Box Office: ‘Lone Survivor’ Dominates With $38.5 Mil, But Unable to Prevent Weekend Slump

Weinstein's 'August: Osage County' leads in Golden Globes expansions

Universal’s Navy SEALs action-drama “Lone Survivor” led the domestic box office charge this weekend, estimating $38.5 million, making it the second-highest opening for a wide release or expansion ever in January.

The commanding performance for “Lone Survivor,” which just trails the January record set by “Cloverfield” in 2008 (with $40.1 million), still was unable to lift the weekend box office ahead of this time last year, as totals trailed that frame by roughly 5%.

Still, the Mark Wahlberg starrer easily knocked Disney’s family steamroller “Frozen” from the top spot after the film’s fourth-frame resurgence lat weekend to No. 1. “Frozen” fell to second place, though it still grossed a remarkable $15.1 million in its seventh weekend of wide release, down just 22%, for a Stateside cume of $317.7 million.

Internationally, “Frozen,” which earned $27.8 million from 50 markets, usurped Warner Bros.’ long-held overseas champ “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” grossing a second-place ranking $22.2 million in its fifth frame. “Frozen” reached $712.3 million globally; “The Hobbit,” meanwhile, crossed the $800 million worldwide mark.

The weekend’s only other U.S. nationwide bow, Lionsgate-Summit’s “The Legend of Hercules,” grossed a meager, though expected, $8.6 million. The studio has minimal exposure on the film, which was produced and financed by Millennium Films for a reported $70 million; Summit acquired Stateside distribution rights to the film last November.

Doing their part in the lead-up to Sunday’s Golden Globes telecast, several awards contenders had wide expansions this weekend. The best of the bunch was the Weinstein Co.’s “August: Osage County,” which expanded to 905 locations, up from just five, for a three-day estimate of $7.3 million and a domestic cume nearing $8 million.

Warner Bros., meanwhile, expanded “Her” to north of 1,700 engagements where it grossed a more modest $5.4 million. The futuristic dramedy about a man who falls in love with his computer system received a ‘B-‘ CinemaScore. It’s a tougher sell compared to “August,” a showy feature adaptation from the play by Tracy Letts starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, both of whom were nominated for Globes acting prizes.

Also nominated with “Her” in the picture musical/comedy category, CBS Films’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” expanded to 729 theaters, estimating $1.9 million in three days, for a Stateside total of $9.3 million — past the Coen brothers’ “A Serious Man,” which made $9.2 million in 2009.

The overpeformance of “Lone Survivor” was not entirely unexpected prior to the weekend since the film had been outdoing comparable films like “Zero Dark Thirty” in pre-sales. (The latter pic expanded wide this same weekend last year with $24 million.) And while “Lone Survivor” didn’t play on Imax screens, the film saw 13% of its gross come from other premium-large format locations; mostly, Cinemark’s XD brand.

Not surprisingly, “Lone Survivor” played best in the Midwest and in military markets like San Diego. The film, however, scored exceptionally well with women accounting for 43% of the opening gross.

“I, of course, wanted this to be a hugely successful film financially,” said U distribution prexy Nikki Rocco, “but ultimately, it didn’t matter because this is a project of passion.”

Based on the memoir of Navy SEALs officer Marcus Luttrell, who fought to survive during a deadly gunfight in Afghanistan in 2005, the film received a rare ‘A+’ CinemaScore across all demographics. Pic had a strong Hispanic turnout, with 32%.

Mainland minion fever

After seven months of global play, Universal’s “Despicable Me 2” bowed this weekend in China, where it scored $13.8 million, making it the largest opening for an animated film locally since “Ice Ace: Continental Drift” in 2012.

The film’s mainland bow is more impressive considering the first “Despicable Me” was not released in China. The sequel was further boosted at the box office thanks to Imax, which played the film on all of its 141 screens in the country. Pic’s Chinese opening lifts its overseas grand total to $567.1 million, for a worldwide haul surpassing $935 million.

Elsewhere among the BRIC nations, Paramount expanded “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” into Russia and Brazil, where the horror pic earned for biggest opening for the franchise in both countries, with $4 million and $2 million, respectively.


