Weekend Wrap Up: Evil Dead Possesses America

I’ll admit I’m often not the best at predicting the box office, namely opening weekends, of many films, but usually I at least land somewhere in the ballpark. But every so often, a movie comes along that completely destroys my expectations. More often than not, this is because said movie made far more than I expected. That is the case this weekend, as Evil Dead made nearly double what I thought it would manage.

Evil Dead

A friend and I are planning on seeing Evil Dead later this afternoon, so I can’t personally say if it lives up to its claim of “the most terrifying film you will ever experience,” but even if it doesn’t end up delivering the scary goods, it’s already delivered the box office goods by way of its $26 million opening. This is a ridiculously good result, since not one of the original Evil Dead Trilogy made even half of $26 million…in their entire runs. Clearly, the studio worked wonders with the advertising and the cult status of the original trilogy propelled this one to a very strong opening.

However, it’s not all good news, as there was clearly a big rush to see this. It made $11.9 million on Friday, fell 26% to $8.8 million on Saturday and is projected to fall another 40% to $5.3 million today. That’s fairly typical for a horror movie to be front-loaded like that, but given the good reviews (65% at Rotten Tomatoes, which is stellar for a horror flick) I thought it might be a bit more leggy. However, the Cinemascore for Evil Dead is only a C+. Then again, it has a solid 7.5 user rating at IMDB and 78% among users at Rotten Tomatoes. Regardless, I’m sure it will fall hard next weekend, but with a budget of only $17 million, this is already a hit.

Finishing in second place is last weekend’s champ, G.I. Joe: Retaliation. It fell 48%, which is quite a bit better than the drop from the first G.I. Joe, and made $21.1 million, which isn’t far off what Rise of Cobra made in its second weekend. Ultimately, I think Retaliation will have noticeably better legs, but will still fall short of its predecessor’s total. Through two weeks, the $86.7 million total of Retaliation is about $12 million behind Rise of Cobra at the same point.

Third went to The Croods, which was estimated at $21.1 million, identical to G.I. Joe, so we’ll see which one comes out on top when actuals are released tomorrow. Anyway, the Nic Cage cartoon dropped a small 21% to lift its total up to $125.8 million. At its current pace, a total around $175 million seems possible, which might be enough to warrant a sequel.

Jurassic Park 3D finished in fourth, pulling in a solid $18.3 million. These 3D conversions and re-releases cost very little and pretty much just easy money for studios. This opening is off a bit from The Phantom Menace 3D, but it’s still solid. If this re-release does well enough in weeks to come, it could push the total gross of Jurassic Park into the exclusive $400 million club, something achieved by only 15 films domestically.

Stabilizing after last weekend’s big drop, Olympus Has Fallen dropped just 29% to $10.04 million. A $71.1 million total is very good and much needed for Gerard Butler. Dropping 54% down to sixth place is Tyler Perry’s Temptation, which pulled in an even $10 million this weekend. A $38.4 million total so far has got to be good since Perry’s movies always have low budgets.

The once powerful Oz is now winding down. After falling 30% to $8.2 million this weekend, it lifted its gross to $213 million. Still by far the highest grossing film of 2013 and the first to cross $200 million, Oz has even still only just matched its budget stateside so it will still need those overseas grosses to turn a profit.

Undoubtedly a flop now, The Host dropped 50% to $5.2 million to lift its weak total up to $19.7 million, or less than half its budget. At last we are near the day when we can bid farewell to Stephanie Meyer. The Call slid 29% to $3.5 million and brought its gross to $45.5 million. Finally, in tenth, we have Admission, which pulled in $2.05 million. It was down 37% and has now amassed just $15.4 million.

Well, there you go. Evil Dead ultimately debuted roughly in line with tracking and the expectations of many of the predictions I read this week….and I was way off. It happens. That said, this weekend up being pretty strong, with four films making more than $18 million. Next weekend brings us both Scary Movie 5 and 42, the latter of which I’m cautiously optimistic about. We’ll see how everything goes down next weekend. See you guys then.

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