Confounding Hollywood’s polling experts, Ben Affleck’s “The Town” opened to no. 1 over the weekend with a strong $23 million in just 2,800 theaters. The positively reviewed picture significantly out-performed pre-release tracking which had it debuting in the second slot to “Easy A.” Instead, younger and older males helped Affleck cap off an impressive career comeback with the help of co-stars Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Blake Lively and Jeremy Renner.
“Easy A,” on the other hand, had been expected to do anywhere from $25-30 million. Instead, the best reviewed film in Screen Gems’ history found just $18.2 million. The company may have made a mistake not broadening their campaign to older women and men once the rave reviews came in. Still, with an A- Cinemascore, there is hope for long playability with Emma Stone’s breakout comedy.
The third slot when to the M. Night Shyamalan produced “Devil” with $12.5 million. That’s not what Universal Pictures was looking for with the inaugural edition of “The Night Chronicles,” but after the blatant negative response to the filmmaker’s name when the trailer appeared in theaters, they certainly realize it could have been worse.
“Resident Evil: Afterlife” came in fourth place with another $10 million and a new cume of $43.9 million. After a record debut for the franchise, the video game sequel crashed 62% which means it’s lifespan will be short at your local multiplex.
The CG animated “Alpha and Omega” debuted to a poor $9.2 million which is even more discouraging when you realize its total features inflated 3-D ticket prices. Lionsgate’s mistake wasn’t necessarily the marketing on this one, but picking up the cheap looking picture in the first place.
In limited release, the buzzworthy “Catfish” debuted in 12 theaters with $255,000 or a $21,250 average. That may be on the lower end of what Universal and Rogue pictures were looking for, but considering the relatively low cost of the film it could still succeed in wider release.
Also debuting in just 4 theaters was Mark Romaneck’s “Never Let Me Go.” The Fox Searchlight drama found a solid $121,000 or $30,000 per theater. It expands across the country over the next few weeks.
Overture Film’s “Jack Goes Boating” was lost at sea in only 4 theaters grossing only $30,000 for a $7,500 average.
In other notable theatrical results, “The Expendables” crossed the $100 million mark with $101 million, “Takers” has made a stunning $52 million and “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” has finally hit $300 million.
Next weekend’s new movies include “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” “Legend of the Guardians: Owls of Ga’Hoole” and “You Again.”
Box Office actuals are released on Monday.