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Weekend Box Office: Insurgent Easily on Top, Gunman Shoots Blanks

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By Chris Kavan - 03/22/15 at 10:49 PM CT

As pretty much expected, Insurgent was the big winner at the box office - but the biggest surprise of all this year is how female-driven films have dominated the box office as of late while their testosterone-fueled counterparts have fallen flat. Sean Penn and The Gunman is the latest R-rated action flop to grace the screen in recent weeks. Don't worry guys - Furious 7 drops in a couple weeks and should reverse this trend. But we should be thankful - if it wasn't for Cinderella and now Insurgent, March would look much worse for wear.


The sequel to last year's Divergent opened to nearly identical numbers. Insurgent was on top with a $54 million debut. That total is just slightly behind the opening for Divergent, which was $54.6 million. Audiences certainly gave the sequel a better response than critics. With an "A-" Cinemascore, it was much warmer than the 32% is currently stands at on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite focusing more on action, the audience was 60% female (slightly up from the 59% female audience for Divergent). It has a good chance at having a long shelf life as this (along with Cinderella) are really the only female-centric films through April. Given the response, Insurgent should be looking at least a $130 million total. While Insurgent may have been a slight disappointment domestically, on the international front it opened much stronger, with a nice $47 million debut overseas. It's going to need a bit more help as Insurgent also came with an extra $20 million price tag as compared to Divergent. Overall, I think both films will wind up at around the same - which is about as good as you can hope for from a YA adaptation (that isn't The Hunger Games).


The other big female-centric film of the weekend, Cinderella was probably a big reason Insurgent didn't open even bigger. Falling just over 49% (in between the second-week drops for Oz the Great and Powerful at 48% and Maleficent at 51%), Cinderella took in $34.5 million, giving the film a new total of $122 million. It is still looking good for Cinderella to top the $200 million mark - which would be twice its relatively modest $95 million budget. Time will tell, but it may be the first film of the year to hit that mark (depending on just how big Furious 7 opens with).


Liam Neeson's latest action film dipped nearly 54% in it second weekend out, dropping to third place with $5.1 million. That hold is a bit better than A Walk Among the Tombstones, but it's a small consolation since it has made just $19.7 million thus far and won't be able to recoup its $50 million budget.


As if Run All Night wasn't depressing enough for the R-rated action genre, Sean Penn isn't going to be taking Neeson's place anytime soon as the new elder statesman action hero. The Gunman opened lower than Run All Night in its second weekend, with just a $5 million opening. It joins the 2015 flop club along with Mortdecai ($4.2 million), Unfinished Business ($4.8 million) and Hot Tub Time Machine 2 ($5.96 million). By comparison, it opened to less than half of last year's Kevin Costner's Taken-esque action film 3 Days to Kill ($12.2 million) and it may just point to signs that audiences may finally be getting their fill of the whole reinvented action-hero genre. I doubt Neeson will be any worse for wear, but I also feel other actors looking to go the same route will likely have second thoughts from here on out. The Gunman is likely to earn less than $15 million total.


Even though it may have fallen from third to fifth place, Kingsman: The Secret Service continues to be one of the biggest success stories of the year. Dropping just 26% (the best hold out of any film in the top 10), Kingsmen took in $4.6 million to give it a new total of $114.5 million. The film still looks good even six weeks out and though it will likely be dealt a final blow when Furious 7 hits theaters, it is still looking like it will top out above the $120 million mark - approaching $125 million.

Outside the top five: Faith-based film Do You Believe? opened in sixth place with $4 million. Though it was made by the same people behind God's Not Dead - it could only manage less than half of that film's $9.2 million and maybe even less on Monday when final numbers are revealed. Even if it fell a bit short, even $4 million looks good for what amounts to a niche film. It should top out at around $10 million.

Next week sees the release of the Will Ferrell/Keven Hart comedy Get Hard along with the family-oriented animated film Home. It will also see the largest expansion yet for the well-reviewed horror film It Follows, likely to add 1000 plus theaters to its count.


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