SUNDAY 3 AM, 4TH UPDATE: Summer 2013 can’t start quickly enough for me when I’ll have some decent grosses to go gaga over. For now 2 newcomers debuted during a slow $84M weekend down -19% from last year. Pain & Gain (2,950 theaters) is #1 this weekend. My sources say it opened with $7.4M Friday – including $750K in Thursday evening/Friday midnights – and $7.7M Saturday for a $20M weekend. That’s so-so for the Paramount Pictures true crime comedy that had uneven reviews and a mediocre ‘C+’ CinemaScore from audiences – but only a $26M budget. Pain & Gain was part of Michael Bay’s 2-picture deal with Paramount that also included Transformers 4. Stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson deferred their compensation in return for big back ends. Surprising that the combination of them couldn’t open this pic with a bigger number. Hey, the studio encouraged Bay to do his best Coen Brothers imitation and produce/direct his little passion project considering all the Transformersmoolah he has made for Brad Grey, Rob Moore, Adam Goodman, et al. Wahlberg (now in Bay’s Transformers 4), Johnson, and Anthony Mackie play 1990s Florida bodybuilders whose crime spree to get rich goes horribly wrong. Supporting cast includes Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub, Rob Corddry, Rebel Wilson, and Bar Paly. The screenplay credited to Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely is based on a Miami New Times article by Pete Collins about Florida businessman Marc Schiller who survived kidnapping, torture, and attempted murder at the hands of the Sun Gym Gang. He’s less than amused by his portrayal in the film and contemplates legal action. The exhibition community at CinemaCon also had mixed reactions, especially about the broad comic tone surrounding the disturbing real-life crimes. Owners of small and mid-sized theaters weren’t expecting a huge hit – and they were right. Besides Bay, Pain & Gain is produced by Donald De Line and Ian Bryce. It goes overseas beginning August.
#2 is Tom Cruise’s Oblivion (which Universal is playing in the most venues – 3,792 theaters) was in the top spot last week and is holding well with $5.2M Friday (-60% from last Friday) and $7.7M Saturday for $17.6M this weekend and a $65M cume.
#3 is Legendary Pictures’ still strong Jackie Robinson biopic 42 (beginning its 3rd week in 3,405 theaters) with $2.9M Friday and $4.6M Saturday for a $10.1M weekend for a $68.5M cume.
#4 is alleged romcom The Big Wedding (2,633 theaters) which opened Friday with $2.5M Friday and $3.1M Saturday for a dismal $7.5M weekend. Audiences gave it only a ‘C+’ CinemaScore and reviews were awful for Avi Lerner’s Millennium pic with a $35M budget. North American distributor Lionsgate says its exposure was less than $10M. Talk about underperforming: Hollywood expected this star studded ensemble to draw in female moviegoers aged 25-plus, especially given the male counterprogramming, to the tune of double-digit millions. Nope. (The studio cautions there’s an historical understanding that this female demographic often sees films during subsequent weekends of release. Believe that and I’ll sell you Palm Springs swampland.) Writer/director Justin Zackham received awful reviews despite Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, Susan Sarandon, and Robin Williams. Note that I’m leaving out Katherine Heigl on purpose. And yet it took 5 producers for this family fiasco (Clay Pecorin, Harry J. Ufland, Justin Zackham, Richard Salvatore, Anthony Katagas).
#5 is DreamWorks Animation’s toon The Croods (3,283 theaters in its 6th week) from Fox with $1.5M Friday and $3M Saturday for a $6.5M weekend for a $162.8M cume.
Here’s the rest of the Top Ten based on weekend estimates:
6. Scary Movie 5 (Dimension/Weinstein) Week 3 [Runs 2,733] PG13
Friday $1.0M, Saturday $1.6M, Weekend $3.5M, Cume $27.5M
7. GI Joe: Retaliation/ (Paramount) Week 5 [Runs 2,707] PG13
Friday $954K, Saturday $1.6M, Weekend $3.6M, Cume $116.4M
8. Olympus Has Fallen (FilmDistrict) Week 6 [Runs 2,334] R
Friday $768K, Saturday $1.3M, Weekend $2.8M, Cume $93.0M
9. The Place Beyond The Pines (Focus) Week 5 [Runs 1,584] R
Friday $785K, Saturday $1.1M, Weekend $2.6M, Cume $16.1M
10. Jurassic Park 3D (Universal) Week 4 [Runs 1,848] PG13
Friday $619K, Saturday $1.0M, Weekend $2.3M, Cume $42.0M