Weekend Wrap-Up

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

September 23, 2012

Maybe cop Jake Gyllenhaal can save scared Jennifer Lawrence.

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Last weekend’s first place finisher, Resident Evil: Retribution, slips all the way to fifth place as it has the worst weekend two decline of any film in the franchise so far – though it should be noted that all of the Resident Evil films have dropped more than 60% in their second frame. The latest film in the zombie virus horror series fell 68% to $6.7 million, which means that it has a ten-day total of $33.5 million. As we have established, though, there will almost certainly be a sixth Resident Evil film, because the bulk of the profits are earned in international markets.

We have reached the worst case scenario portion of the Weekend Wrap-Up. In 1995, Judge Dredd became one of the worst bombs of Sylvester Stallone’s career, no small feat. The movie earned only $34.7 million domestically, an amount that represents $63.8 million in 2012 ticket pricing. The cost to create the film was $90 million and while Judge Dredd did well enough overseas, it has largely been used as a punch line since its release 17 years ago.

Fast forward to today and history has repeated itself. Karl Urban’s action remake, Dredd, opens to an estimated $6.3 million in 2,506 locations. The Lionsgate release claims a woeful per-location average of $2,514. And this is the moment where we remind you that Dredd is a 3D release with inflated box office revenue. In other words, an argument could be made that Dredd was less popular on opening weekend than Jonah Hex, the 2010 disaster that earned $5.4 million sans the benefit of 3D ticket pricing. Dredd is looking up at previous comic book adaptations that bombed such as Elektra ($12.8 million opening), The Punisher ($13.8 million) and Catwoman’s $16.7 million. And if we negate the 3D factor, Dredd is on a par with Punisher: War Zone’s $4.3 million debut.

There is no good news here for Lionsgate. Dredd was produced for a modest $40 million but over $20 million was spent advertising a movie that will not earn $20 million domestically. Overseas revenue may be enough to allow the film to break even overall or even turn a profit, depending on how well received it is. Like its predecessor, Judge Dredd, people will not remember this aspect, though. A $40 million 3D production should never ever never open to a paltry $6.3 million. Dredd is the 3D Oogieloves.

With an expansion from five to 788 locations, the critically acclaimed The Master was able to grow by 579% to $5 million. It bears noting that this art house-type release from The Weinstein Co. was able to come within $1.3 million of the effects-heavy Dredd, which is proof positive that audiences really are searching for original movies with ideas and stories that are expressed intelligently. The Paul Thomas Anderson release has brought its overall total to $6.1 million and strikes first as the first real awards bait movie of the season. Critics are responding positively to The Master, which features Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams, as so far it sits at 87% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes (and a similar 86% from top critics). All of Anderson’s films have been critical darlings, with the most recent example being There Will Be Blood, an Academy Awards winner for Best Actor and Best Cinematography. We all know that the Weinstein brothers are able to influence Oscar voting in their favor, and it will be interesting to see which film they champion the most, as they still have Killing Them Softly (with Brad Pitt), Silver Linings Playbook (directed by temperamental David O. Russell and starring the aforementioned Jennifer Lawrence) and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained set for release before 2012 ends.


Our eighth, ninth and tenth place films are all within a few hundred thousand dollars of each other, meaning that the order of finish could easily shift once actual numbers are in. According to estimates, the eighth place film is The Possession, a horror film from Lionsgate that has proven to be quite profitable. It earned another $2.6 million, falling 54%, and brings its domestic total to $45.3 million. Lawless, another Weinstein title, finishes in ninth with $2.3 million. It dropped 47% and has now accrued $34.5 million in domestic receipts. Finally, tenth place goes to ParaNorman, the stop-motion animated film from Focus Features and Laika. It continued to hold well, declining only 26% to $2.3 million. Overall, it has earned $52.6 million from North American venues.

One other noteworthy story this weekend comes from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which didn’t finish anywhere near the top ten, but managed a stellar per location average of $61,000 in its four venues for a three-day total of $244,000. Based on a popular novel by Stephen Chbosky (who also directs from his own screenplay), this movie features a post-Harry Potter Emma Watson, along with Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) and Ezra Miller (We Need to Talk About Kevin). If Summit carefully expands this film, it could have its own art house hit on its hands.

Overall, the top 12 movies at the box office earned $76.3 million, a decline of 28% from the same weekend last year, when The Lion King 3D and Moneyball were at the top of the box office. Clearly, people are more pro baseball math than they are baseball sentiment these days. Next weekend, new releases will include the animated Hotel Transylvania, the awesome looking Looper and Won’t Back Down, featuring the other Gyllenhaal, Maggie.

Top Weekend Box Office for 9/21/12-9/23/12 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 End of Watch Open Road $13,000,000 New $13,000,000
1 House at the End of the Street Relativity $13,000,000 New $13,000,000
3 Trouble With the Curve Warner Bros. $12,720,000 New $12,720,000
4 Finding Nemo 3d WALT DISNEY $9,446,000 - 43% $29,979,000
5 Resident Evil: Retribution Sony/Columbia $6,700,000 - 68% $33,468,000
6 Dredd Lionsgate $6,300,000 New $6,300,000
7 The Master The Weinstein Company $5,000,000 + 579% $6,055,883
8 The Possession Lionsgate $2,360,000 - 59% $45,279,627
9 Lawless The Weinstein Company $2,321,000 - 47% $34,511,919
10 ParaNorman Focus Features $2,296,987 - 26% $52,566,425
11 The Bourne Legacy Universal Pictures $1,652,805 - 42% $110,445,505
12 The Odd Life of Timothy Green Walt Disney Pictures $1,531,000 - 41% $48,643,000
  Also Opening/Notables
  The Perks of Being a Wallflower Summit Entertainment $244,000 New $244,000
  My Uncle Rafael Rocky Mountain $100,210 New $100,210
  Diana Vreeland: the Eye Has To Travel Samuel Goldwyn $64,238 New $64,238
  Occupy Unmasked Magnolia $44,000 New $44,000
  Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best Oscilloscope $6,537 New $6,537
  Hellbouynd? Area 23a $4,275 New $4,275
  Arbitrage Roadside Attractions $1,250,000 - 38% $3,900,000
  Last Ounce of Courage Rocky Mountain $546,964 - 66% $2,749,150
  Stolen Millennium $32,508 - 82% $288,007
  10 Years Anchor Bay $78,109 + 244% $109,203
  The Words CBS Films $775,000 - 73% $11,019,571
  Detropia Loki Films $37,200 - 12% $131,415
  The Expendables 2 Lionsgate $1,431,000 - 55% $82,992,952
  The Campaign Warner Bros. Pictures $1,230,000 - 49% $85,011,000
  2016: Obama's America Rocky Mountain Pictures $917,551 - 54% $32,002,626
  The Dark Knight Rises Warner Bros. $1,260,000 - 43% $0
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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