(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)
1. Identity Thief ($14 million)
2. Snitch ($13 million)
3. Escape from Planet Earth ($11 million)
4. Safe Haven ($10.6 million)
5. A Good Day to Die Hard ($10 million)
It seemed more people opted to catch up on their Best Picture nominees than any of the newer releases this weekend as nine nominees still in theaters posted very minor drops.
Identity Thief rebounded to take another week at No. 1. It's the first movie to return to the top spot after getting knocked off since 2010's How to Train Your Dragon. It has made nearly $94 million so far and is now guaranteed to be the first movie of 2013 to pass the $100 million mark.
Turns out I was wrong about the weekend's new releases. The Rock's Snitch opened in second place with $13 million (and with a gross so close to the No. 1 movie, this could end up being the weekend's top film once actual are tabulated). Aside from the fluke flops of Faster, Planet 51 and Southland Tales, Dwayne Johnson has had three No. 1 openings and several sizable hits. This one won't last long but is likely to do well in rentals.
After a string of strong opening weekends for horror movies, Dark Skies didn't do so hot, only bringing in $8.8 million for a sixth place finish. Despite a creepy trailer and a barrage of ads, it wasn't enough to lure audiences who were looking for scares. Still, the film only cost $3.5 million to make, so it has more than doubled its budget already. It's a pattern the producers (Saw, Insidious) have followed to continued financial success.
The big story of the weekend, though, has to be Die Hard's 60 percent drop. It brought in only $10 million for a fifth place in its second weekend. Drops like this mean this could be the first film in the series with a disappointing domestic gross, and we'll soon find out if it will dictate whether we'll see another Die Hard in a few years (though international grosses for the film are still quite strong).
Outside the top 5:
- Silver Linings Playbook finally surpassed $100 million to become the romantic comedy we all deserved. I hope it wins all the Oscars. Of all the Oscar nominees, only Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Zero Dark Thirty have yet to cross that threshold. The latter should get there before its run is over. At least for this year, complaints about the Oscars not nominating popular movies can be given a rest.
- Chile's No once again blew away its art-house competition, averaging $13,733 per its six screens.
- After disappointing fans and critics alike, The Hobbit finally crossed $300 million in its 11th week. That's just a little bit longer than it took Skyfall, and that James Bond flick didn't have 3-D or high-frame-rate surcharges to help it along. This is also the lowest grossing film in the Lord of the Rings saga, and none of those movies had 3-D either, AND ticket prices were a lot cheaper 10 years ago.
Bryan Singer tries his hand at fairy tale revisionism (meaning he just rips off Lord of the Rings) with Jack the Giant Slayer. I'm predicting a meager $25 million, which won't even begin to cover its budget. Jack faces competition from 21 and Over (from the writers of The Hangover) and the title-defying The Last Exorcism, Part II. I'm thinking $12 million for the former and $10 million for the latter.