I Refuse to Make a Crappy Pun about Ender’s Game’s Fortunes, About Time is apparently a Failure, People Saw Terrible Movies Whilst Waiting for Thor, And Other Box Office News
With consciences across the nation alleviated of potential guilt with the news that Orson Scott Card won’t be receiving much in the way of royalties for it, American moviegoers decided to give Ender’s Game the old college try and propelled it to number 1 with $28 million in ticket sales. Of course, whether you believe that’s a good enough opening depends on whether or not you’re swayed by the $8,000 per screen average it boasted. After all, let’s face facts, this cost $100 million to make, hasn’t done particularly well in the foreign territories it’s reached so far, and Thor: The Dark World finally hits America next weekend. Lionsgate will have expected this to be a very front-loaded film and would likely have wanted said front-loading to at least have cracked $30 million, being a Young Adult novel adaptation at all; so I have no idea why other places are running around calling this a success.
Along such similar bewildering interpretations of what a failure and a success look like, Richard Curtis’ sci-fi rom-com About Time finally made its way to American theatres this weekend in a moderate release and, from 175 theatres, made $1.1 million for 12th place. That’s over $6,000 per screen. This is considered a failure by other box office reporters. You know, like how The World’s End’s fifth place opening from just 1,551 theatres was a failure? The film that ended up $500,000 behind The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones despite that film having 1,600 more theatres and a lower age gate? If these are the barometers for what’s considered a failure of an opening then our industry, by other websites’ vague definitions, is beyond all hope.
Elsewhere, America opted to go and see other wide release films of questionable quality, presumably because “Thor: The Dark World isn’t out until next weekend, this money is burning a hole in my pocket and I JUST HAVE TO sit in an air-conditioned room for two hours!” At least, that’s the only explanation I have as to why people turned up for the abysmal-looking Last Vegas which opened in 3rd place with over $16 million. Close behind was the not-as-bad-looking-but-that’s-still-not-a-recommendation-to-go-see-it animated kids’ flick Free Birds in 4th place and losing out on embarrassing four aging Oscar winners by $300,000. Although, let’s be frank, Free Birds can’t embarrass those who voluntarily chose to star in Last Vegas any more than they already have been for starring in that dreck.
Finally, before we get into the full list, some limited release news. The Matthew McCon-renaissance (which is a term that I have just coined, feel free to use it) continues in sparkling fashion with Dallas Buyers Club, which took $264,000 from just 9 screens and, incidentally, provides co-star Jared Leto with his first win of 2013! Because “Love, Lust, Faith + Dreams” sucked. Keanu Reeves’ surprisingly solid directorial debut Man Of Tai Chi failed to make a surprisingly solid opening and kind of bombed, only taking $112,300 from 110 screens. But, in far happier news, the excretable Diana, the subject of which I am forbidden from speaking ill of due to British law, apparently, died a horrible death on 38 screens, only managing $64,900 and a $1,708 per screen average. Ha, and, if I may say so, ha!
Press X to Full List, Jason.
US Box Office Results: Friday 1st November 2013 – Sunday 3rd November 2013
1] Ender’s Game
$28,000,000 / NEW
So, how much are we betting Thor: The Dark World makes next weekend? It’s already taken $109 million overseas, and that’s excluding China! The original took $65.7 million opening weekend, but I think that this could make a fair bit more. And, whilst we’re on the subject, have you read my review of it, yet?
Oh, wait! I’m supposed to be talking about Ender’s Game! Silly me! Easy mistake to make! @FinalDasa’s review should go live tomorrow. Moving on!
2] Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
$20,500,000 / $62,058,000
Only a 36% drop between weekends. That’s really quite good, honestly, though I’m surprised that it managed to hold on, considering that it’s not particularly good and all.
3] Last Vegas
$16,520,000 / NEW
Then again, since when has a movie’s clear suckiness ever stopped the American movie-going public from showering it with money? You know, I’d say that everybody involved in this movie deserves better, but considering the fact that Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline voluntarily chose to share a movie screen with one of the asshats from LMFAO (who looks like he wandered out of a VH1 special on what teenagers thought 80s Ibiza parties were like), I honestly believe they don’t right about now.
Ah, well, at least this still isn’t the worst thing that Robert DeNiro has starred in. Not by a long shot.
4] Free Birds
$16,200,000 / NEW
Over/Under on the nearly-titular Lynyrd Skynard song making an appearance at some point and causing me to tear my skin off in anger? Probably quite good, let’s face it. If Shrek The Third could get the rights to and bastardise my love of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”, I’m pretty sure “Free Bird” isn’t off limits.
$12,855,000 / $218,921,000
This finally drops in the UK on Thursday. I’ll be in the cinema for the first showing with my 3D glasses on for the first time in three years. My hype levels can’t get any higher!
6] Captain Phillips
$8,500,000 / $82,551,000
I should probably get on this, this weekend. It’s been a while since I’ve witnessed a Tom Hanks performance on the big screen and the trailer made this look really tense. Assuming that Gravity’s 3D doesn’t make me blow chunks, although 3D has still yet to convince me, I guess I’ll go and let Paul Greengrass cause me to feel nauseous.
7] 12 Years A Slave
$4,600,000 / $8,760,000
More than doubling last weekend’s total, just like it more than doubled its screen count, the highly acclaimed Steve McQueen drama clambered up one full place ahead of its nationwide expansion at… some point. I honestly don’t know when they’re planning on doing that now. But seeing as it still doesn’t make the UK release come any closer, I am going to feign not caring.
8] Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2
$4,200,000 / $106,195,000
Have we all seen The Lego Movie trailer yet? If not, get on it! Between that and the hopefully-won’t-suck-oh-dear-Maker-please-don’t-suck 22 Jump Street, 2014 looks like it’s going to be very kind to ex-Cloudy With A Chance… directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
$3,400,000 / $31,973,000
I polled my Film Studies class today on why anybody would remake Carrie and not one single person managed to think of an excuse, let alone an adequate one. Which, you know, bodes well for the film’s UK release later this month.
10] The Counselor
$3,250,000 / $13,368,000
Our very own @MrMazz reviewed this one last week in the second-to-last instance that this film will ever be talked about on this site. The last instance being this article right here. Goodbye, movie. Not that any of us particularly care.
Dropped Out: Escape Plan, Enough Said, Prisoners