By Reagen Sulewski
October 14, 2012
Argo was actually third on Friday, but jumped up to second on both Saturday and Sunday, with a big 3.4 internal multipler that bodes very well for the future run of the film, as does the second highest per screen average for the top ten of the weekend at $6,225. The Ben Affleck career renaissance appears to be for real now.
Third place, and the highest average in the top 10, belonged to the film that actually won Friday, Sinister, which came in with $18.2 million after a $7.4 million start. In stark contrast to Argo, Sinister had a 2.46 internal multiplier, although as it was a horror film, that surprised precisely no one. Nor was the fact that Friday was its highest day overall, with just under $7 million on Saturday and just under $4 million estimated on Sunday. More importantly, that's all against a reported $3 million budget, which means it made back that figure sometime during the first evening showing on Friday, leaving Summit Entertainment to just pile the money higher and higher as this film runs on (though probably not that long. It is a horror film, after all).
This isn't exactly a Paranormal Activity-type number, but for a “new” horror concept (i.e. not a franchise), this is really solid, and shows what a good job Summit did with selling the film. It's sort of a cousin of the found footage concept, with the horror coming from a father (Ethan Hawke) finding creepy footage of a possible evil spirit, instead of the voyeuristic horror that's been most popular the past few years. Summit badly needed this to work, though, since they've had so few successes to call their own other than the Twilight franchise, which as I'm sure everyone in that studio is well aware of, is rapidly running out. Proving they can have other hits is key to that studio's long term survival, with the likelihood of stumbling onto another franchise seeming doubtful.
Hotel Transylvania dropped to fourth place with a solid $17.3 million, dropping only 36% in its third weekend and reaching the $100 million plateau. That's two straight weekends with that drop, and is shaping up to be a big fall hit, especially with Halloween just around the corner. With that figure, it should be able to survive as a significant earner until the 31st and may pick up the bonus bump from that date and its surroundings. More importantly, it helps the film get that much closer to being a good investment. Animated films' budgets have made these no long, sure things, and the $85 million for this one was large enough for Sony to sweat. It also shows that Adam Sandler just may have a second career in family entertainment after all.
A little more troubling was the performance of his buddy Kevin James' new film, Here Comes the Boom, with was fifth with only $12 million. Comparing this to James' other hits in Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Zookeeper and even the horribly reviewed The Dilemma, Boom is a huge disappointment at this number. Factor in the UFC tie-in and the growing popularity of that sport, and it's a failure on most levels. It's possible that the PG rating missed the mark, with most UFC fans sensing that this wasn't a film that was going to showcase their sport, and with it being viewed as too violent despite that for younger viewers. In any case, adding in a cross-promotion should not result in a decrease in an opening weekend, but it appears that may just be what happened here. A possible solace: the 3.35 internal multiplier, which may mean that it's going to get the family film treatment in coming weeks.