Weekend Wrap-Up: Prisoners Lead Weakened Box Office
The top five at the box office lived up to expectations, more or less. Prisoners were on the high end of expectations, while Battle of the Year opened on the low end. Some holdovers, like Insidious Chapter 2, sank faster than expected, while Instructions Not Included defied all logic and returned to the top five. Overall, the box office fell 16% to $87 million. This was 4% lower than last year, ending 2013's impressive winning streak. Year-to-date, 2013 is still ahead of 2013 by just over $100 million at $7.77 billion to $7.66 billion.
Prisoners opened on the higher end of expectations with $20.82 million. This is enough to give it an easy first place finish, but it was barely more than half of what Insidious Chapter 2 opened with last week. Its reviews should help its legs and if it can stick around in the top five a few weeks, it might earn some Oscar buzz. Conversely, if it can earn some Oscar buzz, it legs will be stronger helping it remain in the top five for a few weeks. It's the chicken before the egg scenario.
Insidious Chapter 2 plummeted 66% to $13.80 million for the weekend giving the film a total of $60.16 million after two. Its chances to get to $100 million have ended. It used to be that a $40 million opening guaranteed a $100 million total, but that is no longer the case. That said, the movie only cost $5 million to make and it likely cost a less than $30 million to advertise, so it likely has already broken even.
The Family landed in third place with $7.00 million, exactly as predicted. After ten days of release, the film has pulled in $25.64 million and by this time next week, it will have made more domestically than it cost to make. Assuming it can have a 40 / 60 domestic / international split, which I think is underestimating its international appeal, it will break even early in its home market run.
Instructions Not Included rose 11% to $5.40 million, which allowed the film to return to the top five. After four weeks of release, the film has pulled in $33.96 million and at this pace it will top Pan's Labyrinth for biggest domestic box office for a Spanish-language film of all time by this time next week.
The second wide release of the week was Battle of the Year, but it only managed fifth place with $4.60 million in 2,008 theaters. It barely topped the Mendoza Line during its opening weekend, which is a disaster. The only thing worse than its per theater average was its reviews, which fell to just 6% positive. It will disappear very quickly and will likely be forgotten before it reaches the home market.
The Wizard of Oz's 3-D re-release managed ninth place with $3.09 million in just 318 theaters. That's an impressive start. It also emphasizes which films are best suited for 3-D re-releases. Films that the majority of moviegoers have not had a chance to see in theaters will likely do better as a 3-D re-release, especially internationally.
Date posted: 2013-09-24