Weekend Wrap-Up

Lorax Keeps Universal Riding High

By John Hamann

March 4, 2012

I mean, a Lorax gotta have his SUV!

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Third spot goes to last weekend's winner, Act of Valor, Relativity Media's release that uses actual Navy SEALs (who can't act their way out of a paper bag). After opening to $24.5 million last weekend and having a very targeted audience, it's not surprising that Act of Valor took in $13.7 million this weekend, dropping 44%. I'm actually surprised this one didn't drop further than it did, given its 29% fresh rating, but it may be getting some word-of-mouth due to the action scenes and an A Cinemascore. Relativity will cash in with this one, as Valor cost only $12 million to make, and has a gross so far of $45.2 million.

Safe House manages to stay at number four this weekend, as the Denzel Washington thriller digs in. Now in its fourth weekend, Safe House earned $7.2 million and dropped a not bad 34%. Another winner from Universal, Safe House crossed the $100 million mark on Thursday, making it Denzel's fourth film to cross the $100 million mark. The thriller will likely end up as Washington's second biggest of his career, behind only American Gangster, which took in $130 million. Safe House has a running total of $108.2 million, and is approaching $50 million overseas, all against a budget of $85 million.

Tyler Perry's Good Deeds falls from second to fifth this weekend, but shouldn't come as a surprise. Good Deeds earned $7 million and dropped 55% from the weekend previous. Only two of Perry's films have dropped less than 50% following opening weekend – Why Did I Get Married? and Diary of a Mad Black Woman, both of which were early in Tyler Perry's movie career. Like all Perry films, Good Deeds didn't cost a lot to make at $14 million, and should do okay as it has a gross so far of $25.7 million.

Now that The Lorax is on the scene, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island falls from third last weekend to sixth this weekend. With other family competition out there, Journey 2 couldn't keep its run alive. This weekend, Journey 2 could only eke out $6.9 million, which gives it a drop of 48%. Still, the $80 million film has now matched its budget stateside with a cume of $85.6 million, with the gravy coming overseas where its pulled in over $160 million.

Seventh spot goes to The Vow, which manages a better hold than last weekend's 57% plunge. In its fourth weekend, The Vow pulled in $6.1 million and dropped 38%. Easily Screen Gems' biggest film now, the $30 million production has brought in $111.7 million domestically and over $30 million from overseas theatres.


This Means War finishes eighth, and doesn't hold a candle to The Vow. The action/comedy/romance/bromance earned $5.6 million in its third weekend, a decline of 33%. The $65 million Fox film now has no chance of earning as much as its production budget stateside, as it has taken in only $41.5 million so far.

Ninth goes to Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, as this Ghost Rider has tanked, thanks to the awfulness of the first one. Spirit of Vengeance could only find $4.7 million this weekend, as it dropped 48%. Good thing Sony spent only $57 million on this one, as it has a gross so far of only $44.9 million.

Finally in tenth is Best Picture winner The Artist. It earned $3.9 million, which was on par with last weekend, as it increases its take by 34%. The $15 million Weinstein release has now earned $37.1 million domestically, and is approaching $50 million from overseas cinemas.

Overall, the box office stays hot compared to last year. The top 12 films this weekend earned $153.5 million, thanks mostly to The Lorax and Project X, whereas last year the top 12 offered $121.1 million on the strength of Rango. Next weekend, we get some wildcards. Set to open is John Carter, Disney's lavish sci-fi adventure which some say cost as much as $250 million, Silent House, a seemingly sharply made horror film with Elizabeth Olsen, which likely cost about one tenth of what John Carter cost to make, and A Thousand Words, a new comedy from Eddie Murphy.

Top Weekend Box Office for 3/2/12-3/4/12 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Dr. Seuss' the Lorax Universal $70,720,485 New $70,720,485
2 Project X Warner Bros. Pictures $20,775,000 New $20,775,000
3 Act of Valor Relativity $13,700,000 - 44% $45,239,346
4 Safe House Universal $7,212,225 - 34% $108,176,715
5 Good Deeds Lionsgate $7,000,000 - 55% $25,744,632
6 Journey 2: the Mysterious Island WARNER BROS. $6,925,000 - 48% $85,611,000
7 The Vow SONY $6,100,000 - 38% $111,712,000
8 This Means War 20th Century Fox $5,625,000 - 33% $41,463,639
9 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance SONY $4,700,000 - 38% $44,881,000
10 The Artist The Weinstein Company $3,900,000 + 34% $37,088,418
11 Wanderlust Universal Pictures $3,753,750 - 42% $12,394,565
12 Gone Summit Entertainment $3,050,000 - 36% $8,997,977
  Also Opening/Notables
  Tim And Eric's Billion Dollar Movie Magnolia $95,000 New $95,000
  Being Flynn Focus Features $45,546 New $45,546
  Boy Paladin $23,390 New $23,390
  The Salt of Life Zeitgeist $21,000 New $21,000
  Let the Bullets Fly Variance $11,500 New $11,500
  Undefeated Weinstein Co. $84,311 + 337% $166,139
  Star Wars: Episode 1- the Phantom Menace 3d Fox $1,100,000 - 65% $42,218,333
  Chronicle Fox $1,950,000 - 47% $60,865,266
  We Need to Talk About Kevin Oscilloscope $132,000 + 252% $817,720
  A Separation Sony Pictures Classics $1,001,582 + 173% $3,726,995
  The Iron Lady The Weinstein Company $900,000 + 29% $27,056,004
  The Descendants Fox Searchlight $1,365,000 - 36% $80,465,726
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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