Weekend Wrap-Up

I, Frankenstein Flops; Ride Along Tops as Box Office Slides

By John Hamann

January 26, 2014

C'mon, smile! We're #1 again!

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Third spot goes to The Nut Job, the Open Road animated release that beat expectations over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. After taking in $19.4 million over three days last weekend and a solid $25.7 million over four days, The Nut Job was able to squirrel away another $12.3 million this weekend, declining 37%. The budget on The Nut Job was $42 million, an amount this one should see by next weekend. This is not going to be a huge hit with only domestic sales counted, but it could find further business overseas. So far, the Open Road release has earned $40.3 million, and is already the upstart distributor’s fourth biggest film.

Frozen is able to pop back up to fourth place in its ninth weekend of wide release. The Disney Animation release earned another $9 million this weekend, dropping a terrific 23% compared to last weekend. Frozen leapfrogs The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers to become the 27th biggest domestic release of all-time this weekend with its overall take of $347.8 million. I see Frozen topping out around $365 million, very close to Despicable Me 2’s total of $368 million. It also crossed the $800 million worldwide mark this weekend, the 10th Walt Disney Studios film ever to achieve that lofty standard.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit finishes fifth. After a three-day take last weekend of $15.5 million, and a four-day of $18 million, the Chris Pine release falls a spot compared to the previous frame. Jack Ryan pulled in $8.8 million this weekend, which means it fell 43% compared to its three-day take last weekend. The $60 million Paramount release is not going to match its production budget stateside; however, of the four openers released last weekend, Jack Ryan is likely to be the biggest overseas grosser. Shadow Recruit has already pulled in $46 million overseas, with at least $10 million of that coming from China. If it can earn $50 million stateside and $80 million overseas, it should keep the studio from taking a heavy hit on the production. Domestically, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit has earned $30.2 million.

Way down in sixth is I, Frankenstein, a bad movie that is simply not worth the investment of $65 million. I, Frankenstein earned only $8.3 million from 2,753 screens, which means it had a venue average of only $3,006. The Aaron Eckhart film was held back from critics until release, and at this point, with 38 reviews counted at RottenTomatoes, only two are positive. It has a zero "fresh" reviews from Top Critics. This one was supposed to come out a year ago, in February, but got pushed to April, and then got pushed again to this weekend. Lionsgate is the distributor on this one, but won’t take a financial hit. Lakeshore Entertainment, producers of the Underworld series, will bear the financial burden for I, Frankenstein. Even with the ugly domestic numbers, it could see some dollars overseas.

Many of the Oscar hopefuls expanded their runs this weekend, reducing the risk of an ugly percentage drop dampening their Oscar chances. American Hustle leads the Oscar charge again this weekend, albeit in seventh. The David O. Russell release earned another $7.1 million this weekend, down from the $9.9 million it earned over three days last weekend and good for a drop of 28%. The $40 million Sony release added 100 screens this weekend, and brings its domestic total up to $127 million. Overseas, it has brought in another $35 million.


Eighth is the Weinstein release August: Osage County. The Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts release earned another $5 million, which means it’s down a hefty 32% compared to last weekend. The dark comedy has earned $26.5 million stateside, and another $9 million overseas.

The Wolf of Wall Street finishes ninth as the Marty Scorsese movie continues to climb toward $100 million, which is also the amount of its production budget. This weekend, Wolf earned another $5 million and fell 29% compared to last weekend. It has brought in $98 million domestically, in addition to another $77 million overseas for Paramount.

Messing up the Oscar list is Devil’s Due, which flopped last weekend, but earned more than its $7 million production budget, so the stream of these ridiculous films will never end. This weekend, the horror film fell 67%, and has a gross so far of $12.9 million.

Eleventh is Her from Spike Jonze. Disappointingly, Her is going to be the Best Picture nomination no one has seen, as it continues to struggle to find and hold an audience. This weekend, Her earned $2.3 million, down 43% from the $4 million three-day gross from last weekend. Her has now pulled in $19.1 million stateside, and is just getting started overseas.

Both Dallas Buyers Club and 12 Years a Slave finish outside the top 12. Buyers Club earned $2 million this weekend, an increase over last weekend of 117%, as the venue count went from 419 to 1,110 this weekend. It has a running score of $20.4 million. 12 Years a Slave added 470 venues and earned $2 million, good for a 30% increase. It has a tally of $43.5 million so far.

Overall, the weekend suffered the typical post-MLK Jr. holiday blahs. The top 12 films earned $96.5 million, on par with last year, when Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters led the top 12 to $88.5 million. Next weekend brings Labor Day, a movie that is a failed Oscar candidate, and That Awkward Moment, an R-rated romantic comedy.

Top Weekend Box Office for 1/24/14-1/26/14 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Ride Along New Line Cinema $21,161,530 - 49% $75,406,840
2 Lone Survivor UNIVERSAL $12,600,570 - 43% $93,614,531
3 The Nut Job Open Road Films $12,316,000 - 37% $40,271,245
4 Frozen DISNEY $9,035,000 - 23% $347,816,000
5 Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit PARAMOUNT $8,800,000 - 43% $30,168,000
6 I, Frankenstein Lionsgate $8,275,000 New $8,275,000
7 American Hustle SONY $7,100,000 - 28% $127,039,000
8 August: Osage County Weinstein Co. $5,041,000 - 32% $26,526,501
9 The Wolf of Wall Street PARAMOUNT $5,000,000 - 29% $98,030,000
10 Devil's Due Fox $2,750,000 - 67% $12,886,000
11 Her WARNER BROS. $2,285,000 - 43% $19,175,000
12 The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug WARNER BROS. $2,165,000 - 42% $252,344,000
  Also Opening/Notables
  Jai Ho Eros $850,000 New $850,000
  Gimme Shelter Roadside Attractions $700,000 New $700,000
  Gloria Roadside Attractions $60,000 New $60,000
  Visitors Cinedigm $10,742 New $10,742
  American Mustang Vitagraph/just Media $4,400 - 44% $13,068
  Saving Mr. Banks DISNEY $2,135,000 - 45% $79,213,000
  Inside Llewyn Davis Cbs Films $500,000 - 50% $12,000,000
  Philomena Weinstein Co. $1,031,000 - 18% $25,769,579
  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Lionsgate $1,550,000 - 37% $420,031,968
  Nebraska PARAMOUNT $1,435,000 + 62% $11,603,000
  Dallas Buyers Club Focus Features $2,045,000 + 117% $20,373,707
  12 Years a Slave FOX SEARCHLIGHT $2,015,000 + 31% $43,543,800
  Gravity WARNER BROS. $2,020,000 + 8% $261,203,000
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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