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The Grey Eats Competition

Revenues up 10 Percent Over Last January.

By Jarrod Sarafin     January 29, 2012


With 2011 ending as ugly as it did just a month ago, it seems almost fitting that the release that pushed the current box office to a 10 percent jump over the same time last year centered on the whole “survival of the fittest” premise. Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer, eat your heart out. Open Road Films introduced the thriller The Grey into 3,185 theaters over the weekend---a break from the NFL playoffs---and found themselves in the top spot with a $20.0 million payday. Not only is the 3-day tally close to the $25 million production budget, it’s well above the $5 million that Open Road shelled out to distribute the Alaskan adventure. Ding, ding, ding, you just scored big on your release. What do you have to say?
"Liam Neeson is a true movie star, and our marketing department hit it out of the park," Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg said.
He followed up with his beliefs that it probably would have scored bigger than Neeson’s previous two hits Taken ($24.7 mil) and Unknown ($21.9 mil) if it had didn’t carry the Rated-R tag. And he’s probably correct there. The opening weekend audience gave it a B- at CinemaScore, with males making up 60 percent of the attendance. Check out our interview with Liam Neeson and director Joe Carnahan here and here.
Landing in the 2nd place spot is last weekend’s champion, Underworld Awakening. Sony Screen Gems’ fourth installment in the popular franchise scared up another $12.5 million on 3,078 venues across the nation. The second frame results has it at $45.1 million after 10 days of release, a franchise-best tally after the same amount of days with its predecessors.  When including the $40 million it has gathered from its foreign market sales, the genre label out of Sony has already surpassed their $70 million pricetag on a global scale. At the moment, it has a worldwide cume of $85.1 million after its first two weekends.
Following in the 3rd place position is Lionsgate’s action comedy, One for the Money. Much like the silver slotted “Awakening,” the Katherine Heigle release came in above studio expectations by laughing up an estimated $11.7 million over its first three days of release. Based on Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum detective novels,  the opening weekend audience was made of 79 percent female, 74 percent of which came in over the age of 25. For their parts, Lionsgate was pleased with taking the bronze over a film which could relate to franchise potential for the studio.
"We're very pleased," Lionsgate's David Spitzsaid. "These were definitely fans of the book."
Taking down the 4th place slot is last weekend’s runner-up, Red Tails. The Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox release shot up another $10.4 million in receipts over its sophomoric frame, increasing the domestic total to $33.7 million after 10 days of release. Executive producer George Lucas and director Anthony Hemingway managed to keep the aerial War World II pic’s budget to a pricetag of only $58 million.
And finishing in 5th place is the other new wide release of this weekend, Man on a Ledge. Summit Entertainment’s thriller opened in the spot with $8.3 million in estimated sales, averaging $2,769 per showing in each of their 2,998 venues. The Sam Worthington-Elizabeth Banks vehicle was produced on a $42 million budget.
Check out the rest of the top 10 down below.

The Grey
$20.0 mil
$20.0 mil
Underworld Awakening
$12.5 mil
$45.1 mil
One For the Money
$11.7 mil
$11.7 mil
Red Tails
$10.4 mil
$33.7 mil
Man on a Ledge
$8.3 mil
$8.3 mil
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
$7.1 mil
$21.1 mil
The Descendants
$6.5 mil
$58.8 mil
$6.5 mil
$56.4 mil
Beauty and the Beast 3D
$5.3 mil
$41.1 mil
$4.0 mil
$15.2 mil

Friday, February 3, 2012 Releases:
Chronicle (2,800+)
The Woman in Black (2,700+)
Big Miracle (1,900+)
The Innkeepers
Kill List
Perfect Sense


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hanso 1/30/2012 3:41:59 AM

 the grey was a pretty good flick, i highly recommend it.  

