DreamWorks Animation's The Croods hit the sweet spot above $40 million, finishing the weekend with $44.7 million. It was enough to put Wall Street analysts in a good mood, even though a similar opening for How to Train Your Dragon in 2010 made them nervous and sent stock prices downward. I guess this time they have slightly better information about how strongly these animated films perform after opening weekend. Audiences gave it an "A" rating, but only 38% viewed it in 3D, a relatively low share of the total.
Early 2013 has been filled with adult action films just like Olympus Has Fallen, minus the White House. Yet R-rated, adult male-skewing pictures have mainly fallen flat, leading some to belive there's a glut in product. However, the thriller's setting at the Presidential residence screamed for viewers to pay attention, and they did. Olympus debuted to $30.5 million, well above projections. Yes, 75% of viewers were over 25, but surprisingly Olympus also appealed to women, so the feature only skewed 53% male.
As predicted, Admission underwhelmed. Its debut of $6.4 million was even lower than projected. Director Paul Weitz seems to specialize in sweet comedies like About a Boy that end up not doing that strongly at the box office. Now, About a Boy's $8 million opening a decade ago probably looks quite nice. I thought Admission was quite charming, but audiences didn't agree, giving it a "B-" score in exit polls. The audience that turned out was discerning: 68% were women, and 47% were over 50. If some of them recommend the movie, though, it could have a pleasantly long run or find some redemption in the VOD/streaming markets. Despite the presence of two recognizable names, Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, the comedy only cost $13 million, so its smaller opening may still put the movie on the road to profitability.
Moving from specialty theatres and SXSW screenings to over 1,000 locations, Spring Breakers did just fine, earning $5.4 million and posting a per-screen average of $4,500 per screen, which was better than the two films that placed ahead of the fifth-place finisher. That's still quite a drop from last weekend's $87,000 per-screen average. The campy look at spring break exploits may be destined for niche rather than mainstream success, but I think a week or two of more slowly declining returns will be needed to affirm that hunch.
On Thursday, G.I. Joe: Retaliation will launch an early attack on the box office. Then on Friday, Tyler Perry's latest, Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, will go up against The Host, which is based on a novel by Twilight author Stephenie Meyer.