Video games, space and Han Solo are all still wicked cool it seems, as ENDER’S GAME opened to a healthy $27 million. It’s got nothing on a certain troupe of wizards or sparkly vampires, but in comparison to other YA releases it’s hitting all the right cues. But then again…that’s 3D/IMAX for you.
In the grander sci-fi spectrum of the year however, ENDER’S GAME has underperformed, making friends with everyone’s favourite whipping boy AFTER EARTH (which took $27.5 million) rather than the cool kids (PACIFIC RIM and OBLVION who both saw over $37 million).
ENDER’S GAME was always going to be a tougher sell than, say, THE HUNGER GAMES, but with a marketing effort disconcertingly focused on Harrison Ford’s grouchy face, it didn’t really do itself any favours. ENDER’S GAME’s future performance now almost entirely depends on how big a beating THOR decides to give it when he turns up next week. Oh, and there’s that little HUNGER GAMES sequel around the corner…maybe it best just stay in space.
Talking about space, the arrival of ENDER’S GAME’s taking of 3D/IMAX screens has resulted in GRAVITY’s biggest drop to date, falling from 2nd to 5th with a drop of 36% for $12.8 million.
So, in the freshly excavated 2nd place, BAD GRANDPA has fallen from top-spot, dropping 38% with a $20 million weekend. This represents the best hold for any JACKASS film and, with $61.6 million in 10 days, that naughty granddad will soon overtake from JACKASS 2 ($72.8 million).
In 3rd, proving that there’s no such thing as overkilling a concept, LAST VEGAS opened to $16.3 million. It’s the second highest start for CBS Films (behind 2012’s THE WOMAN IN BLACK’s $20.9 million) but is a step down for star Morgan Freeman who’s used to $29 million openings this year. Greedy bugger. However, with a strong A- CinemaScore and an older audience (meaning there’s less competition for tickets) LAST VEGAS may very well total north of $50 million.
Finally and least remarkably on the new releases front, FREE BIRDS landed in 4th spot with $15.8 million. FLUSHED AWAY launched to $18.8 million seven years ago and was considered an almighty flop…so this debut really doesn’t bode well.
FREE BIRDS is the latest example of the undeniable influence of marketing. After assuming that the money would flow based entirely on scheduling (CLOUDY 2 – in 8th this week: $4.1 million – is now all but spent) FREE BIRDS forgot to market what it was actually about. Did you know that it’s about time-traveling turkeys that want end the barbaric practice of Thanksgiving? Didn’t think so.
Domestic Top 10
1. Ender’s Game
2. Bad Grandpa
3. Last Vegas
6. Captain Phillips
7. 12 Years a Slave
8. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
9. The Counsellor
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