Marked Ones Frozen as Disney Starts 2014 at #1
By John Hamann
January 5, 2014
Finishing second this weekend is Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, as the series attempts to spin off into subtitles, and then oddly has Paranormal Activity 5 coming out in October. It may be too much for the fan base - The Marked Ones turned in the lowest score so far for a Paranormal Activity debut weekend, coming in at "only" $18.2 million, following Friday night when it was ahead of Frozen by $2 million. Most of that $2 million came from Thursday night screenings, which earned $1.2 million despite the weather. That’s significantly lower than the $29 million earned by Paranormal Activity 4 in October 2012, but on target with 2013’s first horror film, Texas Chainsaw 3D, which took in $21.7 million over the January 4-6, 2013 weekend.
If this sounds disappointing, remember how much these Paranormal Activity films cost. The first Paranormal Activity cost less than my last car at $15,000, and earned $108 million. Paranormal Activity 2 cost $3 million and earned $84.8 million, Paranormal Activity 3 and 4 both cost $5 million, and combined for $157 million. The Marked Ones also cost $5 million, so even if it only manages the total of the fourth film at $53 million, it will still make 10 times it production budget, and should earn more overseas than it will domestically. The franchise is showing signs of fatigue, and not only in terms of box office. The Marked Ones received a Cinemascore of C-, which is even bad for a horror film. Look for a 70% drop next weekend and a quick exit out of the top ten.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is third this weekend, as it follows a similar box office pattern to that of the first Hobbit film. After earning $29 million last weekend, its third, Desolation of Smaug dropped 44% to $16.3 million this weekend. The original Hobbit earned $32 million in weekend three and then dropped 45% in weekend four to $17.5 million. The Desolation of Smaug remains about $30 million behind its predecessor, and should finish with about $275 million on the domestic side. Overseas, it’s running with about $527 million, and has some ground to make up on the original in that regard, and The Hobbit earned $714 million abroad.
The Wolf of Wall Street squeaks ahead of American Hustle to finish in fourth spot this weekend, as the two films continue to go toe to toe (too bad Grudge Match wasn’t this popular). The Martin Scorsese/Leonardo DiCaprio romp earned another $13.4 million, off 27% compared to last weekend. DiCaprio’s Wolf of Wall Street is falling behind his other Christmas Day openers, Catch Me If You Can and Django Unchained. 2002’s Catch Me had earned $97.4 million after 12 days of release and Django had pulled in $106.3 million. So far, Wolf of Wall Street has earned $63.3 million against its $100 million budget, and has yet to open in overseas venues.
That puts Sony’s American Hustle in fifth as it battles with Wolf of Wall Street to attract the same audience. American Hustle earned $13.2 million and was off 29% compared to last weekend. The biggest difference between the two films is cost. American Hustle cost Sony $40 million to make, whereas Wolf of Wall Street cost $100 million. American Hustle has now earned twice its budget back with a gross so far of $88.7 million.