We’ve talked a lot about American Sniper lately, so for this ‘weekend results’ post, we start with the new releases. Though mind you, this could get a little bit depressing. There were three wide releases this weekend in North America, and neither one of them has managed to do what it had set out to do, that is make enough money to make the production studios happy. The three new releases were – the sci-fi found-footage formula based movie Project Almanac, the Kevin Costner & Octavia Spencer drama Black or White and the R-rated American-Belgian thriller The Loft. None of the three managed even $10 million at the domestic box-office on the opening weekend. Releasing across the most number of theatres among the lot, Project Almanac earned the highest with $8.5 million which put it at third position on the box-office charts. Black or White was next with only $6.6 million while The Loft was almost non-existent with $2.9 million. The only saving grace is that each of these three films were made on a low budget; Project Almanac had a production budget of $12 million (0.7x is the opening weekend earnings to budget ratio), Black or White had a budget of only $6 million (1.1x), but the budget for The Loft was higher at $14 million (0.2x). None of the movies were critically appreciated, with the Rotten Tomatoes scores standing at 35% for Project Almanac, 37% for Black or White and only 5% for The Loft. So overall, The Loft can be deemed as the biggest blunder of the weekend, but the other two films can also be termed as flops. That’s a big list of flops so early in the year, but considering the limited money spent on them, they would be forgotten soon enough.
Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper comfortably stayed on top of the domestic box-office for the third week in a row. This Oscar nominated film has grossed $249 million in North America so far, while its worldwide gross in $316 million. It has been a fantastic ride for the movie already, and if its foreign earnings picks up pace, then it might very well have only reached half way of its box-office potential so far. Last week’s The Boy Next Door took a hefty 59% fall on its second weekend; but the movie has earned a satisfactory $25 million over 10 days as compared to its production budget of only $4 million. The British film Paddington is seeing reasonably limited weekend dips in the North American market, where it has already earned $50 million which takes its worldwide tally close to $200 million. And before we close this topic for today, let’s hear it for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies which has crossed $900 million worldwide, and is not that far away now from the much glamourised $1 billion club.
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):
1. American Sniper ($31.9 million; third weekend)
2. Paddington ($8.5 million; third weekend)
3. Project Almanac ($8.5 million)
4. Black or White ($6.5 million)
5. The Boy Next Door ($6.1 million; second weekend)