Mark Wahlberg has been incredibly reliable releasing hit action movies in January and the Friday performance of “Lone Survivor” may make the movie something of a personal best. The true story of a 2005 SEAL Team mission in Afghanistan that went terribly wrong had a monster debut pulling in $14.4 million on its first day. That puts it’s three-day estimate in the $40 million range. If “Survivor” ends up grossing over that number it will top “Cloverfield’s” opening for the all-time biggest January debut. And with a budget of just $40 million, “Survivor” looks like a very profitable start to the New Year for Universal Pictures.
Continuing to impress in second place is Disney’s blockbuster “Frozen.” The animated musical took in another $3.1 million for $305.7 million to date. It’s currently the seventh highest animated film of all time and has “Shrek the Third’s” no. 6 slot in its sights.
The critically lambasted “The Legend of Hercules” landed in third with a $3 million opening day. It should earn $8 million or so for the weekend before quickly disappearing from theaters.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” took the fourth slot with another $2.7 million and $72.3 million to date. Martin Scorsese’s latest has caused more controversy than perhaps distributor Paramount Pictures or the filmmakers anticipated, but they are hoping a number of significant Oscar nominations on Thursday will fuel its box office past $100 million.
One movie that should pass the $100 million mark by Sunday is David O. Russell’s “American Hustle.” The potential best picture winner took in another $2.5 million for $95.5 million to date. “Hustle” should also get a boost following Sunday night’s Golden Globes where its expected to take a number of key prizes in the Comedy/Musical categories.
“August: Osage County” expanded to 900 theaters for a very good $2.2 million. It’s earned $2.745 million since opening in limited release last month. Spike Jonze’s “Her” expanded to 1,700 theaters for a disappointing $1.8 million in 1,700 theaters. Both films will be hoping for best picture nominations to keep their box office runs alive.
Look for complete weekend estimates Sunday on HitFix.