Box office report: 'Limitless' conquers weekend with $19 mil

limitless-cooper

Image Credit: John Baer

Bradley Cooper proved he could open a movie all by himself, as Limitless won the weekend with $19 million, according to studio estimates. The $27 million action thriller, Cooper’s first true star vehicle, had been heavily promoted with commercials during the Super Bowl and some creative viral marketing, such as a YouTube clip in which a man seemingly hacks Times Square’s video screens. The PG-13 film, about a struggling writer whose life is radically upgraded after taking an experimental “smart pill,” earned a respectable “B+” grade from CinemaScore moviegoers.

In second was the Johnny Depp-starring Rango, which dropped only 32 percent for $15.3 million. The animated Western has lassoed $92.6 million in three weeks, and appears to be benefiting from positive word-of-mouth despite its puzzling “C+” CinemaScore rating. Third place went to the alien-invasion movie Battle: Los Angeles. After topping the box office last weekend, the PG-13 action flick nosedived 59 percent for $14.6 million.

In fourth, the Matthew McConaughey crime drama The Lincoln Lawyer debuted to $13.4 million. That’s below the openings of McConaughey’s recent romance pictures, such as Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Fool’s Gold, and Failure to Launch, but it’s an improvement over the actor’s dramas like We Are Marshall and Two for the Money. The $40 million film particularly appealed to older moviegoers, with 85 percent of its audience being at least 25 years old. And with a solid “A-” score from CinemaScore graders, Lawyer should hold up well the next few weeks.

Also worth noting is that the movie marked the first time a studio partnered with the deal-of-the-day website Groupon. Last Wednesday and Thursday, Lionsgate allowed Groupon users to buy tickets to the film for only $6. About 190,000 tickets were purchased through the promotion, and 40,000 of those tickets were redeemed this weekend. (The tickets are valid throughout the film’s entire run). According to Lionsgate, 89 percent of the Groupon users who saw Lawyer this weekend said they wouldn’t have done so without the discount offer.

Finally, in fifth was the R-rated comedy Paul, about two comic-book geeks (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) who discover an actual alien (voiced by Seth Rogen). The $40 million movie abducted $13.2 million and garnered a “B+” rating from CinemaScore moviegoers. In particular, those under the age of 18 loved it, giving the film an “A” grade. While Paul‘s opening won’t blow anybody’s mind, it is an improvement over Pegg and Frost’s last two collaborations. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz debuted to $3.3 million and $5.8 million, respectively, although both films opened at far fewer locations than Paul.

In limited release, the wrestling drama Win Win, starring Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan, grappled $154,000 from five theaters. And the romantic adaptation Jane Eyre expanded to 26 locations and collected $478,000. Check back next week as Zack Snyder’s fantasy action film Sucker Punch and the comedy sequel you’ve all been waiting for, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, hit theaters.

1. Limitless — $19.0 mil
2. Rango — $15.3 mil
3. Battle: Los Angeles — $14.6 mil
4. The Lincoln Lawyer — $13.4 mil
5. Paul — $13.2 mil

Comments (66 total) Add your comment
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  • Barry

    I haven’t been waiting for a Wimpy Kid sequel.

    • Baba Booey is a Parks & Rec Official

      I think that was a joke.

    • Kenneth

      I went to see ‘Limitless’ Friday and I enjoyed it. Are those Bradley Cooper’s real blue eyes? His eyes are ocean blue. LOL

  • Nancy

    I am very curious as to how Sucker Punch will do. Will audiences at large be lassoed by a purely female-centric action film not starring Angelina Jolie? Will Snyder prove once and for all his 300 promise was not a fluke?

    • John C.

      I bet Sucker Punch does around 40 million and becomes the year’s biggest opener so far.

      • sarCC

        I think it will do well. I can only think of one or two action movies starring Jolie and only Salt was the one that did reasonably well.

      • A

        @sarCC…Lara Croft:Tomb Raider, Mr and Mrs Smith, Wanted, and Salt all did well at the box office.

      • Jose

        I don’t doubt that it will open well (a bunch of my frinds and other people at my college are eagerly anticipating it) but the question is will it hold? It could be another Watchmen. Personally I’m waiting to see it the week after to make it a double feature with that and Insidious.

      • korri

        I know a lot of ‘geeks’ who are seeing this because a) its a Snyder movie and b) Hot chicks in school girl outfits.

        Personnally, I will be seeing it because it looks like it kicks a$$ (I’m a girl, and I love me some kick a$$ action)

    • Eli

      I’m surprised it’s not more buzzed about to be honest. The trailer was impressive but nobody’s talking about the movie and the advertising isn’t very strong.

      Perhaps Warner Bros is downplaying it based on the allegedly poor test screenings, that way it’s no big loss for them if it underperforms.

    • kevin

      it was much more interesting when Emma Stone, Amanda Seyfreid and Evan Rachel Wood were attached to star, now not so much

  • Tony

    Since Sucker Punch is PG-13 im sure it would do well, Question is will it be a good movie?

