×

‘Lone Survivor’ Commands Box Office for Surprising $38 Million Debut

'Hercules' in horse race for third against late 2013 releases

Universal’s “Lone Survivor” continues to exceed expectations. Pre-weekend analysis that had the film around $15 million in its first three days was adjusted to $33 million Friday, and today jumps again with a finish around $38 million.

This may melt “Frozen’s” cold grip on the box office’s top spot, but the toon doesn’t slide far as it approaches second place with about $15 million.

Lionsgate-Summit opener “The Legend of Hercules” is headed to $8 million or $9 million this weekend after bowing to $3.1 million Friday. Right now it looks likely to wind up third in the domestic marketplace, but so many films in the top 10 this weekend are anticipating grosses in the $6 million to $9 million range, it could easily end in fifth or sixth against “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “American Hustle” and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”

“Hercules” is the only wide bow Friday as “Lone Survivor,” “Her” and “August: Osage County” are merely expanding following Oscar-qualifying runs. “August” is doing exceptional biz so far with $7 million from 905 locations and “Her” at $5.5 million from 1,729 for seventh and tenth place, respectively, by Sunday.

“Love Survivor’s” surprise success is being attributed in part to a targeted marketing push emphasizing the real-life element of the film, which is based off Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell’s account, along with themes like patriotism and fraternity. Later ads featured helmer Peter Berg and Luttrell himself to cement the film’s authenticity.

Though market demographics are not yet available, box office observers expect the spike in interest comes from heartland states — markets Universal was likely making an extra effort to court with more recent ads.

Popular on Variety

More Data

  • India, South Korea Lead Surge in

    India, South Korea Lead Surge in Asian Production, Rights Spending

    Spending on film, TV and online video content in Asia grew by 12% in 2018, a significant leap from 8% the previous year. The strongest growth came from India and South Korea, with Indonesia and Vietnam following. Data from the latest edition of Asia Video Content Dynamics, published by research and consultancy firm Media Partners [...]

  • 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 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content