The major releases battling for the box office this weekend were Catching Fire, Frozen, and Out of the Furnace, which was such a gift from the Gods of shitty pun headlines that you wonder if someone performed a raindance waving a lock of Gene Shalit’s hair. I’ll leave those puns for you, but the news is that Catching Fire and Frozen kept earning decent money, while Out of the Furnace was a bomb befitting a film that was even less uplifting than it was good.
At 2,101 locations, Out of the Furnace opened to an estimated $5.3 million this weekend. That’s even worse than Killing Them Softly, a similarly dark crime movie that opened to $6.8 million on the same weekend last year. Among comparable 2013 movies, it’s on par with Dead Man Down ($5.3 million) and lower than last week’s disappointment Homefront ($6.9 million).
Furnace‘s audience was 60 percent male, and 77 percent were over the age of 25. It received a poor “C+” CinemaScore, which suggests this is going to fade from theaters quickly over the next few weeks.
Killing Them Softly was also a lot better. Basically, everyone’s treading water waiting for American Hustle, Inside Llewyn Davis, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Hobbit, Her, and every other big awards movie that once again are all inexplicably opening around the same time. The smart play seems like it’d be to open one of them a a few weeks or months before the awards crush, instead of trying to compete with all the other awards season movies, but that would require someone making an unconventional decision, which have a way of getting people fired.
At four locations in New York and Los Angeles, Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis opened to a phenomenal $401,000. That translates to a $100,250 per-theater average, which ranks 18th all-time (eighth all-time among live-action movies). [BoxOfficeMojo]
I saw Llewyn Davis and it made me very happy. Now I feel pretty bad about confusing Oscar Isaac for Adam Goldberg all those times.
Elsewherer, Keanu Reeves’ 47 Ronin opening in Japan, earned just $1.3 million, ahead of its Christmas Day release. This on a budget of “at least $175 million.” Analysts are predicting a domestic haul below $50, which would be the most disastrous flop since your mom’s FUPA. Strange that it’s opening in December, it definitely looks like a January movie. I guess they’re making a play for the “people-who-couldn’t-get-into-Philomena” crowd. It kind of looks like Sucker Punch without the rape metaphors.
NEXT WEEK: The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug opens against Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas. I’m honestly not sure which of those I would rather see.