BOX OFFICE REPORT "” May 17-19, 2013(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)
1. The Purge ($36.3 million)2. Fast & Furious 6 ($19.7 million)3. Now You See Me ($19.5 million)4. The Internship ($18.1 million)5. Epic ($12.1 million)
Sometimes in the box office battle, the Davids win. The Purge, a cheaply produced, well-marketed B-movie won the weekend with an estimated $36.3 million. That's twice what the Google-backed Goliath (The Internship) made. So far, the Vince Vaughn-Owen Wilson comeback train has been delayed again. In fact, this victory is so big, there's not even an accurate comparison for something so low-budget to take the No. 1 spot in the summer, especially not this early. It usually only happens in the doldrums of August on a very slow weekend, but it fended off a new comedy and the previous week's top two. Safe to say, this is huge.
Everything else in the top 10 was a holdover. Fast & Furious 6 and Star Trek into Darkness (No. 6) both crossed $200 million while The Hangover Part III (No. 8) has now made more than $100 million, though not even close to what either of the first two made in this same timeframe.
And After Earth, the inaugural bomb of the summer, tumbled even further this week. It's only made $46 million so far, which is worse than "” gulp "” John Carter. When it falls out of the top 10 next week, it's only going to look that much worse.
Outside the top 5: - This weekend's Indie Champ: Joss Whedon's modernized take on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing averaged $36,600 on each of its five screens. That's mighty impressive, but only the fourth-highest average of the year among independent releases. It was bested by (in order): Before Midnight, The Place Beyond the Pines and Spring Breakers.
- Dirty Wars, a documentary on America's myriad covert foreign operations, also opened big, with an average of $16,500 on only four screens.
- Geoffrey Fletcher, whose adaptation of Precious somehow won the Oscar over Up in the Air, released his directorial debut Violet and Daisy this weekend. It flopped hard, only making $10,300 on 17 screens.
Next week: This is the End gets a couple days' head start to pull together a respectable second-place gross ($20 million tops) as everyone else moves out of the way for Man of Steel. So far there's been nary a word of negativity online, all the more impressive considering director Zack Snyder is responsible for Sucker Punch. Unless reviews are especially harsh, which I don't see happening, Man of Steel should have the second-biggest opening of the year with around $160 million. It's not earth-shattering, but sure to make up for the disappointment of Superman Returns.