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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Ender’s Game’ Takes Flight


After months of boycott talk and constant controversy, the long in the works adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s ‘Ender’s Game‘ opened at number one at the box office with decent but not spectacular numbers. It’s a long road to profitability, but hey, this is a start.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Ender’s Game $28,000,000 $8,218 $28,000,000
2 Bad Grandpa $20,500,000 (-36.0) $6,129 $62,058,000
3 Last Vegas $16,520,000 $5,390 $16,520,000
4 Free Birds $16,200,000 $4,336 $16,200,000
5 Gravity $13,130,000 (-34.8)
$4,342 $219,196,000
6 Captain Phillips $8,500,000 (-27.0) $2,814 $82,551,000
7 12 Years a Slave $4,600,000 (+115.5) $11,728 $8,760,000
8 Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 $4,200,000 (-33.1) $1,728 $106,195,000
9 Carrie $3,400,000 (-43.2) $1,510 $31,973,000
10 The Counselor $3,250,000 (-58.6) $1,068 $13,368,000


For many movies, a $28 million opening would be considered very strong, but ‘Ender’s Game’ is just expensive enough for that number to be a little underwhelming. If it wants to make back its $110 million budget, it’s going to need strong legs and an enthusiastic audience. Considering the generally mixed reactions to the film, it’s going to be a tough road, but not an unsurmountable one. Let’s see what happens next weekend.

Bad Grandpa‘ fell to second place, but there’s no shame in $20 million and a 36% drop. There’s especially no shame in the $62 million made so far, especially since this Johnny Knoxville comedy was made for pennies. This will definitely not be the last time the ‘Jackass’ brand heads back to the big screen.

In third place, the star-studded ‘Last Vegas‘ opened to an unremarkable $16 million, a number that’s especially surprising when you consider the line-up of movie stars on the poster and the easy-to-sell core concept (‘The Hangover’ with old people!). However, this is the kind of film whose audience doesn’t always head out on opening weekend. This one may be okay in the coming weeks as older crowds make their way to the theater.

What can we say about the $16 million opening for ‘Free Birds’? On one level, that’s not bad for a hideously reviewed, terribly marketed animated cheapie about time traveling turkeys. On another level, that’s just plain bad for an animated movie, especially since there haven’t been too many kids’ movies out recently.

In fifth place, ‘Gravity‘ continued to do what ‘Gravity’ does best: exceed box office expectations. With $13 more million grossed, the sci-fi thriller has made a massive $219 million so far. In sixth place, ‘Captain Phillips‘ continued to showcase endurance, grossing $8 million for an $82 million total. Can it make it to $100 million? Most likely, yes.

Below them, ‘12 Years a Slave‘ expanded very well, grossing $4 million for an $8 million total. Steve McQueen’s Oscar favorite has a strong chance of being the rare “difficult” film to be a genuine hit if word of mouth remains strong and these numbers show that all of the rave reviews are working in its favor.

In the final stretch, ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2′ finally began to slow down (blame ‘Free Birds’), ‘Carrie’ limped to $31 million and ‘The Counselor’ solidified its reputation as one of the biggest financial bombs of 2013.

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