    • Amanda Kiwinerd

      All the Twilight teenies better show up for Sucker Punch or that would prove they are the brainless emo poseurs with no taste that they are. Go see it, you little witches!!!

      • m1

        This comment is ironic in so many ways.

    • sarCC

      I just hope it’s fun. I seriously doubt it’s going to be very intelligent, but it could be trashy fun. If it pretends it’s smart or if it’s too serious, it could be terrible. And if it’s slow and boring like Tron: Legacy. But that did stop Tron from being a huge hit.

    • m1

      It looks creative and something to be excited about. That said, I think I will just rent it, unless the reviews are very good.

  • derek

    I wouldn’t say Bradley Cooper opened it “all by himself.” Robert DeNiro was also in it. I haven’t seen it yet, but if I do, it will be because of DeNiro. I have nothing against Bradley Cooper, but he did not open this movie alone.

    • Titanic

      Robert DeNiro has very few scenes and one memorable dialog. Bradley truly owns this movie.

      • Will

        Except it was marketed like DeNiro was in it a lot more.

      • Iceberg

        You sank. Shut up.

    • V

      Exactly – the posters make it seem like De Niro has a substantial supporting role or 2nd lead. Haven’t seen it, but it’s not fair to say Cooper opens a movie “all by himself.”

      • ben

        Just came back form it. DeNiro is really not a very important character. Cooper really does star in this film, it revolves entirely around him

      • Sydney

        I saw the movie and Bradley Cooper does open and own the movie. It is far into the movie before Robert DeNiro has a scene and then, not that many scenes. The movie is Bradley Cooper. The advertising for the movie is misleading with regard to Cooper and DeNiro.

      • JJ

        To V and anyone else who hasn’t seen the movie: you should not comment on DeNiro and his role in this film until you have seen the movie. Yeech, doesn’t that make sense?

  • Don’t You Forget About Me

    Harry Potter 7 part 2 is where its at. and i will crying and remembering through every single scene my favorite parts of every single novel. harry potter will be the best movie of the year

  • craig a

    actually this has been the first weekend this year that I wanted to see 3 of the Movies that opened “Limitless”, “Lincoln Lawyer”, and “Paul”, only had time to see “Paul” and loved it! I hope the rest of the year is as promising!

    • Eli

      Agreed, this is the first time I’ve been interested in what’s opening in a while.

      Also chose Paul out of the bunch, which was no Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, but it was a fun matinee.

  • relatives ?

    Bradley Cooper=Paul McDonalds MUCH older brother. LOL

  • Sarah Berardinetti

    I don’t know what this “CinemaScore” thing is that you speak of… as far as I’m concerned, the most reliable place for a general consensus is Rotten Tomatoes.

    • Grotsky

      Right? Has anyone ever even been polled by CinemaScore? The only place I ever hear about it is box office reports…

  • sarCC

    So, nobody’s going to say anything about the Cinemascore grade for Paul from audience members under the age of 18?

    • Katharine

      I’m 35 and I enjoyed Paul. There’s a ton of over-the-top cursing and juvenile behavior, which probably appeals more to anyone under 18, but it’s also packed to the gills with geek references–I think I was the only person in the theater who laughed at the ‘Mac and Me’ joke–it’s definitely a comedy with some brains behind it, and just what I’d expect from Simon Pegg/Nick Frost.

  • SHARON

    I was able to go see The Lincoln Layer the other day. I loved it!!! Matthew needs to stop with his silly romantic comedies and stick with what he does best, DRAMA.

  • Jose

    So I saw Rango the other day and loved, and apparantly the rest of the people in attendance. I honestly didn’t see anything as bad as what people where complaining when the film first opened (Note to parents though, if your kids start screaming, crying, or running around the theater and aisles please take them outside until they are calm enough to watch the movie instead of ignoring the kid and let them continue crying for the duration of the movie, its extremely annoying for everyone else.)

  • nora

    Am I the only one who finds very little appealing, aside from his looks, about Bradley Cooper? He’s just not someone who’s going to get me into a theater all by himself.

    • Kelly

      You are not the only one… he’s nice to look at, but he seems so smarmy that it outweighs his looks completely.

  • brissa

    I. Just saw limitless this Friday (march 18) and I thought it was very good. I enjoyed watching it and I recommend it to all .

  • savage henry

    Bradley Cooper “opened” a movie by himself? Bullsquash. This movie opened because of DeNiro. At least he’s in something without Ben Stiller.

    • Mike

      I couldn’t agree more. DeNiro is the reason people are going to see this movie, not Bradley Cooper.

      • Jose

        Really? Because The Fockers movies turned me off of him, and I think that your forgetting that the film is based on a book so there’s the fans of the book, and I’m only interested in it because the concept sounds interesting.

  • steve

    just came back from “Kill the Irishman” great movie if you like mob films.

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