‘Lone Survivor’ Commands Box Office for Surprising $38 Million Debut

Lone Survivor

'Hercules' in horse race for third against late 2013 releases

Universal’s “Lone Survivor” continues to exceed expectations. Pre-weekend analysis that had the film around $15 million in its first three days was adjusted to $33 million Friday, and today jumps again with a finish around $38 million.

This may melt “Frozen’s” cold grip on the box office’s top spot, but the toon doesn’t slide far as it approaches second place with about $15 million.

Lionsgate-Summit opener “The Legend of Hercules” is headed to $8 million or $9 million this weekend after bowing to $3.1 million Friday. Right now it looks likely to wind up third in the domestic marketplace, but so many films in the top 10 this weekend are anticipating grosses in the $6 million to $9 million range, it could easily end in fifth or sixth against “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “American Hustle” and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”

“Hercules” is the only wide bow Friday as “Lone Survivor,” “Her” and “August: Osage County” are merely expanding following Oscar-qualifying runs. “August” is doing exceptional biz so far with $7 million from 905 locations and “Her” at $5.5 million from 1,729 for seventh and tenth place, respectively, by Sunday.

“Love Survivor’s” surprise success is being attributed in part to a targeted marketing push emphasizing the real-life element of the film, which is based off Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell’s account, along with themes like patriotism and fraternity. Later ads featured helmer Peter Berg and Luttrell himself to cement the film’s authenticity.

Though market demographics are not yet available, box office observers expect the spike in interest comes from heartland states — markets Universal was likely making an extra effort to court with more recent ads.

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  1. Why are people always surprise when a sorta average movie have a big opening? Think about it,couples that are dating and people that are married,this is the basic question for fri and sat nights. Hey honey what you want to do tonight? How about dinner and a movie!!! Thats millions of americans that trek up to theatres to watch any movie that interest them.That really don’t make it a fantastic movie just because millions sat down and watched it. But if those numbers sustain over weeks then maybe its a hit.

  2. Lisa says:

    This isn’t about war per se, or politics ~ it’s about a bond and it’s about an honorable man who will not allow death to break that bond or his friends to be forgotten. It was underpromoted, and ignored by the media and still kicked a** ~ because people realize that these men are a level above. and Lance ~ uh, yeah .. can totaly see how this brings to mind a gay friend being lonely. (insert sarcasm) I promise you compared to Latrells story the interest in whatever you are selling is going to be nonexistant, save your PR for another thread.

  3. clydee says:

    war sells.
    sad…

  4. the popularity of lone survivor will pave the way for the new best seller @ontwofronts. On Two Fronts tell the story of an army medic in Afghanistan and his gay best friend a Las Vegas entertainer who is left behind to deal with his friend”s deployment. The entire book is written in real time with the events occurring as they happened. The entire book was written by sending it back and forth through emails. It is a story that will touch the hearts of soldiers and those loved ones left behind.

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