Despite its overwhelming sucktitude—and a barrage of scathing reviews from critics across the country—the alien invasion thriller Battle: Los Angeles rode a high-concept hook (Independence Day meets Black Hawk Down) and a relentless advertising blitz to box office glory, capturing $36 million for a first place finish. The number is especially impressive when set against the $70 million budget, which is about half what these CGI-loaded spectacles usually cost. News was far less positive for another critically drubbed opener, Red Riding Hood, which limped into third with $14.1 million despite blatantly pitching itself as a swooning Twilight-ification of the fairytale. But the real disaster last weekend was Disney’s Mars Needs Moms, a $150 million CGI animated film that grossed a paltry $6.8 million, woeful enough to make it the biggest flop of the new year—and an inexplicable one, too, given the power of Disney’s marketing machine.
There was lots of action in limited release, with a few success stories sharing the bounty. Foremost among them was the latest adaptation of Jane Eyre, a well-reviewed-by-everyone-but-us costume drama that averaged a robust $45,500 on four screens. The crime drama Kill The Irishman, featuring ace character actors like Vincent D’Onofrio, Val Kilmer, and Christopher Walken, did surprisingly good business, too, with $31,000 per screen on five screens. Also encouraging: Abbas Kiarostami’s terrific Certified Copy scored big by foreign-film standards, taking $16,800 on five screens; in a better world, it’d be making Battle: Los Angeles money, but in this one, that’s not bad.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.
Submit your Newswire tips here.