B.O. Roundup, January 10-12: 'Lone Survivor' Rises to the Top

Sunday, 12 January 2014 10:34 Written by  iamrogue
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B.O. Roundup, January 10-12: 'Lone Survivor' Rises to the Top

Lone Survivor bucked the trend of audiences avoiding contemporary war pictures this weekend.

The film claimed the top spot at the domestic box office by a wide margin in its first frame of wide release, while holdovers stayed strong and the only other new wide release, The Legend of Hercules, got off to an inauspicious start.

The trend of modern war pictures under-performing at the box office has been shifting slowly, as last year's awards season favorite Zero Dark Thirty indicated.  But distributor Universal Pictures was, at best, cautiously optimistic as Lone Survivor escalated from a two-theater limited release (to qualify for the 2014 Academy Awards) to 2,875 locations nationwide.  The studio was projecting Peter Berg's passion project to earn in the neighborhood of $20 million.

Instead, Lone Survivor dropped to an estimated $38.5 million, bringing its total to $38.8 million.  The film, based on the true story of Marcus Luttrell and his Navy SEAL compatriots facing impossible odds in the Hindu Kush, actually enjoyed the second-biggest January opening on the books (not adjusted for inflation), behind only the $40 million debut of Cloverfield back in 2008.

For a film with a reported production budget of $40 million, that' s an opening weekend to write home about.  Lone Survivor has enjoyed a largely positive critical reception, but more importantly for its future prospects, the Mark Wahlberg-led true story has been very well received by audiences, who granted it a rare A-plus CinemaScore.

The Legend of Hercules, one of two 2014 releases chronicling the exploits of the mythic Greek hero, enjoyed a less ostentatious debut.  The latest from action auteur Renny Harlin, which stars Kellan Lutz as the title character, debuted in fourth place, earning an estimated $8.6 million from 2,104 locations.

In seventh place, meanwhile, there's August: Osage County, the adaptation of the acclaimed Tracy Letts stage play featuring an all-star ensemble.  The film expanded from five theaters to just over 900, allowing it collect $7.3 million according to estimates.

Outside the top ten at number eleven is Her, the Spike Jonze-directed love story following a man who falls in love with his operating.  Her went from 47 locations to 1,729 and, in the process, added an estimated $5.4 million for a domestic total of $8.8 million.

Check out the top ten movies in the nation for the weekend of January 10th through 12th:

1. Lone Survivor                     $38.5 million         $38.8 million

2. Frozen $15.0 million          $317.6 million

3. The Wolf of Wall Street $9.0 million           $78.5 million

4. The Legend of Hercules $8.6 million          New Release

5. American Hustle $8.6 million           $101.5 million

6. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug $8.0 million           $242.2 million

7. August: Osage County $7.3 million           $7.8 million

8. Saving Mr. Banks $6.5 million           $68.9 million

9. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones $6.3 million $28.4 million

10. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues $6.1 million $118.5 million

The Friday to come finds several films entering the fray in wide release, from Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit to Devil's Due, Ride Along, and The Nut Job.

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