Weekend Wrap-Up

Box Office Showing Signs of Grey

By John Hamann

January 29, 2012

Bold prediction: Liam Neeson dies first.

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Oscar oddball Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is sixth, as the out-of-nowhere Best Picture nomination saves this one from the $2.99 bin at Walmart. After opening to $10 million last weekend, the Warner Bros. release dropped 29%, earning $7.1 million this weekend. The budget on this one remains a secret, but I don't see it earning much more than $35 million.

Speaking of Oscar, The Descendants is seventh this weekend after finishing 16th last weekend when it earned $2.4 million. The George Clooney flick earned a much better $6.6 million and finishes the weekend with an uptick of 176%. This is what Oscar is for. Here is a really good film (90% fresh at RottenTomatoes), that is getting a second chance at life because it was nominated for five Oscars. It has been at more than 800 venues for eight weekends, and is enjoying its second best weekend to date. The Alexander Payne film has now earned $58.8 million, and is truly happy to just be nominated.

Contraband is eighth this weekend as the not so memorable Mark Wahlberg flick marches down the top 12. After a drop last weekend of 50%, the action flick dives again, this time dropping by 46% as it earned $6.5 million in its third weekend. Universal doesn't care, because Contraband was guaranteed to make a profit after the $25 million flick opened to $24.3 million. Give Contraband $56.4 million so far, and it's just getting started overseas.


Beauty and the Beast slides to ninth this weekend (what, is it my birthday?) as audiences grow tired of Disney re-release mania. Beauty earned only $5.3 million, dropping 39% from last weekend's take of $8.8 million. Still, the $10 million conversion has reaped big rewards for Disney, as the re-release has earned $41.1 million.

Tenth goes to Haywire, Steven Soderbergh's action film that didn't have a big enough star at its center. MMA star (and former American Gladiator) Gina Carano was the anchor for this movie, and it shows since the movie dropped 53% to a $4 million finish this weekend. So far, the Relativity Media release has earned $15.3 million.

Although it didn't finish in the top ten, the 11th place Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol crossed the $200 million mark this weekend in domestic dollars. It also has a massive international total of $369 million. Tom Cruise is back, baby.

Overall, the box office is on target with where things were last year, but that's not saying much. A year ago, the top 12 films were led by Anthony Hopkins in The Rite (wow, that one's memorable) and those 12 films earned $92.4 million. This year's crop didn't do much better, as the top 12 took in $99.3 million, and only one opener, The Grey, had any strength to it for future weekends. Next weekend will be strange at best. Openers include Big Miracle, the Drew Barrymore whale movie, Chronicle, the well-advertised teen sci-fi flick starring and directed by nobody, and The Woman in Black, which stars Harry Potter, but is being released by CBS Films, which has released only dreck thus far.

Top Weekend Box Office for 1/27/12-1/29/12 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 The Grey Open Road Films $20,000,000 New $20,000,000
2 Underworld: Awakening SONY $12,500,000 - 51% $45,126,000
3 One for the Money Lionsgate $11,750,000 New $11,750,000
4 Red Tails Twentieth Century Fox $10,400,000 - 45% $33,779,795
5 Man on a Ledge Summit Entertainment $8,250,000 New $8,250,000
6 Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close WARNER BROS. $7,145,000 - 29% $21,106,000
7 The Descendants Fox Searchlight $6,550,000 +176% $58,848,014
8 Contraband Universal $6,532,250 - 46% $56,401,750
9 Beauty And the Beast 3d WALT DISNEY $5,345,000 - 39% $41,147,000
10 Haywire Relativity Media $4,000,000 - 53% $15,279,202
11 Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol Paramount $3,550,000 - 36% $202,641,000
12 The Artist The Weinstein Company $3,315,000 + 40% $16,744,098
  Also Opening/Notables
  Albert Nobbs Roadside Attractions $750,000 New $750,000
  An Inconsistent Truth Rocky Mountain Pictures $20,282 New $20,282
  Coriolanus The Weinstein Company $50,000 - 18% $142,251
  Joyful Noise WARNER BROS. $3,240,000 - 45% $26,728,000
  We Need to Talk About Kevin Oscilloscope $66,000 - 10% $282,923
  The Iron Lady The Weinstein Company $3,190,000 - 13% $17,504,482
  A Separation Sony Pictures Classics $280,000 + 66% $890,000
  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo SONY $2,225,000 - 37% $98,220,000
  War Horse Walt Disney Pictures $2,002,000 - 36% $75,617,000
  Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Warner Bros. $2,570,000 - 43% $182,309,000
  Hugo Paramount $2,275,000 + 143% $58,691,000
  My Week With Marilyn The Weinstein Company $335,000 + 2% $12,592,352
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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