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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Weekly Box Office Report

Box Office: 'Hunger Games' has third-highest debut ever [Video]

March 26, 2012 | 12:18 pm

The Hunger Games was the No 1 film at the box office this weekend
"The Hunger Games" had the third-highest debut ever at the box office over the weekend -- not accounting for inflation -- raking in an estimated $155 million in ticket sales.

The movie about teenagers battling to the death resonated with young and old alike, as 56% of the audience was over age 25. The film, which stars 21-year-old Jennifer Lawrence, also attracted more men than the most recent "Twilight" movie was able to pull in. Roughly 61% of those who saw "The Hunger Games" this weekend were women, compared to a 80% female contingent for the last "Twilight" installment.

So what does the massive box office haul mean for its studio backer, Lionsgate? And just how many tickets will the film be able to pull in by the end of its theatrical run? Check out this week's box office video review for details.

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--Amy Kaufman

twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Stanley Tucci and Jennifer Lawrence star in "The Hunger Games." Credit: Lionsgate


Box Office: '21 Jump Street' marks another hit for Tatum, Hill [Video]

March 19, 2012 | 12:10 pm

21 Jump Street was the No 1 film at the box office this weekend
Both Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill continued their box office hot streaks this weekend, as "21 Jump Street" hit the No. 1 position with $35 million worth of ticket sales.

Tatum, 31, proved to be a box office draw in February, when he lured young females to the multiplex in droves to see his romantic tear-jerker "The Vow." Hill, who has had plenty of success with comedies like "Superbad" and "Get Him to the Greek," also did well with more dramatic fare in last fall's "Moneyball."

But the film's stars weren't the only reasons for its success. Check out this week's box office video report for more on why "21 Jump Street" resonated with moviegoers.

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--Amy Kaufman

twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Channing Tatum, left, stars with Jonah Hill in "21 Jump Street." Credit: Sony Pictures.


Box Office: 'John Carter,' 'A Thousand Words' both flop [Video]

March 12, 2012 |  5:15 pm

John Carter flopped at the box office this weekend
It was a depressing weekend at the box office, as two big-budget films flopped upon arrival in theaters.

Disney's $250-million-plus fantasy epic "John Carter" was overcome by bad buzz and subsequently debuted to around $30 million. And the Eddie Murphy comedy "A Thousand Words," which sources told The Times cost around $70 million, opened to only a weak $6.4 million. That was even worse than the $7 million the thriller "Silent House" brought in, but the scary flick cost less than $1 million to produce.

So why didn't fanboys show up to see the film about a Civil War veteran who ends up on Mars? And can Murphy rehabilitate his career after yet another box office bomb? Check out this week's box office video report for more details.

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-- Amy Kaufman

twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Lynn Collins and Taylor Kitsch star in "John Carter." Credit: Walt Disney Studios


Box office: 'The Lorax' scores 2012's biggest opening [Video]

March 5, 2012 | 12:02 pm

The Lorax was the No 1 film at the box office this weekend
Box office ticket sales continued to soar this weekend, as "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" had the biggest opening of the year so far with a gross of roughly $70 million.

The animated 3-D film far exceeded industry expectations, while the weekend's other new release, the low-budget "Project X," also got off to a solid start. The R-rated film about three teenagers throwing a debaucherous party collected a respectable sum of around $20 million.

Not surprisingly, each film appealed to a totally different demographic. Families were the target audience for "The Lorax," as 68% of the audience was made up of parents and their children. "Project X," meanwhile, appealed mostly to young males, as men constituted 58% of the overall crowd, and 67% were under age 25.

For more details on the box office results, check out this week's video report.

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--Amy Kaufman

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Photo: A scene from "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax." Credit: Universal Pictures


Box office: 'Ghost Rider' sequel latest Nicolas Cage flub [Video]

February 20, 2012 |  3:21 pm

Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance was a let down at the box office this weekend
Nicolas Cage suffered another setback at the box office this weekend, as "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" failed to meet industry expectations.

Heading into the weekend, pre-release audience surveys had indicated the 3-D sequel would premiere with at least $30 million over the four-day holiday. Instead, the Denzel Washington film "Safe House" rose to No. 1 during its second weekend in theaters, collecting an additional $28.4 million. "The Vow," another holdover from last weekend, also performed well, taking the runner-up position with $26.6 million.

"Spirit of Vengeance" is the latest in a string of flops for the 48-year-old Cage, who has appeared in a whopping 14 films since the original "Ghost Rider" was released in 2007. His last three films, "Drive Angry," "Season of the Witch" and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," all underperformed at the multiplex.

Why didn't audiences respond to his new movie? Check out this week's box office video report for details.

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— Amy Kaufman

twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: A scene from "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance." Credit: Sony Pictures.


Box office: Moviegoers swoon over 'The Vow' [Video]

February 13, 2012 | 12:51 pm

The Vow was the No 1 film at the box office this weekend
Ladies love Channing Tatum in a romantic drama. That was the takeaway at the box office this weekend, where the heartthrob's latest tear-jerker took in an impressive $41.7 million upon its debut.