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

  1. Lone Survivor (3): $38.5; 2,875; $13,395; $38.9; +999%
  2. Frozen (8): $15.1; 3,239; $4,653; $317.7; -23%
  3. The Wolf of Wall Street (3): $9.0; 2,521; $3,570; $78.6; -32%
  4. The Legend of Hercules (1): $8.6; 2,104; $4,087; $8.6; —
  5. American Hustle (5): $8.6; 2,629; $3,271; $101.6; -31%
  6. The Hobbit … Smaug (5): $8.0; 3,075; $2,607; $242.2; -49%
  7. August: Osage County (3): $7.3; 905; $8,083; $7.9; +999%
  8. Saving Mr. Banks (5): $6.7; 2,671; $2,463; $68.9; -24%
  9. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2): $6.3; 2,883; $2,185; $28.5; -66%
  10. Anchorman 2 (4): $6.1; 3,012; $2,025; $118.5; -43%


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

  1. Frozen (7): $27.8; 50; n/a; $394.6; $712.3; -47%
  2. The Hobbit … Smaug (5): $22.2; 62; 9,300; $566.0; $808.2; -62%
  3. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2): $15.5; 40; 4,140; $34.6; $63.1; -4%
  4. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (3): $14.4; 61; 6,300; $93.3; $146; -54%
  5. Despicable Me 2 (30): $13.8; 1; 3,000; $567.1; $935.1; +999%

*in millions of $

More Data

  • Pride Parade and Festival in Salt

    New Study Shows Decline in LGBTQ Acceptance Among Young Americans

    A new study from GLAAD shows a significant decline in LGBTQ acceptance among young Americans aged 18-34. In a national survey among U.S. adults called the Accelerating Acceptance Index, the percentage of young Americans reporting being “very” or “somewhat” comfortable with LGBTQ people across seven scenarios dropped from 53% to 45%, marking the second consecutive [...]

  • Majelan

    French Podcast App Majelan Launches With 13 Million Audio Episodes Across 50 Countries

    While the podcast space is heating up with a variety of players including Apple, Audible, Spotify and Luminary, a smaller-yet-promising French app called Majelan is rolling out across 50 countries with an international library of 280 000 audio series, or 13 millions episodes, in 15 languages. Majelan is also kicking off with 20 original or [...]

  • Globe Centred On Asia And Oceania,

    APOS: Online Video Headed for 15% Annual Growth, Disrupting Asia Markets

    A blistering 15% annual growth of online video will give the Asian video industry (TV, pay-TV, home entertainment and streaming) a growth rate nearly double that of North America for the next five years. According to a new report from Media Partners Asia, published on the eve of the APOS conference in Indonesia, Asia’s online [...]

  • FICCI-Frames: Digital Growing, But TV Still

    FICCI-Frames: TV Dominates India's Entertainment Sector (Study)

    India’s creative industries sector, comprising television, film, OTT and related industries had an overall market size of $23.9 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow 12% to reach $33.6 billion by 2021. That is according to the annual EY report released during the Frames conference in Mumbai, organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    European Cinema Admissions Down 3.3% in 2018, but Hit 1.25 Billion for Fourth Year in a Row

    European cinema admissions hit 1.25 billion for the fourth consecutive year in 2018, despite dropping 3.3% from the record level set in 2017, according to figures released Wednesday by the International Union of Cinemas, or UNIC. Total box office revenue across Europe hit at least €8 billion ($9.1 billion), also for the fourth year running. The figures [...]

  • International 2018 Box Office Profits

    International Box Office Top 100 of 2018: Another Record Year, but Rise Is Slight

    International box office ticked up 1% over 2017 to a record $29.8 billion, helping to drive worldwide moviegoing up 2.7% to a new high-water mark of $41.7 billion. Most of the global increase came from North America, which surged 7% to $11.9 billion. “Avengers: Infinity War” became the seventh film to gross more than $1 [...]

  • Google Fined $57 Million in France

    Google Fined $57 Million in France for Breach of Data Protection Rules

    Google has been fined €50 million ($57 million) in France by data regulator CNIL for breaching the European Union’s data protection rules. The CNIL said in a statement that Google had not sufficiently informed its users about the exploitation of their personnal data. “We’re not denying that Google informs users who open an account…but the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content