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Weekend Box Office: Oblivion Shoots to the Top

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By Chris Kavan - 04/21/13 at 10:56 PM CT

Although the overall box office was down 19% from the same weekend last year, there was at least one person who wound up with a smile this weekend. April is not going to go down as one of the best on record, but thanks to some decent hits (and debuts) overall the month is at least on par with last year's total. This weekend only saw one new wide-release, but it managed to rise to the top - though not as high as I was expecting.

1) OBLIVION

Tom Cruise managed to pull in a decent $38.2 million (including a hefty $5.5 million from IMAX screens) with Oblivion - the fifth-best opening for the actor (and highest non-sequel film since War of the Worlds in 2005). It managed to top Minority Report ($35.7 million) but it couldn't come close to matching the opening of Fast Five ($86.19 million), which set the bar high for April hits. Still, it was a good marketing move as if Oblivion had been held until the more competitive summer months, it would have floundered even with names like Cruise and Morgan Freeman attached. The audience was mostly male (57%) and older (74% over 25) and they only awarded it a B- (a score I heartily agree with) meaning it will most likely have one more decent weekend before Iron Man 3 buries it for good. A $100 million total should be within reach - and international numbers will help make this a winning proposition for the studio.

2) 42

After becoming the highest-grossing baseball movie of all time last weekend, 42 dropped 34.4% (a bit steeper than the likes of Argo - 16% and The Help - 23% - two other films that garnered A+ scores) and took in $18 million. After two weeks, the film stands at just over $54 million and could still see the $100 million tally as well before it drops out of theaters.

3) THE CROODS

Still the only real family-friendly game in town, The Croods passed the $150 million mark over the weekend, taking in $9.5 million and topping out at $154.9 million. It only dropped a light 27.6% - and has managed to stick in the top three all five weeks of its release. I'm still thinking $200 million is in the cards.

4) SCARY MOVIE 5

After a mediocre opening, the film suffered a steep 55.5% drop. Taking in $6.29 million, the film has only grossed $22.9 million and will be lucky to approach the $40.2 million Scary Movie 4 took in... in its opening weekend. I'm saying this franchise is dead and buried - and hopefully it will stay that way, but don't worry, beating dead horses is still popular - I mean, we're getting another Paranormal Activity movie, right?

5) G.I. JOE: RETALIATION

The Joes continued to plug along, taking in $5.77 million (down 47% in its fourth weekend) and the film now stands at $111.2 million. It might have trouble reaching its $130 million budget - let alone catching up to the original film's total - but because of strong international numbers, it has already surpassed the first film's total grosses (worldwide) and I wouldn't be surprised to see yet another entry into this franchise as overseas numbers seem to hold more weight than domestic numbers lately.

Outside the top five: The Place Beyond the Pines added over 1000 theaters to its total count, but could only muster a 22.8% increase, winding up in sixth place with $4.74 million and new $11.44 million total. It has managed to surpass director Derek Cianfrance's last film with Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine ($9.7 million), though one has to think getting hit with an NC-17 rating might have turned a few people off.

Rob Zombie's latest film, The Lords of Salem, landed with a thud - taking in just $622,000 (16th place) in 354 theaters. In comparison, the Christian-themed Home Run opened in just about the same number of theaters (381) but took in $1.62 million (12th place) proving that witches are no match for feel-good morality stories.

Next week Dwayne Johnson teams up with Mark Wahlberg for Pain & Gain, an all-star cast (Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Amanda Seyfried, Diane Keaton and Robin Williams amongst other) will attend The Big Wedding and Matthew McConaughey shows his dramatic side in Mud.

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