Weekend Estimates: Carter Disaster Gives Weekend to Lorax

March 11th, 2012

Although John Carter's opening won't be as bad as the direst predictions, an anemic $30.6 million debut will condemn the film to the record books for all the wrong reasons and (in spite of good international numbers) almost certainly cause a write-down for Disney. Or more immediate embarrassment, the film will fail to win the weekend, coming in second to The Lorax, which is set to post $39.1 million in its second weekend, according to Universal's estimate. That combination of two $30 million plus films will give 2012 another weekend win over last year.

In spite of its huge budget (generally believed to be between $250 million and $300 milion) and its lackluster opening, John Carter won't make the top 10 worst openings when comparing box office to budget. The dubious honor of topping that list remains with a film that has particular relevance this weekend: The Adventures of Pluto Nash:

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Eddie Murphy is having another weekend to forget, with A Thousand Words heading for a $6.35 million weekend and a 6th-place finish. That's more-or-less on par with Silent House, which will pick up about $7 million and land around 4th on the chart. Both films will fade fast.

Friends with Kids will have a more promising start, with Roadside Attractions estimating a $2.17 million opening weekend. In more limited release, CBS Films is delighted with the $240,000 opening for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, with a $13,000 per theater average that will encourage expansion over the next few weeks.

Two films playing in just two theaters each will top the Per Theater Chart. Footnote is set to open with about $48,000 for Sony Pictures Classics and Jiro Dreams of Sushi is set for around $42,000 for Magnolia. Both should enjoy good art house runs.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash bruce.nash@the-numbers.com

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Doctor Seuss' The Lorax, John Carter, A Thousand Words, Silent House, Friends with Benefits, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, He'arat Shulayim, Jiro Dreams of Sushi