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Weekend Wrap-Up

Audiences are Paranormal but not Cross

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

October 21, 2012

Demons really lead dull lives if you think about it.

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Capturing second place once again is Argo, which held up spectacularly in weekend two. After debuting last weekend with $19.5 million, Ben Affleck’s historical thriller dropped only 15% to $16.6 million. We’ve been talking over the last week about Argo’s wide-ranging appeal, as both critics and audiences at large are raving about the film. Ten days in, it continues to have a 95% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, while its Cinemascore was an A+. Clearly, the word is getting out that this film is worth the time and money it takes to get out to the theater. So far, Argo has earned $43 million. All of these factors bode very well for the movie’s awards potential, too. Right now, Argo is the front-runner in the Best Picture discussion, though we obviously have a lot of movies yet to be released before the race can truly shape up.

Taking advantage of its holiday and family-friendly nature, Hotel Transylvania was able to move up a spot to third place. The CGI animated film from Sony Pictures was down only 22% as it earned $13.5 million this weekend. After a couple of missteps, Adam Sandler finds himself back on track thanks to his voice work in Hotel Transylvania. He can add it to his collection of films that have earned $100 million or more, as Hotel Transylvania now has a cumulative total of $119 million.

Fourth place goes to Taken 2, which actually holds up decently in its third weekend. Down 39% to $13.4 million, it’s not showing the same staying power as the original film did, but that was more or less going to be impossible given the less enthusiastic word-of-mouth and much larger opening weekend. Taken 2 becomes the 20th film of 2012 to join the $100 million club, as its domestic total is now $106 million. With a worldwide gross of more than $240 million, it has already surpassed the original’s $225 million by a long shot, with plenty more to come. Go Liam, go!

Vaunted writer/director Tyler Perry struggled this weekend. The fifth place movie, Alex Cross, is his first attempt to anchor a major motion picture that he did not create. Perry embraced the role made (somewhat) famous by Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider.




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Those movies released in 1997 and 2001 debuted to $13.2 million and $16.7 million, respectively. Even before adjusting for inflation, Alex Cross falls short of those performances, grossing an estimated $11.8 million. After only two days (and a Sunday estimate) in theaters, Alex Cross has already become a discussion of what went wrong.

Perry’s most recent release, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection, debuted to $25.4 million on its way to a domestic take of $65.7 million. This was less than four months ago. Fast forward to now and a title with neither Tyler Perry nor Madea in the title has become the second lowest opening weekend of his career, barely edging Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls at $11.2 million.

This turn of events is troublesome. One of the most recognizable talents of this generation is starring in an adaptation of one of the best-selling novels of the 2000s. Why then is Alex Cross looking up at the opening weekend of, say, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days? The obvious answer is that consumers were not ready to accept Tyler Perry as a serious actor. This evaluation is unfortunate in that few people in Hollywood have established their talent as demonstrably as Perry.


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