Weekend Wrap-Up

Jack looms large at the box office, but not big enough

By Kim Hollis

March 3, 2013

I'm not sure why I'm in this and not Game of Thrones.

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Relativity Media tried to capture the same audience that Project X found exactly a year ago, but 21 and Over proved to be just a middling performer. Starring absolutely no one that you’ve ever heard of (with perhaps the exception of the love interest in Pitch Perfect), the film managed $9 million from its 2,271 locations, good for a per venue average of $3,963. Critics (including BOP’s Sean Collier) disliked the film, as it scored only 31% at Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences weren’t overly impressed, either, as the movie’s Cinemascore is a decidedly tepid B. The good news for Relativity is that the film’s budget was a meager $13 million, so it’s going to be profitable by the end of next weekend. Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, who wrote the original Hangover, directed 21 and Over. The marketing emphasized that fact, which was probably good enough to land fans of this sort of “dude flick” in theaters.

You might have thought that the last exorcism occurred in 2010, but you're wrong. No, we saw that the story could continue with The Last Exorcism Part II, which earned only $8 million this weekend, less than the $9.4 million that the original film debuted with on its opening day. From CBS films, The Last Exorcism Part II had a budget of only $5 million, so it's going to be just fine financially, but it does offer proof that not every film is really worthy of a sequel.

After finishing in second place last week, Snitch drops to fifth this frame. The action flick featuring The Rock dropped 41% to $7.7 million, bringing its overall total to $24.4 million. While this is actually better than some of the wrestler’s other brethren in action have fared recently (Arnold Schwartzenegger, Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone), it’s still a thoroughly average performance overall. Still, although budget numbers aren’t readily available, Lionsgate probably didn’t have a big financial investment here. With home video, it will likely prove to have been a profitable venture.


Sixth place goes to the animated kid flick Escape from Planet Earth, I title that I regularly forget each week until I look at box office results and see it sitting there in the top five. Down 39% from the previous frame, the Weinstein Co. family film earned another $6.7 million this weekend. Its cumulative total now sits at $43.2 million. It should do right around the same amount of business that the Weinsteins’ Hoodwinked managed back in 2005, or maybe a bit better. Does that justify a sequel? Considering the budget was just $40 million, that’s probably enough to start a conversation, anyway.

When we get to the seventh place film, we start to notice the truly unusual composition of the top 12 this weekend. Only four movies in that group are from the “big” studios. The rest all come from the smaller upstarts and midsize distributors. Relativity sees its second project in the top ten with Safe Haven, the Nicholas Sparks adaptation that got off to a solid start on Valentine’s Day and then has bottomed out from there. Despite a general lack of truly female-focused options in the top ten, Safe Haven declined 41% to $6.3 million. The romance, which features Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel, has now earned $57 million, making it a solid winner for the studio even if it did earn the bulk of its money early on. The budget for the film was a frugal $28 million.

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