The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.
February came to a close with two more new movies and unlike last week where neither of them made much of a mark, both of this weekend’s new movies did decent enough business to take first and second place in a fairly heated race.
Winning the weekend was Liam Neeson’s latest action-thriller Non-Stop (Universal) with an estimated $30 million, as the plane-based movie directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) took full advantage of Neeson’s popularity as an action star from the “Taken” movies to bring audiences into theaters. Co-starring Julianne Moore and Oscar nominee Lupita Nyong’o, Non-Stop opened bigger than the original Taken and Unknown, the last collaboration between the actor and director and continues Neeson’s successful run as an A-list action star.
Culled from the hit History Channel series “The Bible,” the Mark Burnett and Roma Downey-produced Son of God (20th Century Fox), telling the New Testament story of Jesus, did exceedingly well with $26.5 million grossed in 3,260 theaters, $8.1 thousand per venue, to take second place.
Warner Bros’ first mega-blockbuster of the year, The LEGO Movie (Warner Bros.), crossed the $200 million mark over the weekend, adding another $21 million for third place. Despite being ousted from its #1 placement after three weeks, having three movies grossing over $20 million in late February is fairly impressive.
It’s also a rarity for a returning movie to move up a notch when new movies released, but George Clooney’s WWII drama The Monuments Men (Sony) did just that as its estimated $5 million weekend gross allowed it to move back up to fourth place over the other returning movies.
Most of those returning movies like Kevin Costner’s action-thriller 3 Days to Kill took big hits this weekend, going up against Liam Neeson’s latest action movie. The McG-directed movie dropped 60% and grossed $4.9 million, dropping to fifth place with $20.7 million total.
Similarly, RoboCop (MGM/Sony) was down 54% in its third weekend, taking fourth place with $4.5 million to bring its total gross to $52.1 million.
Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii (TriStar Pictures/Sony) also took a massive plunge, down 58% from its opening weekend as it dropped from #3 to #7 with $4.3 million over the weekend and $17.7 million total.
As expected, Walt Disney’s animated musical Frozen crossed the billion dollar mark worldwide this weekend, adding another $3.6 million domestically to take eighth place, its 14th consecutive week in the Top 10, which might not seem that impressive when you look at the full list of movies that have remained in the Top 10. On the other hand, the only other movie in the last ten years to remain in the Top 10 as long as Frozen was James Cameron’s Avatar, since these days, there are so many new movies released, it’s much harder to remain in the Top 10 than it was back in the ’80s and ’90s.
Kevin Hart’s two movies in theaters rounded out the Top 10 with the romantic comedy remake About Last Night (Sony/Screen Gems) dropping to ninth place with $3.4 million and $44 million total and the action-comedy Ride Along (Universal) taking tenth place with $3.1 million and $127 million total.
This week, the Top 10 grossed an estimated $106 million, roughly $20 million more than this weekend last year when Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer (Warner Bros.) won the weekend with $27.2 million while the other two new movies–21 and Over (Relativity Media) and The Last Exorcism Part II (CBS Films) each failed to bring in $10 million.
The Russian blockbuster hit Stalingrad (Sony) opened in 308 IMAX theaters nationwide on Friday–the largest IMAX release for a foreign language film–but it failed to find its mark with North American audiences, grossing just $500 thousand or $1,622 per venue.
Furthermore, Touchstone Pictures expanded Hayao Miyazaki’s latest animated feature The Wind Rises, which opened in select cities last weekend, into nearly 500 theaters where it brought in $1.6 million or roughly $3,200 per theater.
As far as limited releases, Lionsgate and CodeBlack Films’ Repentance, starring Forest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie, Mike Epps and Sanaa Lathama, did the best with $530 thousand in 152 theaters. The Indian film The Lunchbox (Sony Pictures Classics), starring Irrfan Khan, grossed $51 thousand in 3 theaters in New York and L.A., while The Wind Rises‘ Oscar competition Ernest & Celestine brought in $15.6 thousand in a single L.A. theater.
Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.