‘Lone Survivor’ Surges to $35 Million Weekend Prediction With Help From Patriotic Moviegoers

Lone Survivor Tracking

Based on true story, Mark Wahlberg actioner No. 1 with over $12 million on Friday

Tapping into patriotism, Universal’s Navy SEALs action film “Lone Survivor” is playing powerfully at the U.S. box office with a projected $33 million to $35 million weekend according to estimates based on Friday showing.

Projections have doubled over the past 24 hours with Friday’s grosses looking to finish between $12 million and $13 million as strong word of mouth about the true-life tale of heroism propels ticket sales. Execs speculated that moviegoers – especially in Middle America — were hooked by a marketing campaign stressing the themes of patriotism, heroism, friendship and family.

The jump in projections underlines the fact that forecasts of box office performance can be occasionally unreliable, particularly outside coastal areas. Moviegoers are taking to Twitter to applaud the military bravery portrayed in the film, which looks to fill the gap in the marketplace for films with patriotic themes.

Relativity’s “Act of Valor,” which also centered on the heroics of Navy SEALs, also performed above expectations in 2012 with $70 million at the U.S. box office.

“Lone Survivor” also appeared to be benefiting from the relative absence of new competition following the barrage of high-profile titles opening in December. Reviews of the project, based on a 2005 attempt to capture or kill a Taliban leader, have been strong with Peter Berg’s screenplay receiving a WGA nomination.

“Lone Survivor” was made for $48 million with coin from indie financiers including Randall Emmett and George Furla.

Disney’s toon “Frozen,” which won last weekend with $19.6 million, is expected to finish second in the low teens for Friday-Sunday. The family-friendly comedy has topped $302 million domestically.

The only wide opener is Lionsgate’s sword-and-sandals actioner “The Legend of Hercules,” starring Kellan Lutz and tracking to gross between $7 million to $8 million in the three days.

Warner Bros.’ futuristic “Her,” which broadens to 1,729 locations, appears headed for $2 million on Friday and a $6 million weekend. The Weinstein Co.’s “August: Osage County” is also expanding into 905 locations; early forecasts project to between $7.5 million to $10 million for the three days.

Paramount’s third weekend of “The Wolf of Wall Street” will likely be a factor this weekend. The Leonardo DiCaprio drama has been holding well during mid-week days and led the chart on Thursday with $1.5 million for a cume of nearly $70 million Stateside since its Christmas Day launch.

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  1. american says:

    nationalist propaganda

  2. D K says:

    This was a NYT #1 best selling book 6 years before the movie was released. There was a huge inherent market if the movie adaptation was faithfully done. This one was teed up very high and it would have been a shocking failure by the marketing people if this hadn’t done well.

  3. The High Family says:

    HERO’S! You deserve the respect and honor of every American! THANK YOU!

  4. William Ripskull says:

    Yep, you’re right, I was “hooked” into see this by their patriotic marketing campaign. Strangest thing… I was watching Honey Boo Boo, the commercial for Lone Survivor comes on, and the next thing I know I’m standing and halfway through singing the National Anthem. I’m sure it has nothing to do with me reading the book (twice) or the other million+ readers who read the book, making it a Best Seller. And I’m sure that it it only did well because there were no gay cowboy or other socially correct movies competing with it. I shore wish I could be smart like you city folk. What a putz.

  5. ImJustAGuy says:

    I intend on seeing it. I read the book. I’m VERY interested to see if the scene where the SEALS must decide what to do with the sheepherders is true to the book. This is a very important point to me. Everyone who has read the book knows why.

    • that decision not to blast away or tie up the sheep herder was the direct result of stupid rules of engagement that had been implemented by the Clinton administration. The Taliban knew of our squeamishness and so frequently used children as shields, look-outs and rats to identify, harm or kill our troops. No one is beyond the use of the extremist Taliban. not even kids.

  6. FreddieH says:

    Fear f the US media cost these guys their lives. In the book, Marcus describes the conversation they had about what to do with the goatherds. They recognized that military logic dictated killing them, but they were aware of the media firestorm and prosecution for murder that would follow when the Afghans found the bodies and notified the US press. What a great country.

    • Jon Lewis says:

      Push your agenda elsewhere. They didn’t kill the civilians because they have honor. Yes, what a country!

      • ImJustAGuy says:

        John Lewis. Did you read the book? They were concerned that even though every fiber in their gut said they had to eliminate the compromise, but they knew how the liberal media would savage them and they would end up in some ridiculous murder trial. THAT is why Murphy, Axleson and Diez died!!!!!!

