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'Jack The Giant Slayer' Tops Box Office With So-So $28 Million


With a per venue average just shy of $8,000, "Jack the Giant Slayer" opened as the number one box office draw in the U.S., earning a lackluster $28 million as we start the typically lucrative month of March. Meanwhile, newcomer "21 and Over" had a hard time competing with "Identity Thief," ultimately earning $9 million and failing to truly catch on with adult audiences.

"The Last Exorcism Part II" also hit theaters over the weekend, though it struggled to find horror audiences and managed just $8 million in opening revenue. On the other hand, "Silver Linings Playbook" had yet another strong weekend, earning another $5.94 million and pushing its domestic total to a robust $115 million.

Though a $28 million, chart-topping opening is typically a good sign for a new movie, most releases don't carry a production budget of nearly $200 million. With a reported cost of $195 million, "Jack the Giant Slayer" has very big hopes from distributor Warner Brothers, though a weak $28 million opening will make it hard to meet domestic expectations. "Jack" should do well with action-seeking crowds outside of the U.S., but the latest from director Bryan Singer appears to be another commercial disappointment.

Not helping will be plenty of competition hitting theaters in the next couple of weeks. Sam Raimi's "Oz The Great and Powerful" hits theaters this Friday with hopes of being one of the biggest hits of the year for Disney, likely taking over mainstream audiences from "Jack the Giant Slayer" in the process. Look for "Jack" to put up some decent numbers outside of the U.S. but to finish short of $80 million in domestic revenue - a very low total for one of the most expensive films of the year.

Taking aim at a mostly different audience this weekend was R-rated comedy "21 and Over," which hauled in a mediocre $9 million in opening revenue thanks to the continued success of "Identity Thief." But even though $9 million is a limited total for a new release hitting more than 2,700 theaters, the film also carries a production cost of just $13 million. "21 and Over" probably won't end up with a very long theatrical run, but it should end up as a quiet success for distributor Relativity.

As "21 and Over" picked up a few comedy seekers, "The Last Exorcism Part II" brought in horror audiences around the country to the tune of $8.03 million. Much like "21 and Over," the saving grace for "The Last Exorcism Part II" is its meager production budget, as the CBS Films distribution cost only $5 million to produce. "The Last Exorcism Part II" is going to finish with just a fraction of the revenue that the original made, though its extremely low budget makes it a risk-free release that should still turn a profit despite its mild opening.

While the new releases had minimal success over the weekend, it was another good one for stalwarts like "Identity Thief" and "Silver Linings Playbook." "Identity Thief" finished near the top of the box office once again with $9.71 million in revenue, bringing its total to a very strong $107 million domestically. Thanks to excellent buzz and no additional mainstream comedy competition this upcoming weekend, "Identity Thief" should remain in the box office top 10 well into March as it continues to rack up impressive totals for distributor Universal.

Also continuing to do very well with adult audiences is "Silver Linings Playbook," which landed in the top 10 for the seventh consecutive weekend, bringing in a total of $115 million in the U.S. Thanks to some awards season success and a Best Actress Oscar win for Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings" is also starting to catch on overseas, pushing its worldwide total to $175 million. With a production budget of just $21 million, "Silver Linings" will wrap up its box office run as a huge commercial success for distributor Weinstein and should also enjoy plenty of success in the home market starting at the end of April.

Next weekend, the box office should get rejuvenated with the wide release of "Oz The Great and Powerful," director Sam Raimi's big-budget spin-off from landmark film "The Wizard of Oz." Considering the popularity of stage spin-offs like "Wicked," "Oz The Great and Powerful" should be in position to put up some big numbers both domestically and abroad starting on March 8th. Colin Farrell's thriller "Dead Man Down" also hits theaters, though it will have a hard time competing for mainstream audiences with "Oz."

Early Studio Box Office Estimates for 3/1/13 - 3/3/13 (in millions), [RTT Prediction]:

1) Jack the Giant Slayer (Warner Brothers): $28. 01 [$29]

2) Identity Thief (Universal): $9.71 [$8.6]

3) 21 and Over (Relativity): $9 [$13]

4) The Last Exorcism Part II (CBS Films): $8.03 [$12]

5) Snitch (Summit): $7.70 [$6.7]

6) Escape from Planet Earth (Weinstein): $6.73 [$6.2]

7) Safe Haven (Relativity): $6.30 [$5.3]

8) Silver Linings Playbook (Weinstein): $5.94 [$4.8]

9) A Good Day to Die Hard (Fox): $4.50 [$4.9]

10) Dark Skies (Weinstein): $3.56 [$4.2]

by RTTNews Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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