Idris Elba And Taraji P. Henson’s No Good Deed Rewarded With $24.5 Million As Box Office Victor

Is No Good Deed the sequel to Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds starring Idris Elba of Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls?

In the week leading up to release of Screen Gems’ No Good Deed I had received multiple emails informing me about the upcoming press/pre-release screening that was slated to take place. Then the week of release I get a notice that the studio has suspended the screening for various reasons. One is with regards to spoilerish nature that critics would reveal a certain plot twist in their reviews. Now anyone who is worth their weight as a writer knows to avoid spoilers unless specifically addressing the reader to expect a spoiler in the critique. Personally, considering the subject matter and the heightened awareness of domestic violence thanks to former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, the supposed cover-up, cum, ignorance of the National Football League, and TMZ taking the video worldwide, could have played a role in Screen Gems not wanting to screen the movie.

Or it could have been a cheap attempt for the genre-arm of Sony Pictures to save a few pennies and toy with the notion that critics don’t matter – people will see our stuff anyway. Yet, Screen Gems still screened 2014 releases About Last Night, Think Like a Man Too and Deliver Us From Evil, the last of which would only gross $30.5 million during its entire run in the U.S. (or $6 mil more than what No Good Deed made in its opening weekend).

Critics that saw the thriller starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson with a paid audience on Thursday absolutely loathed it (4 out 28 “positive” reviews counted to give it a Rotten Tomatoes score of 14%). Still, some audiences just didn’t care. The movie was still #1 this weekend. The success could be due to the African American viewing audience being underserved, and they were willing to see a pair of talented actors on screen in Elba and Henson. Researching that director Sam Miller, here making his U.S. debut as a feature filmmaker, having helmed various episodes for BBC television (including Luther starring Idris Elba), it should have been a natural transition from small screen to big screen. Well, it delivered monetarily, but will probably drop this coming weekend with the release of The Maze Runner.

Speaking of drops, The Drop, written by Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River, Shutter Island) and starring Tom Hardy and James Gandolifini (in his last film) had a soft debut from Fox Searchlight. Opening on 809 screens it finished with $4.2 million. With strong reviews Searchlight probably wished it finished in the $6-$7 million range, but word-of-mouth should be positive with older audiences itching to see a blue-collar crime thriller set in part of Brooklyn that doesn’t get that much attention. Nevertheless, I’m happy for Michael R. Roskam who is making his American debut after 2012’s Bullhead, which was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar.

No surprise, but the second place finisher for the weekend was Dolphin Tale 2. Families were more than game to feed the mammal (you thought I was going to write fish – be honest) $16.5 million.

In other box office news, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy made history for the year becoming the first movie to cross the $300 million mark. Last year, three movies grossed more than $400 million, but two of the three were sequels in a lucrative franchise (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Iron Man 3). The black sheep in the $400 million club was Disney’s Frozen. While it is a down year for Hollywood in terms of getting and maintaining viewership, the ebb and flow of blockbusters may also be a factor. Guardians was a magnificent success both in the U.S. and worldwide (currently it is north of $610 million with a 50/50 split between domestic and international returns), whereas other “blockbusters” see a bigger cash flow overseas than in the U.S. (see The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s $202.8 M domestic vs. $505.4 M foreign earnings, which is nearly a 43% difference).

In limited release, The Skeleton Twins starring Kristen Wigg and Bill Hader had monster success with $410,756 in just 15 theaters. The Weinstein Company’s The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them took in $77,181 from 4 theaters. This is the combined edit of both Ned Benson’s individual Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby films in which one is told from the differing perspectives of the two leads as played by James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain. Look for the full “Her” and “Him” Rigby films this October.

01. No Good Deed — $24.5 Million
02. Dolphin Tale 2 — $16.5 Million
03. Guardians of the Galaxy — $8.04 Million ($305.9 mil)

04. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — $4.8 Million ($181 mil)
05. Let’s Be Cops — $4.3 Million ($72.9 mil)
06. The Drop — $4.2 Million
07. If I Stay — $4.05 Million ($44.9 mil)
08. The November Man — $2.75 Million ($22.4 mil)

09. The Giver —
 $2.62 Million ($41.3 mil)

10. The Hundred-Foot Journey — $2.46 Million ($49.4 mil)

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