The box office crown for Oscar weekend will be claimed by Identity Thief, according to studio estimates released on Sunday morning, even though the comedy will fall by a relatively large 41% from last weekend. So its win is in large part due to the low-key new releases: Snitch will be second with $13 million in a modest 2,511 theaters and Dark Skies is headed for 6th place with $8.85 million from 2,313 theaters. Neither new film has particularly low per theater averages ($5,177 and $3,826 respectively), so their so-so debuts are as much a factor of their smallish opening theater counts as lack of demand.
As one might expect, Oscar nominees are all doing well this weekend, although they will lose some audience on Sunday. Amour will be up 16% or so to $816,000, Life of Pi is down 1% from last weekend, Silver Linings Playbook down 3%, Lincoln down 9% and Argo down 10%. Other films fell off more (Zero Dark Thirty down 25%, Django Unchained down 32%, and Les Miserables down 31%), perhaps indicating that the public has decided on the films that will get the lion's share of the awards tonight. Our predictions will be online soon after noon.
Understandably, there's not much new action at the art-house this weekend, but No will top the per theater chart with an average around $13,700, and The Gatekeepers continues strongly with $150,000 or so from 19 theaters.
- Weekend Estimates
Bruce Nash firstname.lastname@example.org
Date posted: 2013-02-24