Weekend Wrap-Up

The Sound of Chainsaws (and Money) Ring in the New Year

By John Hamann

January 6, 2013

The chainsaw is his penis.

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Finishing second is Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino’s bloody blaxploitation spaghetti western, which critics adore. This weekend, Django earned a still solid $20.1 million and dropped 33% from last weekend when it was also in second, earning $30.1 million. The Jamie Foxx/Leonardo DiCaprio flick crossed the $100 million mark this weekend, and has a domestic gross so far of $106.4 million. That means that in the 13 days since it opened on Christmas Day, the Weinstein release has earned an average of $8.2 million per day, which shows how lucrative the holiday season can be. Django Unchained has already become the third biggest western title ever, behind only Dances with Wolves ($184.2 million) and the Coen Brothers’ True Grit ($171.2 million). The difference between the $100 million Django Unchained and these films is budget, as Dances With Wolves cost only $22 million to make in 1990, and True Grit cost Paramount $38 million to make in 2010. At this point, it looks like Django will push toward the $200 million mark if Oscar shines its light, if not, $175 million might be a more realistic finish.

The Hobbit, which had a chance to four-peat this weekend, fails and falls to third in its fourth weekend out of the gate. A weekend ago, The Hobbit earned $31.9 million. This weekend the shine comes off, with The Hobbit earning only $17.5 million, good for a 45% decline. The big drop almost had to be coming, as this one has already grossed $263.8 million at the domestic box office and has earned more than a half billion overseas. Still, despite these numbers, I believe viewers of The Hobbit are down on the franchise, so it will be extremely interesting to see how the next film performs. The Hobbit should finish with about $300 million on the domestic front. It needs $313 million to beat Fellowship of the Ring, without taking into consideration inflation on a film that is 12 years old.

That puts Les Miserables down to fourth, and like The Hobbit, the hold this weekend isn’t so great. Les Mis earned another $16.1 million from its 2,904 venues, but was down a somewhat alarming 41% from the previous frame. Since opening so big on Christmas Day ($18.5 million), the musical has been seemingly sliding downward ever since. Still, the $61 million-budgeted epic has averaged $8 million over the 13 days it’s been open, and has a gross so far of $103.6 million. Like Django Unchained, it crossed the $100 million mark this weekend; however Les Miserables seems to be stepping out, while Django is still going strong.


Parental Guidance is fifth this weekend, as I guess there are still people that enjoy the old-fashioned kick in the groin jokes. The Billy Crystal picture earned another $10.1 million and fell a mere 30% compared to last weekend’s take of $14.6 million. Made for two balls of twine and a bucket of water (or $20 million), Parental Guidance has now earned $52.7 million, and is proof of why studios release films at Christmas.

Jack Reacher drops to sixth, but despite what some media outlets are reporting, Jack Reacher is going to be a success for Paramount. This weekend, the Tom Cruise film earned another $9.3 million at the box office and declined 32% compared to last weekend’s $13.6 million take. Since opening, the action flick has brought in $64.8 million on the domestic front, and is just getting started overseas, where it’s already tallied $22.5 million. Remember, this one was made for $60 million, and should approach $90 million on the domestic front. In the end, Jack Reacher should be Tom Cruise’s second biggest picture out his last six, as this should outgross Knight and Day ($76.4 million – cost $117 million), Valkyrie ($83 million – cost $75 million), Rock of Ages ($38.5 million) and Lions for Lambs ($15 million).

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