The Croods Top Spring Box Office Weekend
By John Hamann
March 24, 2013
The Croods played slightly better than How to Train Your Dragon in that debut weekend, earning an 3.85 multiplier, and finding a decent - but not at all spectacular - opening weekend gross of $44.7 million. I’m sure DWA and Fox would rather see an opening like Monsters vs. Aliens (late March 2009 release date, $59.3 million opening weekend, $198.4 million domestic take), but will have to trade that debut and hope for some serious legs. Those legs may be in question, though, as The Croods definitely does not have How to Train Your Dragon reviews. The Croods is currently 65% fresh at RottenTomatoes, while it is no Mars Needs Moms (37% fresh) it is nowhere near that of Dragon (98% fresh), or even last summer’s Brave (78% fresh). The Croods did manage an A Cinemascore (as did Dragon), which these days is a must for an expensive animated feature. With this type of performance, I don’t see the DWA stock price moving too much on Monday; The Croods met expectations, but a lot will depend on how the film in received globally by audiences.
Following a strong marketing campaign for a throwback of a film, FilmDistrict will be very pleased this morning with the result of Olympus Has Fallen, the new action flick where North Koreans invade the White House. Olympus actually approached the success of The Croods on Friday night, narrowly losing out by $1.6 million, as Olympus earned $10 million while The Croods earned $11.6 million. Of course, over the rest of the weekend, kids dominated theaters, and the weekend multiplier comparison drifts between the two films by a full point (mathematically, an entire day of moviegoing). The Gerard Butler flick (I would rather call it a Morgan Freeman flick) finished the weekend with a strong $30.5 million from 3,098 venues.
Considering the tough times action movies have had in 2013, Olympus Has Fallen provides new life to tough guys. This is no The Last Stand ($6.3 million opening), Bullet to the Head ($4.5 million opening) or Parker ($7 million opening), as while the premise of Olympus made me think of a throwback '80s action movie, the marketing was a thousand times better than any of the previously mentioned films. Olympus cost FilmDistrict $70 million to make; it should earn at least $75 million domestically, and potentially twice that overseas. FilmDistrict finally has a hit on its hands, as until this one came along, the upstart’s top grosser was Insidious, at $54 million (although that came versus a $1.5 million budget).
Finishing third this weekend is the now three-weekend old Oz the Great Powerful, Disney’s prequel to one of the most famous stories in movie history. Following the $79 million opening and the $41.3 million follow up weekend (off 48%), Oz continued to drift lower, showing little signs of any sort of legs. In its third weekend, the $215 million Disney production earned $22 million and was off significantly again, dropping 47%. The trend down has been similar to that of Alice In Wonderland, but it opened far larger at $116 million before falling 46% and 45.5% in weekend three. Alice had already earned $265 million by the end of its third frame, while Oz The Great and Powerful has found $177.6 million. Maybe Tim Burton would have been the better choice than Sam Raimi (I would have gone to the Coen Brothers version, but that’s about it). Regardless, this Oz will make $225 million domestically, and a bucketload more internationally, as it passed the $300 million global mark on Saturday.