      • Robert Register says:

        According to the book, they were afraid of the press condemning them and being court marshaled. Of course they didn’t want to kill the kid, but operational success and their lives were at stake. They were afraid of the backlash that would come from the proper execution of their mission.

  7. Mahakala says:

    Great movie a must see. Marcus Luttrell even had a speaking cameo role.

  8. Fred Beloit says:

    “Based on a true story = not actually a true story.

    • Amy says:

      What exactly do you mean by not actually a true story? There are a couple small things that were changed for the movie but overall the story is still true.

    • William Ripskull says:

      Good movie, not great. Not 100% true to the book. I wasn’t happy with some of the liberties they took to compress it, but otherwise it would be a 6 hour movie. See the movie first. Then read the book… much better.

  9. Meeester Paul says:

    You folks are really rough on this article’s writer. Instead of chopping him down….er…them down, (oops…I almost used ‘him’ instead of a ‘them’ burdening them with an unnecessary gender alignment; take note *vous paysan inculte). Consider inspiring the writer rather than alienating them. Suggest that they might explore whether there is a homosexual aspect to a bunch of men spending so much time together. He could question whether their machismo is an overcompensation for dysfunctions of various sorts yada yada yada. Maybe then they could move on after the distress they endured. They certainly should get a paid leave of absense from their employer.

    (*you uncultured peasants)

  10. Steve says:

    Saw it, but I wouldn’t say it’s pro-military. The mission was a complete cluster-f@#$ and they died unnecessarily. After a series of screw-ups, miscalculations and failed contingencies, a handful of guys are surrounded by hundreds of hostile enemy forces. That’s not a reason to join the military.

    • b.mclane says:

      You missed the entire point. Rules of engagement prevented them from killing the kids to save themselves. Political correctness would have had them facing jail sentences even if the mission had been a success. Not just in the military but an elite hit squad sent to rid the world of a terrorist. Think covert. You don’t go in with a marching band. By not killing the kids, these 4 took the hard way and knew the consequences. That uunbelievable bravery is the story. Sorry for you.

      • I thought joining in the military is to fight for your country and die for it if necessary ? That is why they instituted the volunteer system so as to separate the men from the boys. Maybe it is just me.

  11. You left out that horrid 12 Years a Slave. Had the cast been white the movie would’ve bombed.

    • b.mclane says:

      12 Years is not worth mentioning. Its pure self gratification for those who perpetuate race and the good ol’days when they had something real to complain about.

  12. Might not the fact that it stars the talented and yummy Mark Wahlberg have anything to do with the movie’s “surge?” I’ll see ANYTHING he is in.

    • Real American says:

      Typical no brain all sex brain thinking with your lady parts Is it any wonder American Culture is devalued

    • Kim says:

      I’m sure everything you have planned in your life worked to a T. No mistakes ever right

    • b.mclane says:

      Uhhhhhh….. Mr. Yummy was in 2 Guns and that horrid buddy cop movie with Will Farrell and they both bombed so yeah, the true story of 4 American Seals had everything to do with its success.

      • John G. says:

        Uhhhhhh…2 Guns and The Other Guys were both huge box office hits.

        2 Guns:
        Budget $61 million
        Box office $131,940,411

        The Other Guys:
        Budget $100 million
        Box office $222,914,481

  13. Bob says:

    2014 & 2016 The end of foolishness. Get rid of the people that have such a twisted view of what made our country great.

  14. Sunnyblues says:

    Perhaps patriotic movies are big with Americans because most of us still believe in and love our country and our heroes even when our government and movie producers don’t.

  15. Mark says:

    Lone Survivor is an outstanding movie ! I read the book back in 2007. An excellent account of what happened over there in Afghanistan, June 2005. I saw the movie last night. At the end, there was a screen shot that read ” Dedicated to the men who gave their lives on Operation Red Wing”. The whole theater stood up and gave a standing ovation to honor the sacrifice these men made in the defense of freedom. I thank God we live in a country that produces men of this caliber.

