×

Warner Bros., Legendary Score Welcome Hit With ’42’; ‘Oblivion’ Connects Early O’seas

Baseball biopic earns $27.3 million; 'Scary Movie 5' disappoints with $15.2 million

After a string of strikeouts this year, Warner Bros. scored a solid hit with Legendary PicturesJackie Robinson baseball biopic, “42,” which estimated $27.3 million during its opening Stateside frame. Meanwhile, Universal kicked-started the global run of “Oblivion” a week early overseas, with $61.1 million.

The Warner film, which cost $38 million to produce, out-swung even the most ambitious expectations in the low-$20 millions, easily winning the weekend that included the Weinstein Co.’s underperformer “Scary Movie 5,” at $15.2 million. The $19 million spoof debuted with roughly just a third of what the previous “Scary Movie” earned during its opening weekend in 2006.

Still, “42,” along with stalwart holdovers “The Croods” and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,”  helped keep box office in line with this time last year. That’s welcome news since year-to-date totals still are down approximately 12% from last year.

“Croods” fell just 36% in its fourth frame, with $13.2 million, and “Joe” estimated $10.8 million, down 48%. “Croods” has cumed $142.5 million domestically; “Joe,” meanwhile, crossed the $100 million mark.

Popular on Variety

With “Oblivion,” Universal decided to get a leg up on the summer competition internationally: The Tom Cruise sci-fier, which bows Friday in the U.S. and Canada, launched this weekend in 52 territories, of which 48 contributed No.1 local grosses, including the U.K., with $7.9 million, and France ($3.9 million).

“42,” a passion project for Legendary’s Thomas Tull, scored a rare A+ CinemaScore, with equal ratings from all of its top-contributing demographics individually. The sterling overall score bodes well for the pic’s playability, especially with tough early summer competition only weeks away. The win for Warners and Legendary also is a big relief after this year’s earlier box office flop “Jack the Giant Slayer.”

“To blow away the tracking the way we did is a great feeling, and in large part attributable to our marketing team in getting the message out there,” said Warner domestic distribution prexy Dan Fellman. “Here’s a movie that people thought would skew heavily toward men, yet it skewed 52% female.”

“42” also played surprisingly well in Canada. According to Fellman, the film saw an encouraging 40% bump on Saturday.

While “42” earned the majority of its opening from auds over 35, at 59%, “Scary Movie” tallied an overwhelming 87% of its debut from auds under 35. The spoof five-peat also grossed almost half of its opening from African-Americans and Hispanics.

“The outlook (for this film) is OK. It’s not great, but it’s certainly within the range of acceptability,” said Weinstein distrib topper Erik Lomis. The film likely is to top out somewhere around $35 million domestically.

At the specialty box office, Focus Features’ “The Place Beyond the Pines” scored a top-notch expansion with $4.1 million from 514 theaters. Pic averaged $7,937 per engagement and has cumed $5.5 million in three weeks domestically. Focus plans for another enthusiastic expansion this weekend, exposing the film to more commercial houses.

Meanwhile, Fox Searchlight’s similarly aggressive expansion of Danny Boyle’s “Trance,” at 438 locations, struggled to entrance many auds, grossing only $925,000 for a per-screen average of $2,112. In its second frame, the film has tallied $1.1 million and counting.

Domestic

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Locations; Per-theater average; Cume*; Percentage change

  1. 42 (1): $27.3; 3,003; $9,074; $27.3; —
  2. Scary Movie 5 (1): $15.2; 3,402; $4,454; $15.2; —
  3. The Croods (4): $13.2; 3,689; $3,578; $142.5; -36%
  4. G.I. Joe: Retaliation (3): $10.8; 3,535; $3,055; $102.4; -48%
  5. Evil Dead (2): $9.5; 3,025; $3,140; $41.5; -63%
  6. Jurassic Park (3D re) (2): $8.8; 2,778; $3,175; $31.9; -53%
  7. Olympus Has Fallen (4): $7.3; 2,935; $2,481; $81.9; -28%
  8. Oz the Great and Powerful (6): $4.9; 2,504; $1,966; $219.4; -39%
  9. Temptation (3): $4.5; 1,805; $2,490; $45.4; -55%
  10. The Place Beyond the Pines (3): $4.1; 514; $7,937; $5.5; +480%

Overseas

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Territories; Screens; Int’l cume*; World cume*; Percentage change

  1. Oblivion (1): $61.1; 52; 7,444; $61.1; $61.1; —
  2. The Croods (4): $25.6; 65; 10,590; $244.8; $387.3; -25%
  3. G.I. Joe: Retaliation (3): $15.6; 61; 7,368; $168.3; $270.7; -61%
  4. Oz the Great and Powerful (6): $5.2; 56; n/a; $251.6; $471.0; -62%

More Film

  • AMC theater

    AMC Entertainment Reports Mixed Fourth-Quarter Results

    AMC Entertainment has reported mixed fourth-quarter results, which saw revenues rise 2.4% to $1.45 billion, despite a 4.4% drop in U.S. attendance to 62.3 million. The exhibitor, owned by Dalian Wanda Group, announced a fourth-quarter loss of $13.5 million, compared to a year-earlier profit of $170.6 million, due to $84.3 million of expense related to [...]

  • 'Straight Up' Review: James Sweeney's Gay

    'Straight Up': Film Review

    There’s a tradition in movies, as vital as a hypnotic action scene or a swooning love scene, of dialogue so witty and nimble and rapid-fire that it comes at you like something out of a stylized dream. I first encountered that brand of high-velocity verbal jousting in “A Hard Day’s Night,” and later on in [...]

  • Cahiers du Cinema

    French Film Magazine Cahiers du Cinema's Staff Quits Over New Ownership

    The future of iconic French film publication Cahiers du Cinéma is in question after the outlet’s entire staff quit in protest over the brand’s new ownership. The 15-member editorial staff has spoken out against a perceived conflict of interest posed by the Cahier’s owners — a group of bankers, tech entrepreneurs and film producers that [...]

  • John Singleton Victoria Mahoney Spike Lee

    In Honor of Black History Month, a Look at Black Directors Who Made History

    In 2019, the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative reported that 2018 was a historic year for black filmmakers, noting a “record high when it came to hiring black directors.” The report reflected a significant change, showing the push for diversity both behind and in front of the camera. Though the numbers are increasing, the report also [...]

  • Benh Zeitlin Wendy Movie BTS

    Benh Zeitlin Goes Old-School With Stunts and Puppets for His Peter Pan Film 'Wendy'

    It has taken eight years for Benh Zeitlin to deliver the follow-up to his Oscar-nominated 2012 feature debut “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” But you could say the idea for “Wendy,” which reimagines the classic “Peter Pan” from the viewpoint of his female friend (played by first-time actor Devin France), has been percolating far longer [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content