Box Office Rundown: Sept 21-23rd, 2012

1. End of Watch – $13,000,000
2. House at the End of the Street – $13,000,000
3. Trouble with the Curve – $12,720,000
4. Finding Nemo 3D – $9,446,000
5. Resident Evil: Retribution – $6,700,000
6. Dredd 3D – $6,300,000
7. The Master – $5,000,000
8. The Possession – $2,630,000
9. Lawless – $2,321,000
10. ParaNorman – $2,297,000

In a hotly contested weekend, David Ayer‘s police drama End of Watch managed to take the number 1 spot with $13 million, according to studio estimates.  Just behind it was House at the End of the Street which may end up at number 1 when the actual receipts are tallied up tomorrow.  Both movies were new for the weekend, so the fact that both made $13 million is a bit of a surprise, I figured House at the End of the Street would take the weekend by default of Jennifer Lawrence‘s rising star.

Trailing just behind the two was the Clint Eastwood baseball drama Trouble with the Curvewhich earned $12.7 million in the number 3 spot.  Last week’s number two movie Finding Nemo 3D managed to slow its fall on the charts with $9.6 million to beat out last week’s number one movie Resident Evil: Retributionwhich fell much harder pulling in only $6.7 million for the crowded weekend.  Nemo made its money on the initial release 9 years ago, so this is all bonus money for Disney.  However, the fact that Resident Evil: Retribution has only made $33 million on a $65 million budget has to have Sony execs thinking twice about blindly green-lighting another movie in the franchise, especially when the 3D surcharge didn’t give them much of a boost.  The 68% fall is a hard one, even for an R-rated horror film.

At number 6 was the other new wide release for the week, Dredd 3Dwhich disappointed with only a $6.3 million take for the weekend.  The budget was $50 million, and despite critics mostly tearing it apart, fans are loving the ultra-violent popcorn flick, so we’ll see if next week word of mouth helps it out any.  It might also be a video hit, so there’s still hope for it yet.

The Master made a respectable wide opening  at number 8 with $5 million on less than 800 screens, and it still had the highest per-screen average for the weekend.  This one is making The Weinstein Company happy as it will probably continue to do well going into awards season, as more casual (non-arthouse) moviegoers will check it out based on word of mouth and critical reviews as it continues to expand.

Lawless continued to hang in the top 10 at number 9, despite the lack of continued advertisement, it still made $2.3 million, which the excellent cast may be entirely responsible for.  In the end, this one should end up being profitable as the total is already at $34 million, and it couldn’t have cost too much to make.  That’s good news for fans of John Hillcoat and Nick Cave, as the duo deserve to keep making movies together at the studio level.

Finishing out the top 10 is ParaNorman with $2.29 million for the weekend, bringing its total to $52 million, which will make it profitable by the time it hits video outlets.  Not a runaway hit, but enough to prove that family films with a darker tilt can still grab a good portion of that wealthy family film genre money.

Overall, the week was filled with shake-ups, and the hotly contested number 1 spot surprised me, and has me wondering what next weekend will bring, since there is a strange mix of another darkly tilted animated family film, a cerebral sci-fi movie, and a feel good pic hitting theaters.  More on that later in the week, when I’ll do the weekly movie guide and touch on all those films a bit more.


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