‘End of Watch’ Tops Box-Office and Speculation Over ‘Dredd’s Demise


End of Watch posterThe tight race at the top of the box-office has been decided and the winner is Open Road’s End of Watch, which managed to edge out Relativity’s House at the End of the Street after the two were estimated to have earned $13 million each for the weekend.

Actual results proved End of Watch, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as a pair of Los Angeles police officers, was the winner with $13.1 million and the second film from Open Road to top the box-office this year after The Grey did it back at the end of January.

House at the End of the Street, starring Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook) made $800,000 less than was estimated and finished the weekend with $12.2 million. Clint Eastwood‘s Trouble with the Curve finished a lose third with $12.1 million despite being the favorite heading into the weekend.

This is one of those situations where I can’t help but wonder if the studio wasn’t sure they would be able to bring in $13 million and were just hoping they went that high, or if their tracking was actually saying that was a safe estimate and they wouldn’t drop below it. I wonder only because I would think you wouldn’t really want to be the one that was tied for first, or was first after estimates, only to have to relinquish the title. I’d think that would be a little embarrassing and looked at as a bit of dirty pool.

I’m not a Hollywood insider so I don’t know the answer, but I would think that while House got some attention for briefly being tied for number one, it looks a little bad dipping below your estimate to come in number two and almost number three. Sure, it was a tight race, but considering the weight marketers and Hollywood types place on being number one I’d think it would be better to be safe than sorry. Maybe that’s just me though.

Dredd posterAlso, reading over Box-Office Mojo‘s recap of the weekend Ray Subers writes the following concerning the terrible performance from Lionsgate’s Dredd 3D:

Dredd‘s awful performance is the latest example of how the Comic-Con/online fanboy crowd just doesn’t make up a large portion of the moviegoers in this country.

It’s an interesting statement considering studios place so much emphasis on the demo. I wonder what the formula is for a Comic-con/online fanboy movie? Clearly movies like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises pull in a crowd, and Marvel has managed well with lesser-known properties such as Iron Man. In that regard, I am interested in seeing how Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier will do now that they’ll have Avengers fame to build on.

The first installment in both the Thor and Captain America franchises weren’t huge, but now they have a chance to shine and, perhaps, introduce some sort of a model for other studios to follow… which I guess involves getting someone as charismatic as Robert Downey Jr. to lead off your sprawling comic book franchise before tapping into the lesser known names and blowing the doors off with a compilation feature. I guess not all properties have that kind of mythology, unfortunately.

I’m not a comic book reader so perhaps those of you that are or payer closer attention to anticipation levels for comic properties can enlighten me. I guess Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is another Comic Con disappointment and properties such as Punisher: War Zone, Jonah Hex, The Spirit, Elektra and The Losers come to mind. However, of those films it seems if you add Dredd to the mix it was the only one that actually received good reviews and failed so I’m not sure the Comic-Con/fanboy crowd was the only problem.

One thing I’ll say about Dredd is that I thought it looked terrible based on the tiny bit I had seen. Then people started telling me it was good. People I trust. However, that still didn’t convince me I needed to see it in theaters. Could this be the larger issue? The need to see it in the cinema versus the decision to simply wait and watch it at home? Looking at that list of comic book films I listed above along with Dredd, I can’t say any of them present the size, scope and theatrical necessity we find in movies like The Avengers and The Dark Knight. What do you think?

I have included the weekend actuals below and you can read my examination of the weekend estimates here.

  1. End of Watch – $13.1 million
  2. House at the End of the Street – $12.2 million
  3. Trouble with the Curve – $12.1 million
  4. Finding Nemo 3D – $9.6 million
  5. Resident Evil: Retribution – $6.7 million
  6. Dredd – $6.2 million
  7. The Master – $4.3 million
  8. The Possession – $2.6 million
  9. ParaNorman – $2.3 million
  10. Lawless – $2.2 million

numbers via Box Office Mojo