Weekend Box Office Report: March 21-23 2014


BOX OFFICE REPORT March 21-23, 2014(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)

TOP 51. Divergent ($56.0 million)2. Muppets Most Wanted ($16.5 million)3. Mr. Peabody & Sherman ($11.7 million)4. 300: Rise of an Empire ($8.6 million)5. God's Not Dead ($8.5 million)

Divergent debuted well, but nowhere near enough to make a huge distinction. $56 million is surely nothing to scoff at, especially for a March release, and better than a lot of other adaptations of Young Adult novels, but that's less than what the first Hunger Games movie made in its second weekend. The sequels are already in production, so those aren't in jeopardy, but this isn't the monster hit Lionsgate was hoping for. 

Muppets Most Wanted clearly wasn't wanted by many, as it debuted with a weak $16.5 million.That's a shame because it's a joyful, family-friendly musical. It only cost $50 million, so it's likely to finish in the black for Disney, but again, this has got to be a disappointment for them. And for me. I love the Muppets and they deserve better.

Finally, on the sort-of-surprising front: God's Not Dead, another one of those poorly made films that cater exclusively to Christians, debuted with $8.5 million, far above its minuscule budget. That's not as big as Son of God, but in line with dreck like Fireproof and Courageous. Again, this proves that there's a big market outside of teenage boys, one that Hollywood continues to ignore.  

Outside the top 5: - This Weekend's Indie Champ: Jodorowsky's Dune, a documentary about the sci-fi classic that almost was, earned $12,233 on each of its three screens.

- Temporarily, all is right in the world, since the latest Wes Anderson movie (The Grand Budapest Hotel, $12.96 million) has outgrossed the latest Tyler Perry movie (The Single Moms' Club, $12.91 million).

- From the Ouch Files: the Kurt Russell caper comedy Art of the Steal dropped 92 percent in week two, down to a mere $3,100.

Next week: Will Noah live down to its negative hype? It's opening wide, but the studio's not happy with it, a lot of Christian groups are boycotting it and it's even been banned in many Middle Eastern countries. That's a lot to overcome. I'm thinking this tidal wave of bad publicity leaves it lucky to make more than $15 million for second place. Sabotage, from the director of End of Watch, won't do quite as well, making only $10 million and further stifling Schwarzenegger's comeback.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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