Box Office: ‘Immortals’ Surprises With an Epic $32m Weekend

By  · Published on November 15th, 2011

The Gods have spoken, and what they’ve said is, “We want your money, puny human movie goers.” It makes you wonder what kind of movies Gods watch. Definitely the works of George P. Cosmatos. Cobra and Tombstone and the like. You know, because he’s Greek.

Moving on from that lead balloon attempt at humor, Immortals rocketed skyward, shocking box office analysts who had it pegged to debut somewhere between $15–20m. Instead, it ended up pushing that number on Friday alone, and it was clear early on in the weekend that the epic war movie was going to take the top spot on the chart. It even ended up topping the opening weekends of similar war epics like Prince of Persia ($30m opening weekend) and Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf ($27.5m opening weekend). It was, however, unable to beat 300’s 2007 $70.8m opening weekend, a number that allowed Immortals to even exist in the first place.

With a price tag of $75m, Immortals is nearing breaking even on gross worldwide, pulling in an additional $38m in foreign markets for a $70.2m opening weekend worldwide. This is huge news for Relativity. Immortals ended up besting Limitless’ $18.9m opening weekend to give the studio its biggest debut to date. Also good for Henry Cavill, whose star will only continue to soar thanks to Man of Steel hitting in June of 2013.

Immortals surprise opening didn’t mean the other films at the box office disappointed. I guess that’s a relative term when you consider it applying to something like Jack and Jill. The Adam Sandler comedy dropped in the #2 spot on the charts and ended up between Funny People’s $22.6m opening from 2009 and Bedtime Stories’ $27.4m opening weekend from 2008. It was director Dennis Dugan’s smallest opening weekend since 2006’s The Benchwarmers pulled in $19.6m in its opening weekend and the smallest opening for an Adam Sandler vehicle since Happy Gilmore made $8.5m its opening weekend in 1996. Don’t let the lower number for Jack and Jill fool you any, though. Sandler and Dugan will be returning for sure, stronger than ever.

Puss in Boots had another impressive weekend here it’s third time out. Dropping a low 22.9%, it came close to pulling the #2 away from Jack and Jill and topped the $100m mark in domestic box office. Still, it has a long journey to make a dent on the DreamWorks Animation list. It currently sits between Chicken Run and Bee Movie, not exactly the epitome of memorable, animated flicks from the company. Of course, with Madagascar 3 hitting next Summer, the DreamWorks Animation label looks to be just fine. Just don’t expect any more Shrek spin-offs any time soon.

Here’s how the weekend broke down:

  1. Immortals – $32m NEW
  2. Jack and Jill – $26m NEW
  3. Puss in Boots – $25.5m (-22.9%) $108.8m total
  4. Tower Heist – $13.2m (-45.1%) $43.9m total
  5. J. Edgar – $11.4m NEW
  6. A Very Harold and Kumbar 3D Christmas – $5.9m (-54.5%) $23.2m total
  7. In Time – $4.1m (-44.5%) $30.6m total
  8. Paranormal Activity 3 – $3.6m (-56.5%) $100.8m total
  9. Footloose – $2.7m (-38.8%) $48.8m total
  10. Real Steel – $2m (-41.8%) $81.7m total

Thanks to the surprise, smash success of Immortals, the top 10 were able to generate $126.4m in domestic sales, the biggest weekend since the end of the Summer movie season in mid-August. This November is way down from 2010 when Megamind and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 pulled in massive numbers. The same goes for 2009 and 2008 when New Moon and the first Twilight movie generated huge amounts of income.

We can expect more of that next weekend, as Breaking Dawn hits and is sure to hit big. It’ll have Happy Feet 2 to contend with, but let’s be honest. Penguins are no match for vampire, even ones who don’t drink blood and spend too much time on their “lazy but sexy” look. Okay, maybe penguins can take one of these vampires. It’s the damn werewolves they’ve gotta be weary of.

We’ll be back on Thursday to see how the weekend is shaping up.