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Box office report: 'Evil Dead' brings life to industry with $26 million debut


The 2013 box office has been stuck in a bit of a rut. For nine of the past ten weekends, overall grosses have lagged behind 2012 totals, and high-profile releases like Jack the Giant Slayer, The Host, Beautiful Creatures, and A Good Day to Die Hard have badly misfired. That’s why industry folks are likely breathing a sigh of relief this morning looking at the box office chart. Not only did Evil Dead and Jurassic Park 3D both open successfully, but six separate films earned over $10 million during the Friday-to-Sunday period. It’s an encouraging sign of industry health as Hollywood gears up for the lucrative summer movie season.

Evil Dead, a new remake of Sam Raimi’s 1981 cult classic, led the way with $24.2 million. Sony is boasting a $26 million frame, which includes the $1.8 million the film earned at Thursday night shows. The horror film scared up more in its opening weekend than Texas Chainsaw 3D, which debuted to $21.7 million in January, but less than Mama, which took of with $28.4 million in February. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Evil Dead scares up $10.1 million on Friday


The box office was alive thanks to the Evil Dead on Friday. The $17 million horror remake, from TriStar, FilmDistrict, and Ghost House took in a terrific $10.1 million on its debut Friday — the same amount that fellow horror release Mama earned in its first 24 hours en route to a $28.4 million weekend earlier this year. Evil Dead will likely be more frontloaded than that film due to built-in anticipation from fans of the 1981 original, but it could still earn about $27 million over the Friday-to-Sunday period.

Of course, Sony reported that Evil Dead earned $11.9 million on Friday, explaining that that number was “including Thursday late shows.” The studio was folding in the $1.8 million that Evil Dead earned on Thursday (and not all from midnight screenings — mostly from 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. showtimes). This is part of a somewhat frustrating trend in Hollywood’s box office reporting right now — WSJ‘s Ben Fritz wrote a great piece on the misleading tactic of extending “opening weekend” earlier this week. I requested clarification of Evil Dead‘s Friday gross, but Sony did not respond.

Universal’s re-release Jurassic Park 3D roared into second place with $7 million — a touch behind the Titanic 3D re-release, which earned $7.1 million on its first day — putting it on pace for a solid $18 million frame. Jurassic Park should end up being a nice winner for Universal, which spent just $10 million to convert it into 3-D.

A trio of holdovers rounded out the Top 5. Last weekend’s victor G.I. Joe: Retaliation earned $6.4 million, and may wind up with $20 million for the weekend. Fox’s animated hit The Croods scored $6 million on Friday, and thanks to healthy family viewing on Saturday, it will likely surpass G.I. Joe with about $22 million by Sunday night. In fifth, Tyler Perry’s Temptation took in another $3.4 million and may finish the weekend with $10 million, which would bring its total past the $38 million mark.

1. Evil Dead – $11.9 million
2. Jurassic Park– $7 million
3. G.I. Joe: Retaliation – $6.4 million
4. The Croods – $6 million
5. Tyler Perry’s Temptation – $3.4 million

Check back tomorrow for the full box office report, and follow me on Twitter at @gradywsmith for more box office updates and musing throughout the week.

Read more:
Evil Dead: EW Review
Jurassic Park 3D: EW Review

Box office preview: 'Evil Dead' will try to put 'G.I. Joe' in the grave


It’s been a tough year at the 2013 box office so far. Altogether, the film industry has racked up $2.267 billion worth of ticket sales, a whopping 12.5 percent decrease from the $2.55 billion that movies had earned at the same point in 2012.

It seems unlikely that the hordes of dead bodies and dead dinosaurs hitting theaters this weekend will resurrect the struggling box office — that won’t happen until May, when Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, Fast & Furious 6, and The Hangover Part III debut — but The Evil Dead and Jurassic Park 3D should be able to achieve hearty numbers nonetheless.

Here’s how the box office may shake out:

1. Evil Dead – $24 million
The brand new horror film, from Sony, FilmDistrict, and Ghost House, should top the box office this weekend. Evil Dead is a remake of Sam Raimi’s 1981 cult classic, and it’s been earning positive buzz and geek-cred for months after screening at festivals like SXSW. The combination of built-in anticipation, nostalgia, and  reliable gore-loving audience members may drive the film, which carries a small $17 million budget, to a $24 million weekend. It could reach higher, though its R-rating limits appeal considerably. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'G.I. Joe' takes a commanding lead on Friday with $15.5 million

Following a solid $10.5 million Thursday, Paramount’s long-delayed sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation stayed on top of the box office on Friday with $15.5 million.

The action film, which stars The Rock, Channing Tatum, and Bruce Willis, may take in about $38 million over the three-day period — if that seems like a low weekend multiplier, it is, but that’s due to families staying in for Easter and the NCAA tournament — which would give it about $49 million since its Wednesday night debut. For reference, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra started off with $54 million in its first three days in 2009. Paramount claims that Retaliation cost $130 million, but a recent L.A. Times story suggests the budget actually climbed to $185 million.

Last weekend’s victor, The Croods, slipped to second place with $10.7 million. The $135 million family film may take in about $28 million over the weekend, which would bring its total to $90 million after ten days.

Tyler Perry’s Temptation got off to a great start with $9.4 million on Friday. The $20 million Lionsgate film is headed to a strong $22 million weekend, higher than Perry’s last non-Madea film, Good Deeds, which opened with $15.6 million.

The Host began its run in fourth place with $5.5 million, which should yield a weekend in the $13 million range. Open Road says the film cost about $40 million. Olympus Has Fallen was close behind with $4.8 million, though it may surpass The Host by Sunday night.

1. G.I. Joe: Retaliation – $15.5 million
2. The Croods – $10.7 million
3. Temptation – $9.4 million
4. The Host – $5.5 million
5. Olympus Has Fallen – $4.8 million

Check back tomorrow for the full box office report.

For more box office musing, follow me on Twitter:

Box office preview: 'G.I. Joe' ready to duke it out with 'Temptation' and 'The Host'

It’s Easter weekend, which means that families are together, candy is getting unwrapped, and off-of-work Americans across the country are planning to hop on over to the movies. Family films tend to thrive on Easter weekend, thanks mostly to the Sunday holiday and the fact that extended family members visiting one another need something to do — other than argue. This year, Easter falls in the thick of March Madness, which may keep basketball fans on the bench couch, but a trio of high profile new releases will help counteract that distraction, and the box office should earn a respectable sum.

Here’s how the weekend rankings might shake out:

1. G.I. Joe: Retaliation – $35 million ($43 million four-day total)
Many were surprised when Paramount ordered a sequel to the 2009 under-performer G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The action film, which starred a pre-A-list Channing Tatum, earned $150.2 million domestically ($302 million worldwide) against a $175 million budget. Certainly no great shakes. But Paramount, MGM, and Skydance Productions pressed on with a follow-up, shifting Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson into the lead role (Tatum was reportedly killed off in the original version of the film, which was mysteriously pushed back from summer 2012 to 2013 following Tatum’s breakout spring in The Vow and 21 Jump Street so paramount could “add 3D”) and tightening up the budget to $130 million. READ FULL STORY

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