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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.

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%

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