Argo may not have opened at number one, but in its third weekend, it finally rose to the top. Despite four new wide releases, it was the Ben Affleck-directed and led thriller that grabbed the first-place position with a $12.3 million finish. Although Argo's 25% drop was larger than last week's 15% dip, that's still an extremely strong hold. By next week, the movie should be tracking ahead of Affleck's previous picture, The Town, which opened higher but had larger week-to-week
Cloud Atlas led the group of new releases, finishing with $9.4 million, right below Hotel Transylvania's $9.5 million. The literary adaptation reportedly cost over $100 million, so that part doesn't bode well for the career trajectory of the Wachowski siblings, who directed the picture along with Tom Tykwer. It's possible the actual total could be even lower, since many NYC theatres shut down in early evening, when public transit in the city also ground to a halt in preparation for the storm. This appeared to be a film choice for an older, arthouse-leaning crowd. 77% of ticket-buyers were over the age of 25. 12% of the totals came from IMAX screens, indicating this was an "event" film for certain fans.
The horror sequel Silent Hill: Revelation 3D opened to $8 million. The original opened to $20 million in 2006, indicating that this adaptation of a video game franchise has lost almost all momentum. Any plans for a Silent Hill 3 are likely dead and buried.
The teen comedy Fun Size failed to ignite, and barely squeaked into the top ten with just $4
million. Teen girls, likely fans of "iCarly" star Victoria Justice, did show up: 67% of attendees were female and 73% under the age of 25. But not enough of them showed up, so the opening ended up below even other Nickelodeon-produced flops like Hey Arnold! The Movie, which had a similarly lackluster opening of $5.7 million back in 2002.
Chasing Mavericks had an extremely disappointing debut of just $2.2 million, giving it a thirteenth-place finish. Why release a surfing movie in the fall? Spring or summer would be a better choice for the release, just the time of year when people are anticipating or enjoying beach vacations. It's also the second bomb for a Fox/Walden Media release. Won't Back Down recently debuted to a figure almost as low, $2.6 million.
The specialty front was also quiet. The Loneliest Planet opened to a $10,000 per screen average at two locations. On Rotten Tomatoes, critics liked it, giving it a 76% positive rating. Rotten Tomatoes users were less happy, with only 46% coming out in favor of the tale of a couple's relationship, which is tested while traveling in the remote Caucasus mountains. That indicates the feature may not do as well in coming weeks. Compare that to The Sessions. In its second week, the heartwarming romance-drama went from four to twenty screens and reaped the rewards. The $11,000 per-screen average was the highest of any release this weekend, and gave the John Hawkes-led picture a total of $231,000. The ratings on Rotten Tomatoes show the difference: the 96% positive critics ratings are matched by an 86% positive audience rating.
This Friday, the CG-animated Wreck-It Ralph will likely steal the thunder from kid-friendly competitor Hotel Transylvania. The well-reviewed Flight will also open in theatres along with The Man with the Iron Fists.