Universal’s Navy SEALs action film “Lone Survivor,” which is expected to gross in the mid- to high teens in its first weekend of wide release, should finally melt Disney’s solid family holdover, “Frozen,” which is tracking in the low teens for Friday-Sunday.
Also expanding wide this weekend is Warner Bros.’ intimate futuristic “Her,” which broadens to 1,729 locations, with expectations in the high-single digits. The film enters Golden Globes weekend with three nominations including best picture musical-comedy, after playing at just 47 theaters last weekend and averaging $16,442 per screen.
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, “Her” has grossed $3.2 million Stateside, a solid perf so far considering the limited release.
Lionsgate-Summit has the only new wide release this weekend, with sword-and-sandals epic “The Legend of Hercules,” starring Kellan Lutz, tracking to gross around $7 million in three days. The film was produced by Millennium Films; Summit acquired U.S. distribution rights in November last year.
Last weekend, “Frozen” claimed its second B.O. win in six weeks of wide release, grossing $19.6 million, down just 31%. To date, “Frozen” has taken just north of $300 million domestically, making it the fourth-highest grossing release of 2013.
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Meanwhile, “Lone Survivor” expands Friday to 2,650 Stateside engagements after playing in limited release for an Oscar-qualifying run two weeks prior, averaging more than $40,000 from two screens each weekend.
Advanced tickets sales have been strong for “Lone Survivor,” suggesting the film could overperform.
The Mark Wahlberg starrer, which is based on the first-person memoir of Navy SEAL officer Marcus Luttrell, has been gaining ground with its core male demo but has also developed interest recently from women over 25. The film is directed by Peter Berg and co-stars Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster.
Universal has been heavily pushing the real-life angle of the film, especially with in-theater promotions, screening a longer version of the trailer that features interviews from Berg and Luttrell. “Lone Survivor” should resonate particularly well in the South and the Midwest, though wintry weather throughout the weekend could continue to dampen box office in those regions.
“Frozen,” meanwhile, continues its Cinderella-like B.O. run, having become an all-audience crowdpleaser. What’s more, there is still little else in the market for families.
The remaining B.O. field will be populated by holdovers including Paramount’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which has been holding well during mid-weeks. In fact, the controversial R-rated film was the No. 1 movie on Tuesday, dethroning “Frozen” from the top spot. “Wolf” has cumed nearly $70 million Stateside.
Film (Distributor): Locations
- The Legend of Hercules (Lionsgate): 2,104
- Lone Survivor (Universal): 2-2,650
- Her (WB): 47-1,729