The box office was mostly disappointing over the weekend. Jack the Giant Slayer was able to match expectations, more or less, but this was bad news because its expectations were really low compared to its production budget. The other two wide releases, 21 and Over and The Last Exorcism Part II both struggled and failed to live up to the low end of expectations. There was a fourth film that was supposed to open wide, but in the end, Phantom opened in barely more than 1,000 theaters and didn't even come close to the Mendoza Line. The overall box office did grow by 6.0% from last weekend to $109 million. However, that was 35% lower than the same weekend last year. This is several layers of disaster. Year-to-date, 2013 has pulled in $1.55 billion, but that is 7.9% lower than 2012's pace. I don't see it getting better going forward and for the most part, the rest of the month is really bad in the year-over-year comparison.
Jack the Giant Slayer came within a rounding error of predictions with $27.20 million. The film's reviews are not bad, but they are not good either, and the legs will suffer because of direct competition. Getting past $75 million might be asking too much. On the one hand, this is a disaster compared to its $150 million production budget. On the other hand, it is expected to perform better internationally. Back to the original hand, it probably won't perform well enough to matter. A strong international run will likely only limit the losses for the studio.
Identity Thief managed second place with $9.71 million over the weekend for a total of $107.43 million after four weeks of release. It became the first film released in 2013 to reach the century mark and did so after 22 days. It is one of the few bright spots at the box office this year.
21 and Over crashed and burned earning third place with $8.75 million. Given its reviews and its target demographic, it will likely get hit hard next weekend, while given its low per theater average, theaters owners will likely want to drop it pretty damn fast.
Snitch fell 41% to $7.77 million over the weekend for a total of $24.48 million after two. It is hard to get excited about this total, but it is not a complete disaster either. Maybe if it finds a more receptive audience on the home market, it will break even sooner rather than later.
The Last Exorcism Part II will be the last installment of the franchise, at least it will be the last one to open in theaters. The film debuted in fifth place with just $7.73 million. This is more than the $5 million it cost to make, but its P&A budget was likely four times that, so the film will need some help internationally and on the home market to break even.
Dark Skies was the only member of the sophomore class to not reach the top five. It plummeted 58% to just $3.47 million over the weekend for a total of $13.37 million after two, which is anything but elite.
One last note, Phantom was supposed to open in 2,000 theaters, but in the end only debuted in 1,118, which is not truly wide. Even taking this into account, it still underperformed with an opening weekend of $508,000. Its per theater average was just $454, which is a disaster, no matter how you look at it. This just proves getting a movie into theaters is easy, but advertising it enough so that the average moviegoer even knows it is opening is the hard part.
Date posted: 2013-03-04