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Weekend Box Office: Ender's Game Tops Bad Grandpa; Thor Brings Down the Hammer Overseas

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By Chris Kavan - 11/03/13 at 10:54 PM CT

As predicted, Ender's Game took the box office crown this weekend, but it was an international opening that really took the headlines as the Thor sequel brought in impressive numbers a week ahead of its U.S. debut. Overall, the box office was down slightly compared to the same weekend last year, though the rest of the month looks to hopefully reverse that trend. It's going to be interesting to see if 2013 (which looked to have a far weaker lineup than last year) will be able to pull off a year to year growth after a surprisingly strong summer.


The teen-centric sci-fi action film Ender's Game opened with $28 million to take the top spot at the box office. That opening is right on par with After Earth ($27.5 million) and opened better than the similarly adapted Golden Compass ($25.8 million) and Eragaon ($23.5 million). However, the movie has a lot of ground to make up compared to its $110 million budget and it's likely to fall far short when movies like Thor and Hunger Games will soon steal its thunder. Its biggest draw likely came from those who read the book - and it's likely they have already gotten their fill. The B+ cinemeascore is good - not great - and it's likely the film will close with under $100 million. Considering all the press surrounding it - it's best hope lies in garnering a strong international audience.


After taking first place last weekend, Bad Grandpa fell just 36% (the best hold out of any previous Jackass film) and took in $20.5 million, giving the film a new total of $62.1 million It should be able to pass both Jackass and Jackass 2 within the week with $75 million a given and $100 million may still be within reach. Considering the state of comedy within the next few weeks, it isn't likely to face much competition in that department.


The geriatric bachelor party of the decade found a decent opening to the tune of $16.5 million, topping Robert DeNiro's earlier film The Family ($14 million). It was the second highest opening for CBS Films behind Woman in Black ($20.9 million). The film drew an older audience (83% over 25) while also drawing a slightly more female audience (53%) - all of whom gave it an A- cinemascore, meaning the film should draw enough people to at least cross the $50 million mark. While Morgan Freeman may not have a lot to brag about - it would still be an acceptable total for a film that targets a specific audience. Anyway, it will have not issue hitting its $28 million budget.


Despite facing no competition in the family department, animated film Free Birds couldn't find its footing, winding up with just $16.2 million - a lower total than past disappointments Flushed Away ($18.8 million) and Chicken Little ($17.2 million). Even though animated films tend to hold on stronger than most films - it's hard to imagine these turkeys mustering up more than about a $50 million total.


After five weeks in theaters, Gravity took its biggest hit yet, dropping 35% (still not so bad considering how long its been out) and wound up with $13.1 million - raising its total to $219.2 million. While it may be finally coming back down to Earth, Gravity should still be able to hit that $250 million mark before it falls out of the picture.

Outside the top five: By far the biggest news of the weekend came from Thor: The Dark World. The sequel was another big seller for Marvel, as it brought in a mighy $109.4 million from 36 markets - the fourth highest opening of 2013. It represents a nice 27% jump over the original Thor and all signs point to a strong run - while it may not reach the lofty total of Iron Man 3 - it is still a sign that the Marvel brand hasn't lost any steam.

12 Years a Slave continued to add theaters - making it up to 410 - and it also jumped 115% and rose from 8th to 7th place with $4.6 million - raising its total to $8.76 million. The real test still comes this coming week when it expands to over 1000 theaters - though it has been getting so much positive buzz, it should have no problem getting even more people to theaters.

In limited release (and with highest per-theater average out of any other film) Dallas Buyers Club opened in 9 theaters with $264,000 or $29,333 per-theater. This film has been getting just as much awards attention as 12 Years a Slave, - with both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both earning raves. Expect Focus Features to continue to expand this one in the coming weeks.

Next week Thor will see if it can do as well domestically as it has internationally while the romantic comedy About Time looks to score with couples.


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