Weekend Box Office: Harmony Korine's avant-garde experiment in not repelling moviegoers pays off

Weekend Box Office: Harmony Korine's avant-garde experiment in not repelling moviegoers pays off

On just three screens over the weekend, Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, at a stunning $90,000 per theater, has already made nine times as much money as his last feature(-ish thing), 2010’s Trash Humpers. It seems odd that American arthouse moviegoers would choose to see four starlets sinning and shooting their way through Bikini Beach, Florida over random VHS footage of masked freaks rubbing their genitals against dumpsters, but as the French would say, chacun son cinema. The surprising wave of good reviews for Korine’s senses-staggerin’, Disney-princess-exploitin’, Day-Glo experiment in excess, combined with the project’s calculated tabloid appeal, has proven lucrative beyond anything the director has attempted before. Spring Breakers led a resurgent weekend in limited release, which also saw the latest Studio Ghibli production, From Up On Poppy Hill, earn $27,500 per screen on two screens and Sally Potter’s Ginger & Rosa do a respectable $15,000 on three. Only Upside Down—the Kirsten Dunst-Jim Sturgess sci-fi/romance that our own Tasha Robinson likened hilariously to The Happening—was an out-and-out failure, picking up just $2,600 per screen on 11 screens.

As for the new releases, Halle Berry’s Die-Hard-in-an-emergency-services-cubicle thriller The Call far exceeded expectations both for a Berry vehicle and for a movie that by most accounts isn’t very good. Against a frugal $13 million budget, courtesy of indie genre vet Brad Anderson, a $17.1 million finish for second place looks awfully healthy, even if couldn’t hope to challenge the $42.2 million picked up by Oz The Great And Powerful in its second weekend. The Jim Carrey-Steve Carell team-up The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, did not do Bruce Allrighty (<-----nailed that), taking a paltry $10.3 million for its mild comedy about rival magicians. The despair felt at Warner Brothers this morning will take weeks of exotic massage and unfettered intern-abuse to relieve.

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.