It was another good week at the box office with just about every film in the top ten at least doing as well as expected. Granted, none of the new releases were monster hits, but the depth was very good with five films topping $10 million over the weekend. Taken 2 remained in first place, so it should come as no surprise that the box office was lower than last weekend; however, it only fell 8.6% to $130 million. This is 48% more than the same weekend last year, which is a huge boost. Year-to-date, 2012 expanded its lead to 3.8% at $8.42 billion to $8.11 billion. Just a few weeks ago, it looked like 2012 would fall below 2011's pace in the end, but now things are looking a lot more optimistic.
Taken 2 repeated as box office champion with $21.87 million, which is perfectly inline with weekend predictions. Its running tally rose to $86.13 million and by this time next week it will be over the century mark. On the other hand, it fell much faster than Taken did and there's little hope it will live up to the original in the end.
Argo topped expectations with $19.46 million during its opening weekend. This is below the opening of The Town, but even though the two films earned nearly identical reviews, I think this one will have a better chance to translate critical praise into Awards Season success. (Awards Season voters tend to love movies based on real events, and the inside Hollywood aspect of the film should also help.) If this does happen, then it could reach $100 million. The strong internal multiplier already suggests long legs.
Sinister managed third place with $18.01 million during its opening weekend. The film's early reviews were amazing; however, once mainstream critics diluted the effect of genre critics, the overall score fell to 63% positive. This is still great for a horror film, but the genre isn't know for long legs and there's direct competition coming out next week, while Halloween is the weekend after that. On the other hand, the distribution rights were just $3 million, so the distributor has already recouped that expense. Now it just has to pay for its P&A budget, and it has all of the home market to do that.
Hotel Transylvania fell to fourth place with $17.24 million, while its running tally rose to $102.13 million. It's rare for a September release to reach the century mark, so the studio should be very happy with this result.
On the other hand, Here Comes the Boom disappointed with just $11.82 million. Its reviews have fallen to just 43% positive, which is low enough that it will likely hurt its legs. And with a soft per theater average, it can't afford a steep decline before theater owners will be looking to toss it for new releases.
Up next was Pitch Perfect with $9.27 million during its second weekend of wide release for a total of $36.02 million, which is already more than original expectations. Its sophomore stint drop-off was just 38%; although the week of limited release does affect this number. Even so, it will clearly make enough to be considered a midlevel hit.
Frankenweenie fell to seventh place during its second weekend of release with $7.05 million over the weekend for a total of $22.08 million after two. Unless this film becomes a hit internationally and / or on the home market, it will struggle to break even. The film earned great reviews, but it is too much of a niche market film.
Looper landed in eighth place with $6.20 million over the weekend for a total of $51.34 million after three. With 93% positive reviews, it could earn some Awards Season buzz, although its genre means it likely won't earn the high prestige awards.
Seven Psychopaths only managed ninth place during its opening with $4.17 million in 1480 theaters. On the one hand, the film's reviews suggest long legs. On the other hand, its per theater average of just $2,821 suggests theater owners will want to drop it ASAP.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower climbed into tenth place with $2.15 million over the weekend for a total of $6.14 million after four. It has already earned enough to claim some measure of mainstream success, while it is on pace to top $10 million, even if it doesn't expand significantly beyond the 726 theaters it is currently playing in.
Atlas Shrugged: Part II bombed opening in eleventh place with $1.75 million in 1,012 theaters for a per theater average of $1,725. Additionally, the critics eviscerated the cheap look and the bad acting, not to mention the big dialogue and ridiculous plot. I'm not sure why the producers were expecting any better, because the first film bombed with moviegoers and critics alike. There's really no way they will try and complete the trilogy, not unless their business model borrows from the plot of The Producers.
Date posted: 2012-10-15