After a strong January fueled by horror films, the box office goes with what it knows and this time throws out some zombies. But this time, they've got heart!
Weekend Forecast for February 1-3, 2013
by Tim Briody
February 1, 2013
Warm Bodies tells the story of R (Nicholas Hoult, X-Men: First Class), a not-so-mindless zombie who wanders about with just his thoughts (conveyed via extensive voiceover) until he meets the human Julie (Teresa Palmer). Instantly smitten, R decides not to bite her and instead protects her from the other zombies, and finds himself beginning to regain his humanity, to the joy of Julie and to the dismay of Julie's dad ([bp:96_]John Malkovich[/bp]), the leader of the human survivors. They soon find themselves caught in the middle of a human/zombie/other, more evil zombie war. It's the first zombie love story since Shawn of the Dead.
This is considerably higher concept than what last month's big openers Texas Chainsaw 3D and Mama brought to the table and it's not really a horror movie in the vein of those; it's more of an oddball teen romantic comedy attempting to counterprogram the Super Bowl. Warm Bodies is an adaptation of a well-received 2011 novel and is directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50). It's getting above average if not stellar reviews, and there's certainly a clever bit or two in the advertising. The idea of a self-aware zombie works for me, but your mileage may vary.
If you haven't noticed, zombies are a thing (see: The Walking Dead's popularity) and are going to continue to be a thing this year (see: a [tm:5233_]World War Z[/tm] commercial during the Super Bowl) so you should just get used to it now. Hey, it's better than sparkly vampires. Opening in just over 3,000 theaters, Warm Bodies will win this weekend with a total of about $19 million.
Look, just because The Expendables and The Expendables 2 made a lot of money doesn't mean all you old action stars are going to have careers again, okay? Ahnold bombed a couple of weeks ago with The Last Stand and now Sylvester Stallone is back with Bullet to the Head.
Based on a French graphic novel, blah blah blah, stuff blows up, the body count is high and boy does Christian Slater seem out of place here. Anyway, nobody got pumped up about Schwarzenegger's return, and it's doubtful anyone's excited for this one, either. Not to mention Jason Statham flopped with Parker last week. To add insult to injury, Bullet to the Head cost $55 million to make and that's gotta hurt. Give it about $6 million.
Despite being the film with the highest collective name recognition of the week, Stand Up Guys, starring [bp:456_]Al Pacino[/bp], [bp:457_]Christopher Walken[/bp] and Alan Arkin gets a token release in just 659 theaters. Lionsgate is tossing this out there seemingly as a contractual obligation, and even $1 million or so won't be enough to crack the top ten even with a soft bottom half of the box office.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters won last weekend with $19 million, a feat that proved no concept is too strange to succeed anymore. Like most of 2013's box office champions, it's going to be a one weekend wonder, and I'd look for about $8 million this weekend.
Elsewhere, Mama managed to only drop 54% from its opening weekend, which is better than expected (and it crossed $50 million midweek), while Silver Linings Playbook found some legs, declining only 12%. Add in the other half of the Jessica Chastain double feature, [tm:3382_]Zero Dark Thirty[/tm], and that's the remains of what's relevant in theaters. This weekend is crueler than others due to a larger than usual Sunday drop off, but each film should come in with between $6 and $7 million.