It was not a good weekend for the movie studios at the box office. The overall box-office was down nearly 40 percent from the same weekend last year, and things were not helped by the underwhelming performance of Jack the Giant Slayer, Bryan Singer’s massive $200 million picture, which came in at just over $28 million, a worse opening than even John Carter. The movie has virtually no hope of becoming a huge success stateside, so Singer’s ability to turn a profit will depend on international box office. Like TK, I liked it, but not a lot. It seemed suitable for an oddly small swath of the moviegoing public: It wasn’t dark enough for teenagers, but it was too dark for little ones. It was about right for 8-12 year olds. $28 million is about what it deserved, although I’m glad that Nicholas Hoult doesn’t have any more films coming out this year, so perhaps he can stave off Taylor Kitch comparisons until Max Max: Fury Road opens.
Likewise, 21 and Over was a pure bomb, coming in at number three with only $9 million, or half of the already disappointing take of Project X, which opened around the same time last year. It’s probably because the film’s director is a dick in interviews. The Last Exorcism Part II performed even worse, coming in at number four with $8 million, down significantly from the $20 million opening of the original in 2010.
Elsewhere, a few movies got the expected Oscar jump: Silver Linings Playbook jumped 3 percent; Life of Pi jumped 42 percent; and Argo made $2.2 million in theaters despite the fact that it’s already out on DVD.
The one bright spot at the box office, at least from a profit standpoint, was Identity Thief, which held strong coming in at number two in its fourth week. It’s now officially the first film of 2013 to cross the $100 million mark, and as you can see from the films below, it’s pretty typical for that first $100 million movie of the year: A blahtastic flick that manages to break through the early season noise. It took until March to become the first $100 million film of 2013, but that’s not unusual. March 1st is probably the mean (median?) average.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (March 29, 2003)
Passion of the Christ (February 29, 2004)
Hitch (February 25, 2005)
Ice Age: Meltdown (April 7th, 2006)
Ghost Rider (March 9, 2007)
Dr. Suess’ Horton Hears a Who (March 28, 2008)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (February 13, 2009)
Valentine’s Day (March 1, 2010)
Just Go With It (March 28, 2012)
The Vow (February 24, 2012)