Ender Leads, But Grandpa(s) Still Alive
By John Hamann
November 3, 2013
Finishing second is Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, as it follows up its strong opening frame with a solid sophomore outing. After opening last weekend to $32.1 million, Bad Grandpa held decently, earning $20.5 million and dropping a not-horrific 36%. As I pointed out last weekend, out of all the Jackass releases out there, only Jackass 3D with its $50 million debut fell more than 50% in its second frame. Jackass films are admittedly funny to many, word gets out, and these films find success after opening weekend. This is great news when your film costs only $15 million. Bad Grandpa doubled that amount last weekend, and more than matches it this weekend. If Bad Grandpa manages an opening-to-total multiplier of 3.0, it will come in just short of $100 million, and out of the Jackass series, will finish second behind only Jackass 3D, which topped out at $117 million. Bad Grandpa has a gross so far of $62.1 million. Paramount hasn’t had a significant release since World War Z last July, so this is a good start as they head toward the holiday season.
Third spot goes to Last Vegas, the senior citizen comedy with some of the best actors of the last 40 years, including Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline. While it’s not Wild Hogs or Hangover, Last Vegas did manage to open solidly, pulling in $16.5 million from 3,065 screens, slightly better than tracking had indicated it would. The production budget for the CBS Films release was only $28 million, so the debut puts the film in a strong position to make a ton of money. With blockbusters for the younger set peppering the November schedule, Last Vegas could provide light counter-programming for older adults over the next few frames. Middling reviews indicate it won’t be a breakout success, but it did earn an A- Cinemascore, so nothing is off the table. It does have a real chance to best The Woman in Black, which earned $54.3 million, to become CBS Films best performer domestically to date. Since it is specifically targeted at an older demographic, that kind of long term performance is certainly a possibility.
For the stars of Last Vegas, the opening is solid compared to their recent output. Michael Douglas’s last $15 million plus start was Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps in 2010, which opened to $19 million. For Robert DeNiro, his last one was Limitless in 2011, which opened to $18.9 million. Morgan Freeman, the oldest cast member, has had six of his last films open to greater than $15 million, with Last Vegas being his low point since Invictus in 2009. It's Kevin Kline who most needed Last Vegas to succeed. He did appear in No Strings Attached in 2011, but his last lead role with more than $15 million unfortunately comes from The Pink Panther, which opened to $20 million in 2006.
Fourth spot goes to Free Birds, Relativity Media’s shot at animated glory. For some reason, they chose a tale about Thanksgiving, starring turkeys (is it just me or won’t that lead to some tough conversations with the kids at Thanksgiving?). I obviously wasn’t the only one thinking that, as Free Birds debuted this weekend to a meager $16.2 million from 3,736 venues, giving it the highest venue count in the top ten, and the lowest opening amongst the newbies.