By Todd Allen
An interesting split decision at the Box Office this weekend. Two film are estimated as a tie for the #1 spot and a third is close enough behind that the entire order could change when the actuals are reported Monday afternoon. House at the End of the Street and End of Watch are tentatively tied at $13M each with Trouble With the Curve nipping at their tails with $12.7M Another relatively soft week with the possibility that all the new releases were cannibalizing the audience that bothered to show up.
Here are the estimates from Box Office Mojo
1 House at the End of The Street $13,000,000
2 End of Watch $13,000,000
3 Trouble with the Curve $12,720,000
4 Finding Nemo (3D) $9,446,000
5 Resident Evil: Retribution $6,700,000
6 Dredd $6,300,000
7 The Master $5,000,000
8 The Possession $2,630,000
9 Lawless $2,321,000
10 ParaNorman $2,297,000
The strongest performer on a per screen basis was The Master, doing $6,345 on 788 screens. Jennifer Lawrence gets some points for elevating a poorly reviewed horror film whose advertisements don’t make it particularly clear what the object of horror is supposed to be into a potential weekend in winner. She doesn’t get a ton of points because it was only $13M and you’d hope if the Hunger Games were a star-maker and not just the book audience coming to the movies that she’d get a little higher total than that.
End of Watch, with a reported $7M budget is awfully close to being in the black on it’s opening weekend if it isn’t already.
On the geek chic side of things, Dredd bombed. $2,514/screen for an opening weekend is bad. When you figure this was a 3D movie with 3D prices, that’s very bad. It probably didn’t help to have Finding Nemo competing for the 3D screens, but it’s not even close as to which 3D film is making theaters more money. If you want to see Dredd, see it this week. An opening like that frequently means a lot less screenings next week.
Dark Knight Rises shed another633 screens and turns up at #15 with $1.26M — approximately 10% of Trouble With the Curve. The Avengers is also still hanging around with 290 theaters for $466K. With $1,607/screen, it looks like the star of the second run discount houses.
The transition from summer to fall continues to make for a sleepy box office and even well-reviewed films didn’t seem to help too much this week.
Next week’s big release is Hotel Transylvania, an animated feature opening on 3,300 screens. Time travel/hit man flick Looper with Bruce Willis and the suddenly omnipresent Joseph Gordon-Levitt opens on 2,800 screens. There are also 2,500 screens for the inspiration drama Won’t Back Down. It also looks like there will be 15 screens for Soloman Kane. I think that’s the one from a couple years ago.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.