Weekend Box-Office: Dolphin Tale Leaps Into Lead
On strong word-of-mouth, Dolphin Tale managed to leap over Moneyball and The Lion King (in 3D) to take first place on its second weekend in theaters. 50/50 faltered but was tops among newcomers, though faith-based movie Courageous had the most impressive showing at far fewer locations. Dream House disappointed in its debut, while What’s Your Number? tallied one of the worst numbers for a super-saturated (3,000+ theaters) release ever.
Dolphin Tale eased just 26 percent to an estimated $14.3 million, which brought its 10-day total to a solid $37.5 million. It had a better hold than Soul Surfer and was about even with last Fall’s Secretariat, albeit with a much higher total than either of those movies at the same point. Still, it couldn’t hold a candle to The Blind Side (which actually improved in its second frame), though that was a holiday weekend so it isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison.
Moneyball dipped 36 percent to an estimated $12.5 million. That’s a bit steeper than The Social Network’s 31 percent decline, though it’s still very solid in its own right. The Brad Pitt baseball drama has scored $38.5 million through 10 days in theaters.
After ruling the charts for the past two weeks, The Lion King’s 3D re-release fell nearly 50 percent to an estimated $11.1 million and had to settle for third place. That week-over-week decline is a bit steep, though it’s not entirely unexpected considering the Blu-ray hits stores on Tuesday and most advertisements pegged the re-release as a two-weeks-only affair.
The movie’s total has now reached $79.7 million, which brings The Lion King’s overall total to $408.2 million. On Saturday, it passed Spider-Man to move in to the Top 10 all-time, and it should be able to climb a few more spots before the end of its run. Thanks in part to The Lion King’s impressive performance, Walt Disney Pictures passed the $1 billion mark on Saturday, making it the sixth straight year that the studio reached this milestone.
50/50 opened to an estimated $8.86 million from 2,458 theaters, which is the lowest debut ever for a Seth Rogen movie. Considering the grim subject matter, though, that’s not an entirely awful start, and an “A-” CinemaScore should translate in to decent word-of-mouth in coming weeks. The audience was 54 percent female and 57 percent under 30 years old.
50/50 had a hot young cast, and strong reviews and word-of-mouth, but all of that only goes so far. The marketing was ultimately too lukewarm: by attempting to off-set the cancer plotline and dreary gray palette with random jokes and the uplifting tagline “Beat the Odds,” the movie’s story and characters were diluted and instead it came off as a somewhat sad buddy comedy. It could hang on well moving foward, though it will be tough to match star Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s 2009 hit (500) Days of Summer ($32.4 million).