2012 is off to a sizzling start at the box office thanks to holiday
holdovers and a deal with the devil. Paramount’s “The Devil Inside,” an R-rated
found-footage horror flick, possessed audiences and scared up an estimated $34.5
million in the #1 spot; the third-best January debut ever behind “Cloverfield”
and “Star Wars: Special Edition.” All
this, despite receiving an unheard of “F” grade from CinemaScore.
That’s frighteningly good news for the studio that was the
top earner in 2011, and a sensational start to the 2012 box office (up 29%
versus 2011), which looks to rebound after last year’s total box office dropped
nearly 4% ($10.16 billion) compared to 2010 and attendance was down almost 5%
(1.26 billion); the lowest total Hollywood has seen since 1995.
Not surprisingly, Paramount is also the studio responsible
for the ultra-successful “Paranormal Activity” series, which developed a
cult-like following after a particularly savvy viral and grassroots marketing
campaign. And like those films, “The Devil Inside” cost a miniscule $1 million
and will sequelize…at the very least until they can use the title: “The Devil Inside
666: Mark of the Box Office Beast.”
Films about demonic possession have always intrigued audiences
as far back as “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Exorcist.” But in recent years,
Tinseltown has taken to cheap thrills, as films like “The Exorcism of Emily
Rose,” “The Haunting in Connecticut,” and “The Last Exorcism,” have kept
production costs down, while maximizing box office potential using old-fashioned
scare tactics. Forget big-name stars and an expensive budget, horror’s hottest
genre--found footage--is still front and center as fright-aficionados seemingly
can’t get enough.
“Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol” fell into second place
after a two-week run on top with $20.5 million. Tom Cruise and Co. have now
scaled up a mighty $170 million.
“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” dipped 33% and tracked
down another $14 million. Total for Guy Ritchie’s sequel is now $157 million…but
will fall short of the original’s $209 million.
Sony’s “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” continued its grip on
audiences, dropping just 24% and grossing $11 million in fourth place. Total
for the thriller is now $76 million.
“Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” nutted-up another $9.5
million in fifth place, and have now stored away $111 million in Fox’s chubby
little cheeks. While it won’t reach the lofty $200+ million totals the first
two saw, sadly, this total should be enough to justify “Alvin and the Chipmunks
Meet Justin Bieber: Chippunk’d.” And yes, audiences will most certainly fall
for this a fourth time.
Focus’ “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” expanded into wide
release in its fifth week of release and grossed $5.7 million in ninth place. Its
per-theatre-average of over $7,100 was second only to “The Devil Inside” for
films in the Top 10. The spy-caper has now amassed over $10 million and looks
to be an even bigger box office player once Academy Awards are announced on
Tuesday, January 24th.
Meryl Streep’s “The Iron Lady” continued its
per-screen-average dominance, as Weinstein’s drama averaged $34,420 on six
screens. The PG-13 film has now totaled over $500,000.
TOP 10 WEEKEND BOX
1. THE DEVIL INSIDE (PAR) - $34.5 mil
2. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE-GP (PAR) - $20.5 mil
3. SHERLOCK HOLMES 2 (WB) - $14 mil
4. GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (SONY) - $11.4
5. ALVIN: CHIPWRECKED (FOX) - $9.5 mil
6. WAR HORSE (DIS) - $8.6 mil
7. WE BOUGHT A ZOO (FOX) - $8.4 mil
8. THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN (PAR) - $6.6 mil
9. TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY (FOC) - $5.7
10. NEW YEAR’S EVE (WB) - $3.2 mil
TOP 5 “FOUND FOOTAGE”
1. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT - $140 mil
2. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY - $107 mil
3. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 -$104 mil
4. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 - $84 mil
5. CLOVERFIELD - $80 mil
Next weekend, Tinseltown drops three new films into
theatres: Warner’s spiritual singing drama “Joyful Noise,” Universal’s
action-flick “Contraband,” and Disney’s second attempt at 3D retro-glory “Beauty
and the Beast 3D.”
If Disney’s “Beauty” performs anything like “The Lion King
(in 3D)” it will easily nab the #1 spot. Although “King’s” $30 million may be a
bit high for the only animated film ever nominated for a Best Picture, $18
million certainly isn’t out of the question for this tale as old as time.
Dolly Parton hasn’t aged in 30 years, that’s good news for
her two best features that have defied gravity for decades, but bad news for
her prime audience, who hasn’t seen her in a movie in ages. “Joyful Noise”
teams her with Queen Latifah at 2,700+ sties, and the PG-13 feel-good movie may
score $16 million…even more if the heartland follows its heart-song.
Mark Walberg playing a tough guy is nothing new to audiences;
in fact, it’s exactly what they prefer. Expect “Contraband” to seize $14
million in 2,750+ locations.
(Jan 8, 2012) - Comments (50)