh, who claims this will be his last film. The thriller, which stars last year's It Boy Tatum, couldn't live up to the pairs last collaboration Magic Mike ($39.1M from last summer) and opened mildly with $9.3M from 2,605 theaters for a per screen average of only $3,571. I have a hard time imagining Soderbergh will be happy to go out on a note like this, so I'm betting he'll be back in the next couple of years.
The rest of the top 10 had a familiar look to it as Oscar films continued their push to Super Sunday on the 24th of this month. Leading the pack in its 13th weekend was Silver Linings Playbook, which fell a slim 17% to $6.4M this weekend bringing its total to $89.5M. Fifth place belonged to the fairy tale darlings Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters which dropped 39% from last weekend to $5.8M, bringing its cume to $43.8M.
Sixth place belonged to the horror-thriller Mama which slipped 36% to $4.2M and a current total of $64M, impressive for a horror film. Jennifer Lawrence's biggest rival for the Best Actress Oscar landed in seventh place as Jessica Chastain and Zero Dark Thirty slid 23% from last weekend to $4M bringing the war thriller to $83.6M.
On an amazing award winning streak, Ben Affleck's Argo added 470 theaters this weekend and jumped back into the top 10 in its 18th weekend, adding an additional $2.4M bringing its total to $123.6M. Fellow Best Picture nominee Django Unchained took in $2.3M this weekend, bringing Quentin Tarantino's highest grossing film to $154.5M.
And rounding out the top 10 was the Sylvester Stallone flop Bullet to the Head which dropped 54% from its dull opening to $2.1M, bringing its miserable total to $8.3M. One other film of note, the 3D IMAX re-release of Tom Cruise's classic Top Gun debuted just outside the top 10 with $2M from 300 screens for a per screen average of $6,552, second best in the top 20.
The top ten films grossed $82.4M which was down 51% from last year when The Vow and Safe House both debuted north of $40M; and down 36% from 2011 when the triumvirate of Just Go With It, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and Gnomeo & Juliet all opened between $25M and $30M.
Compared to projections, Identity Thief doubled Gitesh's $18M forecast while Side Effects opened on par with his $11M prediction.
Get earlier box office updates and analysis by following BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.
|#||Title||Feb 8 - 10||Feb 1 - 3||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||Identity Thief||$ 34,551,025||3,141||1||$ 11,000||$ 34,551,025||Universal|
|3||Side Effects||9,303,145||2,605||1||3,571||9,303,145||Open Road|
|4||Silver Linings Playbook||6,425,271||7,738,058||-17.0||2,809||13||2,287||89,519,510||Weinstein Co.|
|5||Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters||5,753,165||9,423,274||-38.9||3,285||3||1,751||43,836,018||Paramount|
|7||Zero Dark Thirty||4,006,860||5,176,428||-22.6||2,562||8||1,564||83,567,450||Sony|
|9||Django Unchained||2,303,495||3,002,769||-23.3||1,502||7||1,534||154,516,627||Weinstein Co.|
|10||Bullet to the Head||2,078,192||4,548,201||-54.3||2,404||2||864||8,269,214||Warner Bros.|
|11||Top Gun 3D||1,965,737||300||1||6,552||1,965,737||Paramount|
|14||Life of Pi||1,745,744||1,872,632||-6.8||924||12||1,889||108,530,249||Fox|
|16||The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey||1,468,374||3,385,361||-56.6||1,001||7||1,467||298,333,426||Warner Bros.|
|Top 5||$ 67,388,696||$ 49,282,697||36.7|
|Top 20 vs. 2012||96,894,712||183,749,638||-47.3|
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: February 11, 2013 at 4:50PM ET
Watch Gitesh Pandya's weekly box office preview on CNN International airing live each Thursday at 6:40pm ET.
©1997 - 2013 Box Office Guru