Weekend Wrap Up: “Ender’s Game” Wins

What is sure to be a huge November gets off to a pretty ho-hum start this weekend, with three new wide releases that all failed to make much of a dent. This is one of many times that we’ve seen a bit of a breather weekend before an upcoming box office storm. And this impending storm will be sure to bring plenty of thunder next weekend.

Ender’s Game

File:Ender's Game poster.jpg

Ender’s Game debuted to a solid, if unspectacular, $28 million. It does have a $110 million budget, so it’s definitely making any profits stateside. Overseas audiences seem to love special effects-laden CGI action flicks, so this may yet turn a profit. The film looks very pretty and got decent reviews, but even if it has great word of mouth, which is unlikely, it will still get crushed by Thor next weekend.

Holding very well is Bad Grandpa, which dropped just 36% to $20.5 million. That’s a far better hold than any of the previous Jackass flicks and I’m bit puzzled as to why because all of those were better, funnier films (though Bad Grandpa was still good). Whatever the reason, Johnny Knoxville and company have amassed $62 million in total for a film that cost only $15 million to make. A total around $90 million seems plausible.

Last Vegas debuted to a surprisingly strong $16.5 million. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s not quite Wild Hogs level, but it’s a strong opening for a movie that only cost $28 million. The final opener of this week, Free Birds, made just $16.2 million. I definitely expected more here and I really overestimated this one. I guess even kids can be fairly discerning now and then.

Gravity got pushed down to fifth and it seems to be starting to run out of steam. It’s about time. The most overrated film of the year (and probably the decade now that I think of it) fell 35% down to $13.1 million. It has amassed an astonishing $219.2 million total. Sixth goes to a much better movie, Captain Phillips. The Tom Hanks film dropped 27% and grossed $8.5 million, giving it a total of $82.6 million through four weeks.

Expanding into 410 theatres, 12 Years a Slave increased 116% and pulled in $4.6 million. Its per theatre average went down quite a bit, but it was still the best in the top ten at $11,220 (Ender’s Game was second with $8,218). $8.8 million in total now for the Oscar hopeful. Cloudy 2 continues its slow march out of the top, this time dropping 33% to $4.2 million. $106.2 million is a strong gross.

Halloween is past us now and Carrie will soon enough be out of theatres. It had a huge increase on Halloween itself and was able to ride that out a bit over the weekend, dropping 43% compared to its big 63% tumble last weekend. Nonetheless, the remake grossed just $3.4 million and has a disappointing total of $32 million, barely above its budget.

We round out the top ten with The Counselor, which fell 59% to $3.3 million. This is yet another example that no matter star-studded your cast may be, if a movie sucks, it’s likely to fail. Just $13.4 million for the Ridley Scott picture. And there you have it. Aside from Ender’s Game and to an extent 12 Years a Slave, nothing terribly notable at the box office this weekend. But things will pick up in a major way when Thor: The Dark World drops the hammer next weekend.

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