Film Weekend Per Total
1 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules $24,400,000 $7,704 $24,400,000
2 Sucker Punch $19,015,000 $6,269 $19,015,000
3 Limitless $15,225,000 (-19.5%) $5,428 $41,281,000
4 The Lincoln Lawyer $11,000,000 (-16.7%) $4,064 $28,967,000
5 Rango $9,800,000 (-35.0%) $2,689 $106,363,000
6 Battle: Los Angeles $7,600,000 (-47.7%) $2,437 $72,580,000
7 Paul $7,506,000 (-42.5%) $2,675 $24,610,000
8 Red Riding Hood $4,340,000 (-39.6%) $1,599 $32,453,000
9 The Adjustment Bureau $4,245,000 (-26.5%) $1,860 $54,871,000
10 Mars Needs Moms $2,186,000 (-58.9%) $1,007 $19,152,000


This just in: Obviously a painful rectal itch.

I’m finding it hard to find the up side to the Sucker Punch numbers. Not only did it come in second to a target-demo-marketed kids film, it couldn’t crack $20 Million for the weekend, and even twenty was not much of a victory. The problem with a film that is this highly polarizing is that they rarely have good word of mouth – especially since its fans are going to say it’s good/great/fascinating in a “warts and all” sort of way. A “It’s not for everyone” sort of way. And “you might not get it” rarely is a good selling point. Which means the film will likely do less than $50 Million domestic. It would be hard for the film to do less than $40 Million, but after that it’s hard to say.

What are the lessons here? Basically that Zack Snyder is not a name that attracts an audience. (And he shouldn’t write his own scripts, but that’s not really why this didn’t go bigger.) There are no names here, so it was visuals only and his name as a selling point. 300 is a contained hit, but – and I think this speaks to something I was writing about when I reviewed the film – though it may have been directing that made that film a phenomenon, it was not the director in the sense of – say Hitchcock or Spielberg. It’s the double edged sword of “I’ve never seen that before!” But once that becomes processed and absorbed and parodied, you can’t use that visual sense to get people out, even if he’s doing it better or more refined, etc. I think also that by having attached himself to the Owls movie, they fucked up the branding. I wonder if Sucker Punch would have opened ten million higher if there weren’t owl fights done with speed ramping. Watchmen may have been a box office misfire, but it was the material, and Snyder and company did what they could to make the comic a movie – I don’t think that worked against him. But having done a kids film after having been a guy-movie-centric director, and then making Sucker Punch – a PG-13 film about women – might have hurt the film’s opening.

The flip is that Roderick Rules is a runaway success for Fox and opened to bigger numbers then anticipated. This is a sequel to a film from last year and opened to two million more than the original (the grand total on that one was $64 Million). Likely this will have a similar end total, but we’re seeing a franchise coalesce. Sometimes sequels open bigger and drop faster – that could be the case here, but I think the other part of that is quality. This is likely in line with the last one, so…

Considering that there are adults who don’t read comic books or want to see visual fantasias as their after-work viewing, it’s no surprise that both The Lincoln Lawyer and Limitless held well. Pictures aimed at “adult” audiences traffic in word of mouth and both of these have a certain Grisham-esque appeal. Whereas Sucker Punch is likely a little too out there for the core audience of these films. Expect both to keep playing until the start of the summer season.

Rango crossed the nine digit mark (as did Just Go With It), but it’s a modest non-failure all things. Hop’s next week, Rio’s 4/15. We’ll see if it survives those. Fingers crossed for international on this one. At this point $130-$140 seems a good end game, but it was a very expensive movie. Battle: Los Angeles keeps taking hits, though it’s over $70 at this point. I’m thinking it’s not going to get to $100 unless it starts doing $5 million next weekend. I just don’t see it leveling.

Paul had a 40% drop – not terrible, but that film is what it is, and I don’t think Universal wanted to go all out selling the film to an audience that wasn’t going to show. It should get to over $30 Million, and possibly closer to $40. The international could be where the money is, and between foreign and domestic they should do okay, even if the numbers right now are eh.

Everything else is out at this point. Hall Pass is still making some money, as is Red Riding Hood, but they are what they are. The next two weeks offer some modest films that could hit or not, some that I hope do well because of the people involved (Your Highness), others that I could care less about but could be huge (Hop). Scream 4 hits 4/15. That’s going to open huge. Two weeks later is Fast Five, then Thor the week after. But no matter how well things do next weekend, the story will be Sucker Punch. Especially if it holds (which it won’t) or folds (which it might). We’ll talk more then.