Box Office: Warm Bodies Heats Up The Weekend; Sly Stallone’s Bullet Misses Its Mark


What do you mean Tom Cruise is my dad?

Was there any doubt that Warm Bodies wouldn’t finish the weekend atop the box office? Let’s look at the factors. It was a dead weekend in terms of new releases because it was Super Bowl Weekend. Personally, I don’t understand the logic of studios avoiding releasing movies during Super Bowl Weekend. The game isn’t played until Sunday evening after all. Still, this weekend has proved successful in the past. Last year saw a pair of $20 million earners with Chronicle and The Woman in Black. Also helping attract viewers to Warm Bodies was that it was based on a best-selling book and released by Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment. Summit is also the faction responsible for the Twilight movies. It also helped that the female protagonist bares a striking resemblance to Kristen Stewart. This is despite most Twihards disliking Stewart in the role of Bella Swan. So taking the Twilight fanbase with those who have been tuning in to AMC’s The Walking Dead helped to propel the zombie comedy to first place on Super Bowl weekend. The movie should take a dip this weekend with the arrival of Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects and the Jason Bateman-Melissa McCarthy comedy Identity Thief, but look for it to pick up with Valentine’s Day approaching. But that will depend on if couples choose this over YA book adaptation Beautiful Creatures, Nicolas Sparks’ Safe Haven or the father-son bromance A Good Day to Die Hard.

Falling out of the top spot was Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Losing a little over half its audience, the restricted-rated fable should climb upwards of $50 million plus in the U.S. Internationally, it continues to do strong business and collectively it may surpass $100M. Adding 168 theaters to bring its total to 2,809 helped motivate viewers to finally see the Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook. Twelve weeks into its run it looks like The Weinstein Company is determined to get the offbeat romantic comedy to nine figures.

Still early in the year, Mama is the biggest release of 2013. Its $58M gross in two weeks to make it the biggest film of 2013 is a little deceiving. There are other features that have grossed more than Mama, but they were holdovers from the end of 2012. Jessica Chastain shows her versatility with this horror release. Audiences are also watching Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty. The Oscar-nominated release is slowly dwindling after the topic of much watercooler chit-chat with allegations that the film may promote torture.

Trying to do what Arnold Schwarzenegger did a few weeks ago with The Last Stand, Sylvester Stallone’s “Bullet to the Head was pretty much a dud. The last time Stallone flew solo with a major theatrical release (sans franchise) it was Renny Harlin’s Driven back in 2001. That feature did $12M. Bullet to the Head didn’t even do half that amount. Considering that The Expendables 2 made $300M worldwide, maybe audiences just want to see Schwarzenegger and Stallone in the same movie (which they will get later this year in The Tomb). However, when you consider we are a few decades removed from BttH‘s director Walter Hill’s best efforts, maybe audiences don’t care for poorly designed action movies that act as ’80s action movie castoffs. Still, I don’t think other legendary “expendable” Bruce Willis has anything to worry about with A Good Day to Die Hard. It’s a franchise pic, after all. But he was in The Cold Light of Day and Lay the Favorite last year. Remember those movies?

Having watched Bullet in the Head over the weekend, it’s definitely a red meat action movie but the humor falls flat and it perfectly illustrates what the movie Seven Psychopaths discusses with the objectification of women who have nothing to do. Honestly, if this movie had been made in the late ’80s/early ’90s it would have been the perfect sequel to Showdown in Little Toyko with Dolph Lundgren and Brandon Lee. Another “expendable” also didn’t fare well at the box office. Parker took quite the tumble and is another underperformer for Jason Statham. It did just enough to tread water above Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. It is well on its way to being QT’s biggest worldwide hit, and it gave people an excuse to talk about race relations. Thanks, Spike!

Les Miserables remains a smash hit for Universal Pictures, and Lincoln re-enters the top ten, getting its second wind at box office glory thanks to its numerous Oscar nominations. Just finishing outside the top 10 was Ben Affleck’s Argo, a film that seems to be winning every guild award under the planet. Now if only there was a write-in campaign to correct AMPAS’s egreious error by not nominating Affleck for Best Director. Meanwhile, new release Stand Up Guys opened on 659 screens and should finish with $1.5 million once the actuals are revealed.

Weekend Box-Office Top Ten for February 1 – February 3, 2013

1. Warm Bodies (Lionsgate/Summit) – $19.5 MILLION

2. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (Paramount) – $9.2 MILLION ($34.5m cume)

3. Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company) – $8.1 MILLION ($80.4m cume)

4. Mama (Universal) – $6.7 MILLION ($58.3m cume)

5. Zero Dark Thirty (Sony Pictures) – $5.3 MILLION ($77.8m cume)

6. Bullet to the Head (Warner Bros.) – $4.5 MILLION

7. Parker (Film District) – $3.2 MILLION ($12.4m cume)

8. Django Unchained (The Weinstein Company) – $3 MILLION ($150.9m cume)

9. Les Miserables (Universal) – $2.4 MILLION ($141.5m cume)

10. Lincoln (Disney) – $2.4 MILLION ($170.7m cume)

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