Weekend Wrap-Up: Storm Doesn't Slow Down Thief's Start

It was a great week at the box office, all things considered, with Identity Thief crushing expectations and all of the holdovers matching theirs. Only Side Effects struggled at the box office. This helped the overall box office climb 18% from last week to $104 million. This was 47% lower than the same weekend last year; however, this weekend last year was Valentine's weekend, which is one of the biggest non-holiday weekends of the year, so the comparison isn't fair. As I predicted last week, the lead 2013 had built up has evaporated and it is now 1.2% lower than 2012 at $1.05 billion to $1.06 billion. Since Valentine's Day is this Thursday, we should make up the difference quickly.

Identity Thief dominated the box office chart in a way almost no box office analyst had predicted. It earned first place with $34.55 million, which was just over three times the nearest competitor and nearly double what some analysts were expecting. It was also the 14th biggest February opening of all time. It managed all of this despite earning weaker than expected reviews. Even if the film has short legs, it will earn a profit sooner rather than later.

Warm Bodies held on well down just 44% to $11.36 million over the weekend for a total of $36.48 million after two. Its good reviews obviously helped, while it should get a boost from Valentine's day to further pad its box office numbers, even with the stiff competition.

Side Effects could only manage third place with $9.30 million. The excellent reviews and the reports of Steven Soderbergh didn't help the film, while its per theater average is low enough that theater owners likely won't want to keep it around long enough for its word-of-mouth to build. Perhaps it will find an audience on the home market, but its theatrical run won't be enough to break even.

Silver Linings Playbook added $6.43 million over the weekend and its running tally has reached $89.52 million after three months of release. At this pace, getting to $100 million will be easy, but it will drop out of the top five before then. Maybe if it surprises at the Oscars and becomes the big winner, it will pop back into the top five, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters earned $5.75 million over the weekend for a total of $43.84 million after three weeks in theaters. It is closing in on its production budget and it is doing twice the business internationally, so it will break even sooner rather than later.

Bullet to the Head was the only member of the sophomore class not in the top five, as it landed in tenth place with $2.08 million over the weekend and just $8.27 million after two. With a per theater average of just $864 and direct competition opening on Thursday, it will all but disappear from theaters shortly.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2013-02-12