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.
March once again proved itself as a solid month to release bigger budget fare, starting with 300: Rise of an Empire, which opened with $45 million earlier this month, followed by last week’s Divergent with a $54 million opening. With religious movies doing far better business than anyone expected, from Son of God to God’s Not Dead, it only made sense that March would close with a movie that combined biblical epic with something for the 300 crowd, a merger that proved successful.
Going into the weekend with what seemed like studio-generated controversy and minimal critics screenings, Darren Aronofsky’s take on the biblical epic Noah (Paramount), starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Anthony Hopkins and Ray Winstone, opened Thursday night in 3,567 North American theaters taking in $1.6 million from previews which added to its $15.2 million Friday total. The intriguing take on the well-known tale held up well through the weekend, grossing an estimated $44 million by Sunday, although the movie’s “C” CinemaScore isn’t a good sign that moviegoers were given the movie they were expecting, so it may be hard to maintain its business.
Internationally, Noah added another $33.6 million this weekend–$17.2 million from Russia alone!–and its $51 million overseas add to its global total of $95.1 million after two weekends.
$6.2 million of the domestic gross (about 14%) came from the 341 domestic IMAX screens, which made up 8 of the Top 10 theaters in the country, plus it added another $1.6 million on 65 IMAX screens outside of North America.
Before we get to the rest of the domestic Top 10, let’s jump back across the ocean to where Marvel Studios opened their fourth sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier a week earlier than North America. It debuted in 32 territories including the UK, France, Germany and Italy where it amassed $75.2 million with Korea and the UK each grossing over $10 million, the former claiming four times the opening of Captain America: The First Avenger. The Marvel Studios sequel took in $2.8 million on 98 IMAX screens this weekend and when “The Winter Soldier” expands worldwide next Friday, it will officially claim the widest global IMAX release on 668 IMAX screens.
Walt Disney Animation Studios achieved another milestone this weekend as its animated blockbuster Frozen became the highest-grossing animated release ever with its global box office take of $1,072,402 since opening four months ago. Surpassing the record previously set by Toy Story 3, we don’t expect that Disney is going to be letting that record go any time soon.
After a solid opening weekend, the adaptation of Veronica Roth’s Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller and more, dropped to second place with $26.5 million (down 52%) with a 10-day total of $95.3 million. (If we get word on how the movie is doing internationally, we will add later, but the sequel Insurgent is already greenlit for a release in less than a year.)
After a disappointing opening in second place overshadowed by Divergent, the family sequel Muppets Most Wanted (Walt Disney Pictures), featuring Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell, dropped to third place with $11.4 million, down a respectable 33% but still hurting with its domestic gross of $33.2 million.
On the other hand, DreamWorks Animation’s latest Mr. Peabody & Sherman (20th Century Fox) continues to do well with a minimal 20% drop-off in its fourth weekend to take fourth place with $9.5 million and a $94.9 million domestic take. By comparison, the family movie took second place to 300: Rise of an Empire at the start of March, yet it remains in the Top 5 as it approaches $100 million, while its competition has dropped all the way down to #9.
The breakout hit of the month, the independently-produced God’s Not Dead (Freestyle Releasing) expanded into about 400 more theaters on Friday, which was enough for it to maintain business, taking fifth place with a negligible 1.5% drop from its surprising opening weekend. It has grossed $22 million in just ten days and it looks like it might be getting enough strong word-of-mouth to stick around in the Top 10 for at least one or two more weeks.
Wes Anderson’s latest critically-acclaimed quirkfest The Grand Budapest Hotel (Fox Searchlight) expanded into 673 theaters on Friday after an unprecedented run in limited release, and it continued to do well, grossing $8.8 million and moving up to sixth place with a running total of $24.5 million. Only Anderson’s 2001 film The Royal Tenenbaums has achieved a higher placement in the Top 10 over the holidays that year, and “Grand Budapest” certainly looks like it will be as successful as that and his last film Moonrise Kingdom.
Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger continued his spiraling plummet as a box office star as his action-thriller Sabotage (Open Road), directed by David (End of Watch) Ayer, tanked with just $5.33 million in 2,486 theaters, an absolutely terrible $2,100 per location. The presence of a supporting cast that included Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard, Olivia Williams, Joe Manganiello, Max Martini, Harold Perrineau and Josh Holloway didn’t do much to help matters as it likely will be gone from theaters before anyone notices.
Sabotage was followed in eighth place by DreamWorks’ Need for Speed with $4.3 million and Legendary Pictures’ action sequel 300: Rise of an Empire (Warner Bros.) close behind with just slightly less. This weekend, “300” also became the third movie of 2014 to cross the $100 million mark with Divergent and Mr. Peabody joining it very soon. (Universal’s Lone Survivor had a platform run in 2013 even though it had a wide release in January.)
10th place went to Liam Neeson’s unstoppable airplane thriller Non-Stop (Universal) with $4.1 million and a solid $85.2 million total.
The Top 10 amassed an estimated $131 million, down slightly from last year when G.I. Joe: Retaliation (Paramount) topped the box office with $40 million and Tyler Perry’s Temptation (Lionsgate) brought in $21.6 million for third place.
Michael Peña starred in the title role of Diego Luna’s directorial debut Cesar Chavez (Pantelion/Lionsgate), along with Rosario Dawson, America Ferrera and John Malkovich, which received a moderately wide release into 664 theaters on Friday allowing it to bring in $3 million to take 11th place, as well as getting a coveted “A” CinemaScore which should help its word-of-mouth.
On the other hand, Jason Bateman’s directorial debut Bad Words (Focus Features) expanded nationwide into 842 theaters, but after a rather disappointing limited run, it only brought in $2.6 million over the weekend ($3,100 per theater) to end up outside of the Top 12.
As far as significant limited releases, Gareth Evans’ martial arts action sequel The Raid 2 (Sony Pictures Classics) opened in seven theaters in select cities where it grossed $177 thousand or roughly $25 thousand per site.
Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.