Wiseguy 1/30/2012 4:03:54 AM

The Grey was ok but I recommend you skip it if you care about wildlife preservation. This isn't that good that it can't wait for cable or  home video. Films usually go out of their way not to harm animals while this one  had 4 wolves killed. It does not matter if the wolves were already killed by trappers or not you're still creating a market and definitely sending the wrong message. Anyway nuff said about that.

Also saw Man on a Ledge, ok but not really theater worthy

Finally saw Underworld Awakening. Pretty good if you know what to expect. Saw it in I-Max 3D and had a ball

I'll probably check out Chronicle next week more by default than anything else. Besides there's a rumor that the director is being eyed for the Fantastic Four reboot so I want to see what he has

vitieddie 1/30/2012 4:05:14 AM

underworld awakening (spoiler)

managed to watch underworld awakening in the weekend ... the plot was a bit weak ... and i didnt like the fact the wolves were the "baddies" once again ... it should have just been the humans ... 3/5

spiderhero 1/30/2012 4:54:30 AM

My wife thought One For The Money would be #1. Now she's hoping it makes enough to do sequals as she loves the books.

Dazzler 1/30/2012 5:04:21 AM

I saw Red Tails.  Worth it for CGI only.  Getting bored with the racism plots in movies anymore. 

wessmith1966 1/30/2012 5:08:13 AM

One for the Money was a good date-night film; we both enjoyed the film. It wasn't anything special, but had some good laughs. The movie was definitely in Katherine Heigl's wheelhouse. The plot was as thin as a tissue, more like an episode of (fill in the blank) cop show than what you might expect from a movie, but I guess the movie was more about Plum than the thinly-veiled murder mystery.

I really liked The Grey, but I have to say that the trailers for the movie are very misleading. I won't spoil the ending for anyone, but when the screen went blank I said "What the F..." Apparently there's a small scene after the credits that I didn't know about that might have helped the ending.

I want to see Chronicle this weekend; hopefully it's as good as its press. And, as Wiseguy pointed out, I want to see what the director's work is like if he is going to be tapped to helm the FF reboot.

shac2846 1/30/2012 8:40:56 AM

 Thought it was great. Couldn't stay till the end of the credits but after hearing it I wish I had. The scene is appearently really short but still gives some closure to the story.

Wise it sounds like Joe Carnahan is owning up to the fact that the film is about as real to wolf attacks as Jaws was to great white attacks. It's very abnormal for sure but from an interview I read with him on yahoo he said he did research some wolf attacks and used that as the basis for the story. Some of the wolf stories he found for research sound really cool. I could post a link to it but mania won't allow that, sorry. 

Darkknight2280 1/30/2012 8:48:42 AM

I love survival movies. I need to get out there and see THE GREY.

Hanzo does it beat The EDGE? As far as the survival movie genre?

Speaking of which movies dealing with survival are always one word: The Edge, The Grey, Alive, The Hatchet. Guess its a working name formula. ha

Darkknight2280 1/30/2012 8:54:54 AM

DAZZLER: I agree Redtails was amazingly realistic as far as the dog fights went and the CGI in general. Story and most of the acting was a bit wooden and sterotypical. But stereotypes are derived from history and truth sometimes. 

But i was glad this movie was made its important. Ive met and spoke with in length to 4 of the original Tuskegee (sp?) Airmen years ago and they are amazing men and this is by far the best movie ever made in regard to their exploits and how they lived

goatartist 1/30/2012 10:11:55 AM

 Wiseguy, just because a film depicts violence towards humans or animals doesn't mean it's promoting violence. I found The Grey to be striking commentary on animal rights and the intrusive role of humans in the wilderness. People need to stop thinking like Hilary Clinton at the height of her P.C. crusade, even she's moved on when it comes to rationality.

I also found The Grey to be totally badass. There were one or two moments that were slightly far-fetched, however, the film as a whole was incredible. Great ensemble cast putting out incredible performances. This film is for film lovers, like Rob said...not for the faint of heart.

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