Young women drove Summit’s zombie-themed romantic comedy Warm Bodies to the top spot at the box office over Super Bowl weekend, while Sylvester Stallone’s Bullet to the Head got tackled, leaving the action icon with the worst debut of his career.
Warm Bodies, which was financed for about $35 million, earned an estimated $20 million from 3,009 theaters in its first three days. No, that’s not a Twilight-sized number, but no one was expecting Warm Bodies to be the same sort of blockbuster. Sure, they’re both about romances between a teenage girl and an undead boy, but the Isaac Marion novel upon which it is based is certainly popular, but it never experienced the utter ubiquity that the Twilight books did.
Warm Bodies opened with a bit less than the 2009 comedy Zombieland, which debuted with $24.7 million, but its star was in line with the debuts of both Chronicle and The Woman In Black, which opened on Super Bowl weekend last year to $22 million and $20.9 million, respectively. Much like the latter film, Warm Bodies played primarily to young ladies. According to exit polling, the film’s audience was 60% female and 65% under 25.
Warm Bodies earned a solid “B+” CinemaScore grade from crowds, and thanks to relatively strong reviews, its legs may not rot away as quickly as other teen-targeting titles, and a finish in the $50-60 million range seems likely. For star Nicholas Hoult, who has a slew of high profile releases — including Jack the Giant Slayer, Mad Max: Fury Road, and X-Men: Days of Future Past — on the horizon, Warm Bodies is a nice start to his run as a leading man.