Weekend Wrap Up: “42” Hits a Home Run

This weekend saw two new releases open on polar opposite ends of the reception spectrum. 42 came in 75% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, along with a glowing A+ Cinemascore. On the other hand, Scary Movie managed a 6% (yes, a six) at Rotten Tomatoes while only garnering a C- Cinemascore. Fortunately, quality prevailed over crap this weekend, as the Jackie Robinson tale handily defeated a once formidable franchise.

42

42 was swinging for the fences and aiming for the best baseball movie opening ever, and it got it. Handily beating The Benchwarmers ($19.7 million) and Moneyball ($19.5 million), the Jackie Robinson biopic premiered to a strong $27.3 million. This is a bit above tracking estimates, so couple that with what seems to be a very warm audience reception and 42 has a shot at $100 million, especially since a film like this appeals more to older audiences and they’re not to type to rush out on opening weekend. As the Rotten Tomatoes consensus put it, 42 certainly lacked complexity, but it still tells an important story, and I’d be happy to see this film do well in the weeks to come.

Opening well back in second place is Scary Movie 5 with a very disappointing $15.1 million. Not only is that even less than A Haunted House earlier this year, it’s less than Scary Movie 4 made in its opening day. So to call this a flop is an understatement. I guess brand recognition can only go so far, especially when all the trailers and commercials were utterly devoid of laughs and A Haunted House already beat it to the punch. This will be the last we ever see of this franchise.

Third goes to The Croods, which was off 36%. With $13.2 million more this weekend, its total has been lifted to $142.5 million. That pushes it past Identity Thief to become 2013’s second highest grossing film behind Oz, though it continues to fall behind the pace of How to Train Your Dragon, which had grossed $16 million more through the same point.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation dropped 48% to $10.8 million. Its $100.4 million total through three weekends is about $19 million behind the original G.I. Joe. Following in fifth place is last week’s champ, Evil Dead, which took the standard horror movie plunge, collapsing 63% down to $9.5 million, which alone is still almost more than any of the original trilogy grossed in their entire runs. A $41.5 million total is pretty solid.

Jurassic Park 3D dropped 53%, which seems pretty much in line with other 3D re-releases. $8.8 million this weekend brings its total to just under $32 million. Proving to be one of the bigger surprises of the year, Olympus Has Fallen pulled in another $7.3 million and was down 28%. With a shade under $82 million in the bank, I think it will end just shy of $100 million, but this is still a badly needed hit for Gerard Butler.

Oz, 2013’s champ until Iron Man 3 comes along and decimates it, grossed $4.9 million this weekend after slipping 39%. With $219.4 million in the bank, it should end somewhere in the $230 million range. A far cry from Alice in Wonderland, but still pretty solid. Tyler Perry’s Temptation dropped 55% to $4.5 million, bringing its gross to $45.4 million.

In tenth, we have the expansion of The Place Beyond the Pines. It pulled in $4.1 million from 514 theatres, good for a venue average of $7,937, second only to 42 in the top ten. It’s got $5.5 million so far and it will be interesting to see how it does in the coming weeks, especially in light of more potential expansions. But, anyway, that does it for this weekend. Next week brings us just the Tom Cruise sci-fi flick, Oblivion. I stand by my earlier prediction of $35 million. See ya next week, guys.

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