  16. feral2th says:

    So this film sweeps the board, and industry executives (clueless rich revelers) speculate that maybe “filthy” patriots, in “middle America” (the swamp) are causing this schism, and that’s why their presentations are not raking in the big bucks, its because of us “filthy patriots” … I wonder if it ever occurred to these “industry executives” that there is something wholesome and decent in this production which draws normal people? I wonder if the “industry executives” ever considered that normal people are no longer interested in “whatever” they crank out and open at the box office? The hackneyed crap like “The Lone Ranger”, “Hansel and Gretel”, Jack the Giant Killer, et al, shows Hollywood is at the bottom of the barrel for creativity … Nah! That would never occur to these “industry executives” ….

  17. Soldier44 says:

    I got this movie thru other means in digital format and loved it, very moving very Saving Pvt Ryan like for modern day. Wahlberg deos an awesome job!

  18. David S says:

    Amazing movie. Not much actually happens in the movie other than the one fight, but still riivited to screen. Hollywood needs ten Wahlbergs!

    • b.mclane says:

      Dude…..that “one fight” of 4 vs. 300? That one? The movie is an accounting of what happened. As in it was real. Broken back, shattered leg, shot in jaw, 3 dead comrades, hiding from Taliban, saved by villagers who fight off Taliban for a stranger and then rescued by air. Yep nothing much happened. Sorry there were no long car chase scenes for ya.

  19. Mr joe Lynch says:

    I’m surprised the reviewer didn’t put the word patriotic in quotes. I’m betting the reviewer doesn’t go for anything portraying the military in a positive light.

  20. Bob D says:

    Seems like a movie for true Americans and those anywhere that repect the scrifice(s) of those willing AND capable of doing heroic things the rest of us only dream of in our “Walter Mitty” moments.

  21. clayguy1 says:

    Well we see where this reviewer’s political views are… Patriotism and Middle America…. Maybe we’re all going to see it because it’s a well made movie you dweeb.

  22. Babe Ruth would say, “Nobody goes to that movie. It’s always sold out.”

  23. He is a Texas boy through and through and Lutrell has been thru hard stuff since coming home…..someone SHOT his service dog that was outside on his ranch, and he grabbed his 9mm, and chased them down at over 110 mph thru the Texas countryside, while on the phone to 911. The cops caught the people and he was backup for the Sheriff…..Recently Lutrell’s brother had to be “extracted” out of Afghanistan and is in recovery for injuries received in that God Awful Place that the commander in Chief doesn’t even believe in…..Marcus Lutrell is typical of what a REAL MAN is. Everyone else is a pussy compared to him.

  24. Matt Starnes says:

    Read the book. Marcus Luttrell with a broken back would draw a line in front of him and will himself to crawl/drag his boots to that line. He did that for eight miles. God Bless the men and women of our military.

  25. Gary Ely says:

    Gee, patriotism, heroism, friendship and family. How the heck did this movie ever get made?

  26. Sandra says:

    This must kill the Hollywood Libs and producers…. We AMERICANS still love and RESPECT OUR MILITARY MEN, UNLIKE HOLLYWOOD……

  27. dixie says:

    Oh yeah Dave, mister “film reporter” lol
    maybe that should say “lousy film commentator”
    fly over country goes from coast to coast pal

  28. margeen says:

    Wow it’s good to know that it’s only “middle America” that cares about patriotism and heroism and friendship and family!

  29. Vorenious says:

    Saw movie with family. Excellent film. Realistic action. At the end, my wife, daughter-in-law and two of my female grandchildren bursted out in tears for nearly 15 minutes. My wife, said it was dramatically realistic regarding the issue of family separation. I spent 23 years on active duty, and deployed dozens of times, can’t count them anymore, so my wife is very familiar with the unknown and what may be happening on the deployments on the military member.

  30. pithypaul says:

    Patriotism? What’s that? Haven’t heard that term since Obama came on the scene.

  31. Samr says:

    Wolf of Wall Street has now been the number one movie for three days– tues, wed and Thursday!

    • William Ripskull says:

      People on Wall Street that knew Jordan Belfort describe him as a scumbag, petty thief larcenist who would steal the last nickel from your grandmother without remorse. Leave it to Hollywood to glorify and make a hero out of someone like this. Throw in a candle enema and now you have a real hit that Hollywood can relate to. DiCaprio is being called “brave” for doing the candle scene. I’m sure the liberal media and Hollywood elites will use the word “brave” more times to describe DiCaprio than the real life Navy SEALs in this movie.

    • Jane says:

      Not anymore, pal. Lone Survivor has overtaken Wolf for number one spot.

    • volinva says:

      That’s because the takers aren’t working so they go to the discount matinees.

    • Jas Aub says:

      What’s your point?

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