Weekend Box Office (April 19 - 21, 2013)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND Now in his fourth decade of scoring number one hit movies, Tom Cruise enjoyed one of the best openings of his entire career with the futuristic science fiction film Oblivion which topped the box office worldwide. Universal saw its latest hit film open to an estimated $38.2M in North America from 3,783 theaters for a potent $10,085 average. 323 IMAX sites contributed a solid $5.5M, or 14% of the gross.

That was an impressive performance for an original 2D sci-fi film opening outside of summer. In fact, it was the second best sci-fi opening ever during the month of April after the $61.2M of 2010's 3D remake Clash of the Titans. Overall, it was the seventh best for the month but third biggest for a live-action non-sequel.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy) and co-starring Morgan Freeman, Oblivion earned mixed reviews from critics, however paying audiences were not pleased. The CinemaScore grade was a disappointing B- indicating a rocky road ahead. Adult men made up the core audience - not surprising for a sci-fi film and for a Cruise actioner as the actor has lost some of his female fan base in recent years. Studio research showed that 57% of the audience was male and a very high 74% was 25 or older. Teen appeal was minimal here.

But for Cruise, Oblivion delivered the second biggest opening of his career outside of his signature Mission: Impossible franchise trailing just one other science fiction picture - 2005's summer smash War of the Worlds from Steven Spielberg which bowed to a holiday-boosted $64.9M. And it more than doubled the $15.2M debut of the actor's last film Jack Reacher from this last December.

Produced for a reported $120M, Oblivion is just one of many big-budget apocalyptic movies from some of Hollywood's hottest male action stars that will compete for the public's attention over the coming months. Next up, Will Smith stars in After Earth opening May 31, then Brad Pitt offers up World War Z in June, followed in August by Matt Damon's Elysium. The end of humanity is also a topic in the raunchy comedy This Is The End with Seth Rogen and James Franco arriving in June.

Made for a global audience, Oblivion pulled in a healthy $33.7M from 60 international markets this weekend dropping 42% from its overseas launch last week. The offshore take now stands at $112M with the global gross at $150.2M on its way to much more as major markets like Japan and China have yet to open.

After a spectacular opening weekend, the baseball drama 42 held up well in its second frame dipping 34% to an estimated $18M for a ten-day total of $54.1M. Warner Bros. should find its way across the $100M mark with this one. Breaking the $150M mark this weekend was the hit animated comedy The Croods which continued to take advantage of no competition for kids with an estimated $9.5M in its fifth round. Off just 28%, the Fox release had the lowest decline of any film in the top ten and boosted its domestic cume to $154.9M. With $23.4M from offshore markets this weekend, the international total soared to $274.5M putting Croods at $429.4M worldwide.

The sequel flop Scary Movie 5 tumbled 56% in its sophomore frame to an estimated $6.3M giving The Weinstein Co. $22.9M after ten days. A final gross of $30-35M seems likely which would be about one-third of the $90.7M that part 4 in the franchise did seven years ago.

The action sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation followed in fifth with an estimated $5.8M, down 47%, for a $111.2M total for Paramount. Overseas action got a boost from a gigantic opening week in China where the American soldiers took in $33M from 7,000 screens over seven days including over $3M from 101 IMAX sites. That drove the international weekend to $40M, the overseas cume to $211.7M, and the global tally to a muscular $322.9M. With Japan yet to open, Joe could find its way to nearly $450M worldwide - 50% more than the first movie in the franchise.

The Ryan Gosling pic The Place Beyond The Pines tripled its theater count and jumped from tenth to sixth place but saw its average drop down to a soft amount. The Focus release grossed an estimated $4.7M from 1,542 locations for a weak $3,078 average and $11.4M total.

Still on its way into the century club, the action hit Olympus Has Fallen placed seventh dropping 38% to an estimated $4.5M putting the year's first of two White-House-under-attack flicks at an impressive $88.8M for FilmDistrict. Sony's horror remake Evil Dead fell 57% to an estimated $4.1M and has scared up $48.4M to date.

Close behind with an estimated $4M was the 3D re-release of Jurassic Park which declined by 55% for a cume of $38.5M. The Universal blockbuster's lifetime gross has now shot up to $395.6M. Rounding out the top ten was 2013's biggest hit, Oz the Great and Powerful. The Disney smash held up well with an estimated $3M in its seventh weekend, off 37%. The wizard and trio of witches have now amassed $223.8M from North america and a stellar $478.6M worldwide.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $98.1M which was down 18% from last year when Think Like A Man opened at number one with $33.6M; and down 14% from 2011 when Rio stayed in the top spot with $26.3M.

Compared to projections, Oblivion opened on target with my $39M forecast.

Get earlier box office updates and analysis by following BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.

Watch the NEW summer movie trailers from Man of Steel and Star Trek Into Darkness.

Be sure to check back on Monday for final figures and again on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Pain and Gain and The Big Wedding both open.

# Title Apr 19 - 21 Apr 12 - 14 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Oblivion $ 37,054,485 3,783 1 $ 9,795 $ 37,054,485 Universal
2 42 17,721,410 27,487,144 -35.5 3,250 2 5,453 53,753,511 Warner Bros.
3 The Croods 9,235,295 13,115,074 -29.6 3,435 5 2,689 154,633,037 Fox
4 Scary Movie 5 6,150,584 14,157,367 -56.6 3,402 2 1,808 22,798,176 Weinstein Co.
5 G.I. Joe: Retaliation 5,763,891 10,894,415 -47.1 3,175 4 1,815 111,200,157 Paramount
6 The Place Beyond The Pines 4,917,545 3,865,687 27.2 1,542 4 3,189 11,642,645 Focus
7 Olympus Has Fallen 4,475,543 7,250,084 -38.3 2,638 5 1,697 88,776,795 FilmDistrict
8 Evil Dead 4,112,001 9,488,302 -56.7 2,823 3 1,457 48,456,951 Sony
9 Jurassic Park 3D 4,054,285 8,861,820 -54.2 2,330 3 1,740 38,525,375 Universal
10 Oz the Great and Powerful 3,004,644 4,859,958 -38.2 2,045 7 1,469 223,726,752 Disney
11 Temptation 2,220,291 4,503,102 -50.7 1,405 4 1,580 48,884,456 Lionsgate
12 Home Run 1,582,466 381 1 4,153 1,582,466 Samuel Goldwyn
13 Filly Brown 1,478,323 188 1 7,863 1,478,323 Lionsgate
14 The Host 1,000,125 2,383,023 -58.0 1,356 4 738 25,178,878 Open Road
15 The Call 878,294 1,952,122 -55.0 977 6 899 50,100,443 Sony
16 The Lords of Salem 642,942 354 1 1,816 642,942 Anchor Bay
17 Silver Linings Playbook 547,660 408,626 34.0 867 23 632 131,030,875 Weinstein Co.
18 Identity Thief 484,785 541,425 -10.5 480 11 1,010 132,675,995 Universal
19 Trance 403,782 896,608 -55.0 443 3 911 1,826,396 Fox Searchlight
20 The Company You Keep 396,385 277,818 42.7 84 3 4,719 950,482 Sony Classics
Top 5 $ 75,925,665 $ 75,142,302 1.0
Top 10 96,489,683 104,482,953 -7.7
Top 20 106,124,736 112,772,090 -5.9
Top 20 vs. 2012 106,124,736 131,080,868 -19.0

Last Updated: April 21, 2013 at 4:25PM 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