Box Office: LA Battles To the Top

The Reject ReportLiterally. The entire city literally came to life and fought its way to the top of the box office this weekend. Not unlike Fightin’ Around the World with Russell Crowe but with less Australian accent.

Yes, while that idea may lead to an amazing film, it probably wouldn’t end up doing as well as Battle: Los Angeles did this weekend. It may not have opened quite as big as some analysts were expecting – some had predictions of the film opening in the low $40-millions – it did do quite well for itself. In domestic sales, it has already reach the halfway mark of its reported $70-million budget. Not much indication how the film, which is very Amurrican, will play overseas, but Sony can stand proud knowing their domestic opening weekend is considered a grand one.

This is good news for director Jonathan Liebesman who’s entries into the horror genre – 2003’s Darkness Falls and 2006’s prequel to a remake Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning – weren’t exactly lighting up the industry with their box office prowess.

The same could probably be said for Red Riding Hood. Werewolf movies are few and successful werewolf movies are even fewer. With the Twilight Saga’s success, we were wondering if we wouldn’t be getting a resurgence of the werewolf movie. After The Wolfman’s lack of success and now Red Riding Hood having to struggle in subsequent weeks to make a name, we may not be seeing too many more movies about werewolves. Unless of course they have amazing abs.

Disney’s Mars Needs Moms hit with a whimper, a dull, CG-animated whimper that barely even registered. It dropped in at the #5 spot, but that doesn’t say much for the films #6-10. With a reported $150-million budget, it’s going to take a miracle for Mars Needs Moms to ever see numbers in the black. That quality over quantity edict might be rearing its welcome head in Disney’s future.

But Rango is an animated movie that is making its name known. After two weeks, it’s nearing $70 million in domestic sales,  $85 million worldwide. Rango is a success. Johnny Depp is a success. There’s a BREAKING NEWS story in there somewhere, but I can’t quite place it.

Here’s how the weekend broke down:

  1. Battle: Los Angeles – $36m NEW
  2. Rango – $23m (-39.5%) $68.6m total
  3. Red Riding Hood – $14.1m NEW
  4. The Adjustment Bureau – $11.4m (-45.8%) $38.4m total
  5. Mars Needs Moms – $6.8m NEW
  6. Hall Pass – $5.1m (-42.4%) $34.9m total
  7. Beastly – $5m (-48.3%) $16.9m total
  8. Just Go With It – $4m (-37.8%) $93.9m total
  9. The King’s Speech – $3.6m (-41.8%) $129m total
  10. Gnomeo and Juliet – $3.5m (-51%) $89m total

These numbers put the total top 10 box office at $112.5 million, down from the last couple of weeks, but a far cry from a noticeable dry spell in the business. Considering every film in the top 10 this week is an original film – ie neither a remake or a sequel – gives a shred of hope for those who think there’s no originality in Hollywood. Never mind that Battle: Los Angeles is essentially Black Hawk Down with aliens, Red Riding Hood is a story told countless times before, and Mars Needs Mom is basically an animated Mom and Dad Save the World. I can’t back that last statement up. Haven’t seen it, but I’m getting that vibe from the title alone.

Next weekend has three new original films opening in wide release. The Lincoln Lawyer, Limitless, and Paul all open on 2000 screens or more. Wow. Matthew McConaughey, Bradley Cooper, and Nick Frost. One of these things does not belong here…

Come back next week for more Box Office predictions and final tallies

Jeremy's been writing about movies for a good, 15 years, starting with the film review column of his high school newspaper. He stands proud as the first person in his high school to have seen (and recommend) Pulp Fiction. Jeremy went on to get a B.A. in Cinema and Photography with a minor in journalism. His experience and knowledge of film is aided by the list of 6600 films he has seen in his life (so far). Jeremy's belief is that there are no bad films, just unrealized possibilities. Except Batman and Robin. That shit was awful.

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