Weekend Box Office: ‘Prisoners’ Tops, ‘Battle of the Year’ Bombs, ‘Rush’ Strong

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Prisoners tops box officeThe 2013 Fall movie season starts off with a satisfying victory for Denis Villeneuve‘s dark thriller Prisoners, which topped the weekend box office with $21.4 million. Budgeted at only $46 million, there could be some decent legs here, but the “B+” CinemaScore means opening weekend audiences aren’t going to be giving us much of an indication as to how the film will play over consecutive weekends, though we could probably speculate a standard drop-off from one week to the next.

Next weekend Prisoners will have to face the expanded, nationwide release of Ron Howard‘s Rush, which opened in only five theaters this weekend to the tune of $200,000 ($40,000 per). In Thursday’s predictions the RopeofSilicon readership shot for the moon with this one, predicting, on average, a $548,000 opening, which would have been enough for a top fifteen ranking in terms of all-time per theater averages. Rush is a solid movie, but that just wasn’t a dream that was to be and I wonder if this gives us any indication how it may perform next week. One interesting note is it only cost $38 million to make and I imagine it will perform well in a few overseas territories.

The weekend’s only other new wide release after Prisoners was the b-boy dance off, Battle of the Year 3D, which opened in 2,008 theaters and suffered a disappointing premiere, bringing in only $5 million. However, there is a small silver lining for Screen Gems, opening day audiences gave the film an “A-” CinemaScore, but I have a hard time believing word of mouth on this one is going to be big enough for it to make up any of the ground lost this weekend.

I should also mention last weekend’s #1 film, Insidious: Chapter 2, dipped pretty hard bringing in only $14.5 million for a 64% drop.

Then we come to the latest 3D re-release of an old school classic, the IMAX 3D release of The Wizard of Oz, which preemed in 318 theaters and managed $3 million ($9,503 per). I wish I could see the studio economics on re-releases such as this, 3D or not, is it worth it to bring back some of these classics to the big screen? If so, I would love to see it done more often instead of studios tackling remakes. I know Warners is bring JFK back in theaters in November, for obvious reasons, but every so often or even once a month it would be nice to see studios celebrating some film anniversaries with upgraded theatrical releases and get the critics in there to review them and build a little buzz. Just saying’.

Finally, in limited release we have the opening weekend of Enough Said in only four theaters where the film starring the late James Gandolfini brought in $240,000 for a weekend best, $60,000 per. On the other end of the spectrum, props to I Spit On Your Grave 2, which opened in one theater in Los Angeles and brought in a hefty $346. Let’s pop some bubbly and share a toast shall we.

Next weekend sees the expansion of Rush along with new releases Baggage Claim, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 and Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s Don Jon. Care to place any early wagers? The results of this weekend’s box office predictions are directly below and will be updated with actuals Monday afternoon.