×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: Slow weekend ahead for biz

Exit of 'Gangster Squad' leaves slim pickings for frame

The retreat of Warner Bros.’ “Gangster Squad” to 2013 has left a gaping hole in what is typically one of the slowest weekends at the domestic box office. In fact, none of this weekend’s players — holdover or new — is expected to hit double digits, which could result in the lowest-grossing three-day frame in more than a decade.

CBS Films’ adult-femme targeted “The Words” — one of five Sundance titles to bow this weekend — goes head-to-head with Lionsgate’s soph-sesh holdover “The Possession.” Each pic is projected to gross around $7 million, though there’s a potential $9 million upside for “Words.”

The frame’s other wide release, Summit’s “The Cold Light of Day” (at 1,511 locations), will likely top out, at best, at around $2 million.

Warner bumped “Gangster Squad,” originallydated for this weekend, to Jan. 11 in response to the July 20 shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Warner made the move to allow time to reshoot a scene that depicted a similar shooting at a movie theater, as well as to distance the R-rated pic from the tragedy.

The reality now is that weekend totals could fall below the $67.2 million tally set Sept. 5-7, 2003, when two modest performers — “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star” and “Jeepers Creepers 2” — jockeyed for No. 1, with $6.7 million and $6.6 million, respectively. During the Sept. 21-23, 2001, frame, Paramount’s “Hardball” won with $8.1 million, followed by Miramax’s “The Others” with $5.1 million.

Either scenario could happen: If “Possession” drops 60% — a touch better than most horror pics — it would gross roughly $7 million, based on the film’s $17.7 million three-day bow last weekend. But the pic could fall as much as 65%, putting it near to $6 million and likely behind “Words.”

CBS Films acquired “Words,” which cost $6 million to produce, at this year’s Sundance for $2 million, with an added minimum guarantee P&A spend of $1.5 million. The distrib focused its marketing campaign on the love story between stars Bradley Cooper, who also exec produced, and Zoe Saldana. “Words” could develop shapely legs as long as femmes spark to the film.

For thriller “Cold Light of Day,” which stars Henry Cavill, Sigourney Weaver and Bruce Willis, Summit reduced risk by partnering with Intrepid, which shouldered the other half of the $20 million budget. Pic was originally slated to bow limited, but exhibitors requested that Summit go wide with it after “Gangster Squad” bolted. It’s seen modest results overseas for several weeks now.

In addition to “The Words,” the weekend’s other Sundance 2012 alumni include Radius-Weinstein Co.’s “Bachelorette,” which launches today at 47 theaters after preeming earlier on VOD, as well as Music Box’s gay-themed “Keep the Lights On,” at five locations in New York and L.A.

Todd Louiso’s Melanie Lynskey starrer “Hello I Must Be Going” bows at two playdates via Oscilloscope, while Tribeca Films’ “For Ellen,” starring Paul Dano, plays this weekend only at New York’s Film Forum.

More Film

  • Miramax Developing 'I Won't Be Home

    Film News Roundup: Miramax Developing 'I Won't Be Home for Christmas'

    In today’s film news roundup, “I Won’t Be Home for Christmas” is in the works, the NFL has made a documentary about female team owners and D Street Pictures has signed Kenny Gage and Devon Downs to direct the dance feature “Move.” HOLIDAY PROJECT Miramax has acquired film rights to Lauren Iungerich’s holiday-themed screenplay “I [...]

  • Michael B. Jordan arrives at the

    Michael B. Jordan to Star in Warner Bros.' 'Methuselah' Movie

    Michael B. Jordan will produce and star in a “Methuselah” movie for Warner Bros., based on the Biblical story of a man who lived to be 969 years old. Jordan will produce through his Outlier Society production company along with Heyday’s David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford. Warner Bros. has been developing the project for many [...]

  • Davids Chief Piera Detassis on Revamping

    Davids Chief Piera Detassis on Revamping Italy's Top Film Awards

    Piera Detassis recently became the first woman to head the David di Donatello Awards, Italy’s equivalent of the Oscars. Since then she’s been busy overhauling the inner workings of the prizes that will be awarded on Wednesday. Detassis, also the editor of Italian film publication Ciak, spoke exclusively to Variety about the challenges she’s faced [...]

  • Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman' Leads Davids Awards

    Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman' Leads Davids Awards Race

    With 15 nominations Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman” leads the pack of contenders for Italy’s David di Donatello Awards in a watershed year for the country’s top film nods that sees highbrow auteur titles reaping most of the David love just as local box-office grosses hit an all-time low. Garrone’s gritty revenge drama is followed closely with [...]

  • steven spielberg Apple TV Plus

    Steven Spielberg's Apple Appearance Riles Up Social Media: 'Big Old Mixed Message'

    Many Hollywood heavyweights flocked to Apple’s Cupertino, Calif. headquarters to help reveal the tech giant’s revamped steaming service Apple TV+ on Monday — but one such legend was so polarizing he became a national trending topic on Twitter for simply showing his face. Steven Spielberg was the first to appear in a dramatic short film [...]

  • Michael Lynne

    Former New Line Co-Chairman Michael Lynne Dies at 77

    Michael Lynne, the former co-chairman of New Line Cinema who played a key role in shepherding “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, has died at his New York home. He was 77. Lynne’s death was confirmed Monday by longtime business partner Robert Shaye, who told Variety that Lynne’s family had informed him of Lynne’s passing [...]

  • Marisa Liston

    Sony Veteran Marisa Liston to Lead Lionsgate Movie Publicity

    Lionsgate has named Sony Pictures veteran executive Marisa Liston to lead all feature film and motion picture group publicity and communications strategy. Liston, who departed Sony in late 2018 after 17 years, has been assigned the newly created title of head of global earned media and communications. She will oversee domestic and international feature film [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content