Weekend Wrap-Up

By David Mumpower

April 27, 2014

And now we do the dance of joy.

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The crown jewel of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, continues to be a popular vacation spot for families. Last weekend’s third place film drops a spot to fourth, but it still held well from week to week. Rio 2 attained another $13.6 million worth of box office, a 39% drop from last weekend’s $22.2 million. It has a running total of $96.2 million after 17 days in theaters. For comparison, Rio had earned $104 million at the same point in its release phase, including $14.8 million during its third frame. Ergo, Rio 2 is a touch behind the pace of its predecessor but it is still performing satisfactorily overall.

The producers of Brick Mansions were in a no-win situation this weekend. The film’s star, Paul Walker, died in a car wreck late last year, thereby placing them in a tragic as well as awkward position. Films featuring deceased stars are difficult to market because any mention of the late celebrity seems tawdry, thereby dissuading consumers from giving the movie a chance. Conversely, any movie without a strong advertising campaign is doomed to fail. I believe that the marketing team did as good a job as was possible here. They crafted a strong trailer featuring action sequences sans dialogue. In that way, they demonstrated that the movie starred Paul Walker without appearing tasteless. The box office results were still mediocre as Brick Mansions debuted to $9.6 million in 2,647 locations, a per-venue average of $3,627. Realistically, this $28 million production from Luc Besson is a Raid: The Redemption wannabe and not a good movie. It is only 28% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a B+ Cinemascore. So the frustrating aspect of the film is that Paul Walker is dead, not that the movie deserved a better fate.

Johnny Depp’s box office flame is waning into a wisp of smoke. The actor with a recent claim to being the largest draw in the world is suffering through another massive bomb with Transcendence. The science fiction “thriller” has disappointed at every turn thus far. First, it earned less than $5 million on opening day. Then, its weekend estimate was a modest $11.1 million; sadly, even that pathetic expectation proved unreasonable. The actual opening weekend tally for Transcendence was a shade under $10.9 million. Given such a tiny debut, its second weekend decline should have been lower than normal for a genre flick. Instead, Transcendence dropped 62% to $4.1 million. After only 10 days in theaters, this ill-fated project is already a box office non-factor. Its running total of $18.4 million and current downward trajectory is indicative of a title that may not earn $30 million domestically. A pertinent reminder at this moment is that Transcendence cost $100 million to produce. It will need to triple that total overseas to avoid being an abject disaster from a financial perspective.


I am of the opinion that a movie with a meek title oftentimes becomes self-fulfilling prophecy. That belief was reinforced once again this weekend as The Quiet Ones opened…well, you know. Exhibited in 2,027 locations, the latest Lionsgate horror flick grossed a meager $4 million. That total reflects a per-venue average of $1,973. Everybody reading this column should know the rule here. Any opener that garners less than $2,000 per playdate is a dud. The slasher slick is 39% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, and I won’t lie about the fact that its score is at least double what I had imagined. The C+ Cinemascore is more in line with my expectations. The Quiet Ones features a rising star (at least theoretically) in Sam Claflin, the once and future Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games franchise. His agent probably wishes that people such as me would stop reminding people of this fact. Claflin may prove to be a box office draw at some point after The Hunger Games franchise has boosted his presence. If so, this becomes his House at the End of the Street. Hey, if it can happen to Jennifer Lawrence, it can happen to anybody.

Rounding out the top ten this week are a trio of holdovers. Disneynature’s Bears disappointed last weekend, but recovered a bit this frame, declining only 25%. It earned $3.6 million and has garnered $11.2 million after 10 days. Divergent, Lionsgate’s mediocre attempt at another Hunger Games-esque franchise, fell 36% to $3.6 million and has now grossed $139.5 million domestically. The $85 million production has also accrued $93.2 million overseas, which means the first one is profitable. I am wildly skeptical about future sequels, though. Finally, A Haunted House 2 proved once again that it is no A Haunted House. The unwelcome sequel fell 64% to $3.2 million and is already about to fall out of the top 10. It has attained $14.2 million worth of box office against a $4 million budget, though. So we will probably see another one of these as well. My only request: make this one funny for a change.

Next weekend’s big debut, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, is already an overseas revenue machine. It earned another $67.2 million abroad, giving it a running total of $132 million. It will have next weekend to itself, so we have 96 hours of “It looks terrible!”/”Shut up, it looks great!” internet arguments to enjoy (?).

Top Weekend Box Office for 4/25/14-4/27/14 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 The Other Woman IFC Films $24,700,000 New $24,700,000
2 Captain America: the Winter Soldier DISNEY $16,048,000 - 37% $224,888,000
3 Heaven Is For Real SONY $13,800,000 - 39% $51,911,000
4 Rio 2 Fox $13,650,000 - 38% $96,158,400
5 Brick Mansions Relativity $9,600,000 New $9,600,000
6 Transcendence WARNER BROS. $4,105,000 - 62% $18,472,000
7 The Quiet Ones Lionsgate $4,000,000 New $4,000,000
8 Bears Disneynature $3,606,000 - 25% $11,153,000
9 Divergent Lionsgate $3,600,000 - 36% $139,462,891
10 A Haunted House 2 Open Road $3,150,000 - 64% $14,150,000
11 Draft Day Lionsgate $2,766,000 - 52% $24,143,851
12 The Grand Budapest Hotel FOX SEARCHLIGHT $2,475,000 - 28% $48,819,000
  Also Opening/Notables
  Walking With the Enemy Liberty Studios $325,000 New $325,000
  Locke A24 $89,210 New $89,210
  The German Doctor Samuel Goldwyn $35,013 New $35,013
  Blue Ruin Radius/twc $31,832 New $31,832
  For No Good Reason Samuel Goldwyn $5,014 New $5,014
  Fading Gigolo Millennium $322,620 + 78% $567,113
  Oculus Relativity $2,150,000 - 58% $25,200,000
  Only Lovers Left Alive Sony Classics $216,450 + 85% $516,471
  The Railway Man Weinstein Co. $606,000 + 269% $922,839
  Under the Skin A24 $263,845 - 44% $1,522,265
  Noah PARAMOUNT $2,250,000 - 55% $97,281,000
  God's Not Dead Freestyle $2,400,000 - 48% $52,300,000
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
Continued:       1       2



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