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Weekend Estimates: 42 Hits Home Run

April 14th, 2013

Sports movies can be a risky proposition financially. While they potentially have a built-in audience among fans of the sport in question, they can also turn off people who don't much care for the sport. It takes a really compelling story to reach out to non-fans, and it seems as though the story of Jackie Robinson is compelling enough to draw in a broad audience for 42, which will open atop the box office chart this weekend with a projected $27.25 million, according to Warner Bros.' Sunday morning estimate. A 25% uptick on Saturday suggests good word of mouth for the film so far. Less good word of mouth is being earned by Scary Movie 5, which is projected to end in second place with $15.15 million. That's well behind previous outings for the franchise, which have clustered around the $40 million mark.

Returning wide releases are mostly looking soft this weekend, although Olympus Has Fallen will be down just 28% and continues to power ahead as FilmDistrict's most successful release to date. G.I. Joe: Retaliation also passes $100 million for Paramount.

The real action this weekend is among expanding films with The Place Beyond the Pines doing excellent business for Focus Features. It is projected to earn a little over $4 million from 514 theaters for a per theater average of $7,937, second only to 42 among films reporting so far. Trance also expanded this weekend, but is struggling to build an audience, and is set for a weekend around $925,000 and a per theater average of $2,112 -- probably not enough to support much more expansion.

The other standout films in limited release are the self-distributed Upstream Color, which is beginning to get some mainstream attention and will earn about $74,000 from 11 theaters this weekend, and Terrence Malick's To the Wonder, which is tracking towards $130,000 from 18 theaters and will rapidly become Magnolia's most successful release of the year so far.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash bruce.nash@the-numbers.com

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Trance, Scary Movie V, To the Wonder, 42, The Place Beyond the Pines, Olympus Has Fallen, Upstream Color, Scary Movie, Terrence Malick