Weekend Wrap Up: The Undead Bring Life to Box Office

The box office rebounded after last weekend’s awful showing, but it’s not like it could’ve possibly sunk any lower. The uptick this weekend wasn’t as much as expected, as neither new wide release managed to make anything spectacular.

Resident Evil: Retribution

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Debuting to the second weakest opening in the franchise, but still taking the top spot, is Resident Evil: Retribution. This has been a remarkably consistent franchise, but I think the fifth entry here might be the first sign of diminishing returns. The zombie flick pulled in 21.1 million, a solid number, but it’s still a full 5 million off the last entry in the series. Nonetheless, these movies remain relatively cheap to make, so adding in overseas grosses, Retribution will be just fine.

The debut of Finding Nemo 3D leaves something to be desired, as it fell short of the opening of The Lion King 3D. Dory and friends opened to 17.5 million, which is good but I can’t help but feel Disney was hoping to open above 20. Nonetheless, Finding Nemo grossed over 300 million in its initial run, so it’s really not like Disney hasn’t already made enough money off this film.

After two weeks on top, The Possession slips 38% to 5.8 million. Its gross of 41 million so looks very strong against its low 14 million budget. Lawless held well, dropping just 30% to 4.2 million. Still, its 30 million total is on the weak side. The best hold in the top twelve belongs to ParaNorman, which dropped just 28% to a little over 3 million. A 49 million total ain’t half bad.

Dropping 38% to 3.03 million is The Expendables 2. It’s made 80 million so far and will fall well short of its predecessor, but still, a final gross around 90 million is pretty solid. The Words doesn’t fall too badly, slowing 39% to 2.9 million. But a 9 million total? This is a failure on a whole bunch of levels. Tying ParaNorman for best hold is The Bourne Legacy, which also slipped 28%. The sequel grossed 2.9 million for a total of 109 million.

Grossing 2.5 million after sliding 31%, we have The Odd Life of Timothy Green. 46 million is a very respectable total so far. Tenth place goes to The Campaign, which was down just 29%. Another 2.4 million this weekend lifted the political comedy to about 83 million. Quite possibly spending its last weekend in the top twelve, we have The Dark Knight Rises. Batman dropped 34% to 2.1 million. With a total of 441 million, this is the easily the highest grossing and most successful box office “disappointment” ever.

Finally, in twelfth, we have a film in limited release (just 197 theatres) that I’ve never heard of. Arbitrage, a thriller starring Richard Gere, debuted to 2.07 million for a solid per theatre average of over $10,000, better than any other movie in the top twelve. It’s always nice to end on a good note. Let’s take a look what should be a packed box office next weekend, with four new wide releases.

Dredd: I think this looks pretty slick, and I do love my over-the-top, campy, self-aware action movies and Dredd looks to have all those qualities in spades. That said, I just can’t picture this breaking out. However, the early reviews have been glowing (90% at Rotten Tomatoes off 51 reviews. Seriously.), so you never know.

End of Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal stars in a gritty cop movie whose reviews have been solid so far. Only 14 at Rotten Tomatoes as of today, but 13 of those are fresh. It’s hard to pinpoint where a movie like this will debut, so I’ll openly admit that End of Watch is a wildcard for me.

House at the End of the Street: Much easier to predict should be this Jennifer Lawrence horror film. These kinds of movies all generally debut in roughly the same range. My early prediction is somewhere around 11 million.

Trouble with the Curve: Wait a minute, Clint Eastwood is playing a curmudgeonly old man? He’s never done that before. Nonetheless, a strong cast in a baseball movie (which usually seem to do decently well) should mean Trouble with the Curve does just fine, even if the reviews come in as less than stellar. That said, I apologize for being a day late on my analysis this week. I’ll see you guys next weekend.

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