"The Vow" performed even better in its first weekend than "Dear John," the actor's last romance picture,  which opened to $30.5 million in February 2010.

But it wasn't only "The Vow" that exceeded industry expectations. The action thriller "Safe House," starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, started off with a strong $39.3 million. The sequel to "Journey to the Center of the Earth" debuted with a better-than-projected $27.6 million, while a 3-D re-release of "Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace" sold a solid $23 million worth of tickets.

What drew audiences to the muliplex this weekend in such high numbers? Check out this week's box office video report for details.

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--Amy Kaufman

twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams star in "The Vow." Credit: Sony Pictures.


Box Office: Super Bowl no match for 'Chronicle' [Video]

February 6, 2012 | 12:29 pm

Chronicle was the No 1 fim at the box office this weekend
It was expected to be a slow weekend at the box office, as millions of Americans camped out in front of their television sets to watch the Super Bowl.

But three new movies fared well at the multiplex despite the big game. "Chronicle," a found-footage teen adventure about three young boys with superpowers, was the weekend winner with a studio-estimated $22 million in ticket sales. Daniel Radcliffe's first post-"Harry Potter" film, "The Woman in Black," came in just behind with $21 million. The inspirational environmental drama "Big Miracle," starring John Krasinski and Drew Barrymore, did less impressive business, grossing only $8.5 million.

So how did "Chronicle" manage to lure young males into theaters on Super Bowl weekend? And what does Radcliffe's robust debut say about his future as a leading man? Check out this week's box office video report for more details.

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-- Amy Kaufman

twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Alex Russell stars in "Chronicle." Credit: 20th Century Fox


Box Office: Liam Neeson climbs to No. 1 again with 'The Grey'

January 30, 2012 |  1:40 pm

The Grey was the No 1 movie at the box office over the weekend
The year got off to a good start for Hollywood, as ticket sales were up every weekend in January compared to the same month in 2011.

Three new films opened at the multiplex this weekend, but it was the Liam Neeson action film "The Grey" that won out with around $20 million. Katherine Heigl's latest comedy thriller "One for the Money" took the runner-up spot with roughly $12 million, while the ensemble cop flick "Man on a Ledge" came in with an underwhelming sum of around $8 million.

As a result of the new openings, ticket sales were up roughly 15% this weekend compared with the same period last year. Overall, receipts have increased about 12% already in 2012 -- welcome news for the movie business, which saw box office decline last year.

For more on the weekend's hits and misses, check out this week's box office video report.

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--Amy Kaufman

twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Liam Neeson stars in "The Grey." Credit: Open Road Films


Box office: 'Contraband' tops 'Beauty and the Beast 3-D' [Video]

January 16, 2012 |  2:01 pm

Contraband was the No 1 film at the box office this weekend
"Contraband" ran off with the lion's share of the profits at the box office this weekend, as the action thriller beat out a 3-D re-release of "Beauty and the Beast" to claim the No. 1 spot.

The film starring Mark Wahlberg grossed a studio-estimated $28.8 million, while the updated version of the animated fairy tale took in $23.5 million. The weekend's third new release, the faith-based drama "Joyful Noise," debuted with an underwhelming $13.8 million.

The strong opening for "Contraband" secured Wahlberg's status as an action star, as it marked one of his best debuts as a leading man in recent years. "Joyful Noise," which stars Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah, meanwhile, heralded its leading ladies' lack of clout at the box office. Parton hasn't been on the big screen in nearly two decades, and Latifah's last movie' "Just Wright'" flopped in 2010 with only $21.5 million in all.

For more on the weekend's hits and misses, check out this week's box-office video report.

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--Amy Kaufman

twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Mark Wahlberg stars in "Contraband." Credit: Universal Pictures


Box Office: 'The Devil Inside' is a surprise No. 1 [Video]

January 9, 2012 | 11:15 am

The Devil Inside was the No 1 film at the box office this weekend
After two weekends atop the box office, Tom Cruise's latest film has tumbled to the runner-up position,  thanks to a low-budget horror flick that was a surprise No. 1 pick.

"The Devil Inside," which Paramount Pictures acquired for a mere $1 million, was the weekend winner with a studio-estimated take of $34.5 million. Pre-release audience polling had indicated that the movie would make no more than $15 million upon its debut. Instead, it easily beat the fourth installment in the "Mission: Impossible" franchise, which collected $20.5 million, lifting its overall total to around $170 million.

As a result of the strong ticket sales, the weekend was up 29% compared to the same period in 2011. That was good news for the movie business, which saw receipts fall 3% last year.

For more on the weekend's results, check out this week's box office video report.

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-- Amy Kaufman

twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Simon Quarterman and Isabella Rossi star in "The Devil Inside." Credit: Paramount Pictures


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