Box Office Results: Tight Race on a Slow Weekend


The 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.

For a weekend where no new movie brought in more than $14 million, this was a pretty exciting weekend at the box office, only because up until a few hours ago, no one knew which movie might be #1 as we saw one of the tightest races in some time between three very different movies. And the end result according to Sunday estimates? A dead-on tie!! Might as well enjoy that rarity as long as you can though, because even with such a close race, everything we say today may be changed by this time tomorrow once actual box office receipts are counted.

As of Friday, it was already looking like a very close race between three movies, but the horror movie House at the End of the Street (Relativity), starring Jennifer Lawrence, and David Ayer’s police drama End of Watch (Open Road), starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, were tied with $4.6 million each, ahead of the Clint Eastwood-Amy Adams baseball drama Trouble with the Curve (Warner Bros.) with $4.2 million.

Those results stuck through the weekend as both “House” and “End of Watch” are tied for first place with an estimated $13 million and Clint is settling for third with $12.7 million. Most box office pundits (including yours truly) were convinced that Clint’s older audience would rally over the weekend to put it ahead of the genre movies but as of now, that’s not the case.

Both “House” and “Watch” were independently-financed for roughly $10 million before being picked up for distribution, and regardless of which comes out on top, it’s another significant boost for smaller-budgeted genre movies finding an audience, which has become a trend in recent years. We’ll probably give a slight advantage to End of Watch coming out on top because it had great CinemaScores among the key demographic and solid reviews (85% on Rotten Tomatoes) while “House” was not received well and may do most of its business this weekend.

As far as the rest of the Top 10, Finding Nemo 3D (Disney•Pixar) dropped 43% from its opening weekend down to fourth place with $9.5 million and just under $30 million total.

Paul W.S. Anderson’s action 4-quel Resident Evil: Retribution (Screen Gems) took a major plunge to fifth place, down 68% to $6.7 million in its second weekend. It’s grossed $33.5 million and looks likely to be the second-lowest grossing movie domestically in the franchise after the first movie.

Unfortunately, the film’s other wide release, another independently-produced film, was also the biggest disappointment of the weekend as Lionsgate’s Dredd 3D, an attempt to revive the 2000 A.D. anti-hero with Karl Urban in the role of Judge Dredd and co-starring Olivia Thirlby and Lena Headey, tanked with just $6.3 million in 2,506 theaters.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams, expanded nationwide into 788 theaters after a record-setting platform release, and it moved up to seventh place with roughly $5 million added to the million it made in limited release. It scored the highest per-theater average in the Top 10 with over $6,000 per site.

The rest of the Top 10 consisted of the horror movie The Possession (Lionsgate) with $2.6 million and $45.3 million total, the period drama Lawless (The Weinstein Company) and the stop-motion animated ParaNorman (Focus Features) the latter two each with $2.3 million and respective totals of $34.5 million and $55.5 million.

The Top 10 grossed an estimated $73.4 million, down a whopping 28% from the same weekend last year when The Lion King 3D topped the box office with $22 million followed by Brad Pitt’s Moneyball (Sony) and Dolphin Tale 3D (Warner Bros) with $19 million each, Taylor Lautner’s action-thriller Abduction (Lionsgate) with $11 million and Jason Statham and Clive Owen’s Killer Elite (Open Road) with $9.3 million.

Opening in limited release in four theaters in New York and L.A., Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Summit Entertainment), based on his bestselling novel, continued the limited release love from last week, averaging $61 thousand per site to bring in $244 thousand in its opening weekend.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.