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Weekend Wrap-up

By Reagen Sulewski

October 14, 2012

Dad, do we really have time to be chatting on the phone right now?

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Pitch Perfect followed up its surprising wide release debut with another strong showing this weekend, bringing in another $9.3 million and taking its total to $36 million, against a reported $17 million budget. Universal took a significant risk with the platform strategy, but it appears to have paid off significantly, and we can expect this to be employed for other films in the future.

Frankenweenie fell to seventh spot with $7 milllion, and a running total of $22 million. Dropping 39% is a decent showing, but it's not going to be enough to really turn around the final performance of Tim Burton's paean to horror tropes he loved as a child. Luckily, the budget is low enough at $39 million that it won't really hurt his career that badly, but after this summer's Dark Shadows, his next film has a lot to prove.

Looper's third weekend earned it $6.3 million more, and moves it to $51 million total, a solid showing for the sci-fi actioner, although it's dropping quite quickly, falling 48% this weekend. At this point you'd look for around $75 million as a final figure domestically.

Ninth spot went to Seven Psychopaths, the new film by Martin McDonagh, the writer/director of In Bruges. Although that $4.3 million may not be that impressive, it represents over half of the total of its predecessor. Black comedies are just a tough sell to North American audience. Bringing back Colin Farrell from that film and adding frequent McDonagh collaborator (on stage) Christopher Walken, along with Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits and a few others, it's destined to become a cult favorite. With a $15 million budget, it won't be too hard for it to make a little money, but this is mostly an audition for its cable debut.




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The slowly expanding The Perks of Being a Wallflower finally hit the top ten this weekend, although only just, with an estimated $2.2 million on 726 screens. This brings its running total to $6.2 million, although its per screen average mostly precludes a much wider expansion. With figures like this, it just shows how movies for teenagers have changed over the years – John Hughes would be an unknown figure if he started today. It's not like this film doesn't star anyone people would be familiar with either, since Emma Watson is kind of famous, you know. So it's good news/bad news for Summit this weekend.

Opening up just outside the top ten was Atlas Shrugged Part II, the second of a planned three film adaptation of the Ayn Rand novel. While the box office is sort of secondary to the possibility of its completion, since the financial backers are true believers and willing to blow money to prove a point, it has to be wearing on them a little. The $1.7 million was almost identical to the opening weekend of Part I, though that opened on 299 screens versus the 1,017 of Part II, which significantly knocks down the per screen average. Perhaps more troubling is the horror-like internal multiplier of 2.46, which shows this film isn't expanding its audience any.

In limited releases, Middle of Nowhere had the highest per screen average of the weekend at $13,000 on just six screens, for $78,000 – not a large figure by any means, but something of a win considering this is largely a group of “whosits?” and “whatists?” that lead the cast. Compare this to the higher profile cast of Smashed (Aaron Paul and Mary Elizabeth Winstead), which earned just $30,000 in four theaters. Returning limited films included The Paperboy, Lee Daniels' followup to Precious, and which stars Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Matthew McConaughey and Zak Efron in a shock-fest. With an expansion to 49 theaters, it held its serve with $100,000 on the weekend, but a per screen average of $2,041 doesn't imply a lot more theaters in its future.


Top Ten for Weekend of 10/12/12-10/14/12 (estimates)
Rank
Film
Distributor
Estimated
Gross ($)m
Last
Weekly
Change
Cumulative
Gross ($)
1 Taken 2 Twentieth Century Fox $22,500,000 -55% $86,758,852
2 Argo Warner Bros. $20,120,000 New $20,120,000
3 Sinster Lionsgate $18,250,000 New $18,250,000
4 Hotel Transylvania Columbia Pictures (Sony) $17,300,000 -36% $102,193,000
5 Here Comes the Boom Sony $12,000,000 New $12,000,000
6 Pitch Perfect Universal $9,336,450 -37% $36,084,913
7 Frankenweenie Walt Disney $7,014,000 -39% $22,035,000
8 Looper Sony $6,300,000 -48% $51,442,000
9 Seven Psychopaths CBS Films $4,275,000 New $4,275,000
10 The Perks of Being a Wallflower Lionsgate/Summit $2,166,000 38% $6,151,445
11 End of Watch Open Road $1,703,048 -57% $36,375,223
12 Atlas Shrugged Part II Atlas Distribution $1,700,000 New $1,700,000
Also Opening/Notables
Middle of Nowhere Affrm $78,030 New $78,030
Smashed Sony Classics $30,025 New $30,025
Least Among Saints Brainstorm Media $14,800 New $14,800
Simon and the Oaks The Film Arcade $10,377 New $10,377
War of the Buttons Weinstein Co. $4,570 New $4,570
The Paperboy Millenium $100,000 -3% $240,000
The House I Live In Abramorama $22,470 37% $46,713
Wuthering Heights Oscilloscope $10,000 12% $23,117
Trouble With the Curve Warner Bros. $1,525,000 -60% $32,743,000
House at the End of the Street Relativity $1,329,000 -65% $30,015,004
The Master Weinstein Co. $823,000 -56% $13,919,908
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations

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