Weekend Wrap Up: Affleck Continues Rise to Top

Ben Affleck’s career resurrection has been nothing short of inspiring. His latest hit, Argo, has shown some very impressive legs, but unfortunately, the rest of the box office could not continue the momentum it’s had for the past month or so. However, this weekend could just prove to be a lull before things pick up a week from now as we say goodbye to Halloween.


It’s unusual enough for a film to take the number one spot in its second weekend after failing to do in its debut. It’s even more impressive when a film rises to the top spot in its third weekend. That rare honor goes to Argo this weekend, as a number of factors all work together to give the Ben Affleck its first weekend victory. All the openers disappointed, last weekend’s big holdover collapsed, and most importantly, Argo is just damn fine filmmaking. It slipped 25% to 12.3 million, lifting its total up 60.8 million. About three million below The Town through the same point, given its superior legs, Argo has a good shot at besting Affleck’s last directorial effort’s 92 million. 

Hotel Transylvania manages to move up two spots to fourth, as this really continues to be the breakout movie of the autumn season. Probably boosted by Halloween’s proximity, it slipped just 27% to 9.5 million. Its total stands at 130 million right now, but considering that Halloween will have passed by next weekend and it will also face direct competition from Wreck-It Ralph, this could be the last of the great legs for Hotel Transylvania.

Debuting under already low expectations in third is Cloud Atlas, the pricey epic from Warner Bros. I’ll certainly always admire the ambition of the Wachowski siblings, but they simply repeat the success of The Matrix. Anyway, their latest effort debuted to just 9.4 million. On the plus side, its venue average of $4,681 was actually the highest in the top ten.

Joining the dubious club of movies that fell over 70% in their second weekends is Paranormal Activity 4, which might well give Paramount some serious pause about the future direction of this franchise, despite the fact that even this entry will be wildly profitable. Anyway, Katie and friends crashed 70% to 8.7 million, lifting the sum to 42.6 million.

Tying for fifth with 8 million apiece are Taken 2 and Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. The Liam Neeson flick dropped 40% and now has a total of 117 million. Silent Hill opened way under its precursor and will be quickly forgotten by next weekend. Here Comes the Boom continued its decent legs, dropping 35% to 5.5 million. A 30 million total so far is disappointing, but hardly a disaster. I don’t see how this film could’ve cost a whole lot of money.

Dropping 43% to 5.1 million, Sinister now stands at 40 million. Considering this one only cost 3 million to make, this is hugely profitable for Summit, which continues to try to prove it can have successes outside the Twilight films. Alex Cross plummeted 56% to just over 5 million. It’s got about 19 million so far. I guess Tyler Perry should stick to drag. And Star Trek. Finally, Fun Size opened in tenth place, managing just 4.1 million. It’ll even have a hard time matching its low budget of 14 million.

Next weekend features two films with breakout potential, so the box office should pick up in a major way. And, well, one movie that I would be rather surprised to see crack 15 million.

Wreck-It Ralph: From the first moment I saw this film’s trailer, I fell in love with the concept. I really do think this has major breakout potential, especially if it’s a quality film. Hotel Transylvania is winding down, so kids and families should turn out in force. I think this should open in line with some other recent Pixar releases, particularly Brave, and gross about 65 million.

Flight: This seems like a role tailor made for Denzel Washington. The trailers are very well done and the subject matter is refreshingly original. Flight should open a bit about Denzel’s normal 20 million range with closer to 30 million.

The Man with the Iron Fists: A bit of an oddball this weekend, I’m nonetheless intrigued. Even still, audiences have pretty much ignored similar films (Sucker Punch, Ninja Assassin, The Warrior’s Way, etc.), so I think this should only debut to about 10 million. Until we meet again.

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