B.O. Roundup, March 6-8: 'Chappie' Opens Okay, 'Unfinished Business' Whiffs Completely

Sunday, 08 March 2015 15:25 Written by  iamrogue
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B.O. Roundup, March 6-8: 'Chappie' Opens Okay, 'Unfinished Business' Whiffs Completely

This wasn't just the slowest weekend of the year so far, ladies and gentlemen, overall box office was down a whopping 39% from the same weekend last year.

So even though Chappie is the number one movie in America, it's not exactly a resounding victory.

Director/co-writer Neill Blomkamp's third movie opened in 3,201 theaters throughout North America, from which it earned $13.3 million, according to current estimates.

His latest slice of scifi and social commentary debuted quite a bit lower than his debut, District 9 ($37.4 million) and his followup Elysium (29.8 million).  Of course, Chappie didn't have the buzz of the 2009 hit or the big time movie star/budget of the 2013 would-be blockbuster, so this one wasn't expected to have the same initial impact.  Its long term prospects aren't looking too rosy, either, since the film, the story of sensitive robot and the criminals who raise him in Johannesburg, took a critical shellacking and received a not-so-good B- verdict from moviegoers who participated in CinemaScore exit polls.

Last week's number one movie, Focus, fell to second place but kept relatively sharp, declining 46% for an estimated take of $10.0 million.  Not far behind in third place is a new release, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

A sequel to the 2012 sleeper opened in 1,573 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, earning an estimated $8.6 million in the process.  Its predecessor had a platform release in the States, so an opening weekend comparison isn't really possible, but The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel made $6.4 million when it expanded nationwide.  Like the first movie, the second will likely do steady business at home and abroad, ultimately cleaning up thanks to its cast and the fact that older moviegoers are generally under-served.

Both Chappie and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel fared a whole lot better than the weekend's only other new release, Unfinished Business.  Despite playing in 2,777 theaters, the comedy earned an estimated $4.8 million.  That puts it in tenth place and marks the lowest opening on the books for a wide release starring Vince Vaughn.  It's also lower than the modest $10 million studio prognosticators were prognosticating last week.

Just behind Unfinished Business, in eleventh place, is American Sniper, which brought the hagiography's domestic total to $337.2 million, zipping past The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 as the biggest Stateside earner of 2014.

Check out the top ten and their estimated hauls below:

1. Chappie..............................................................................................$13.3 million...............New Release

2. Focus..................................................................................................$10.0 million...............$34.5 million

3. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel..........................................$8.6 million.................New Release

4. Kingsman: The Secret Service.........................................................$8.3 million.................$98.0 million

5. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.................................$7.0 million.................$148.9 million

6. Fifty Shades of Grey..........................................................................$5.6 million.................$156.4 million

7. McFarland, USA..................................................................................$5.3 million.................$29.4 million

8. The Lazarus Effect.............................................................................$5.1 million.................$17.4 million

9. The DUFF............................................................................................$4.8 million.................$26.1 million

10. Unfinished Business........................................................................$4.8 million.................New Release

Next weekend, Disney's big budget Cinderella is guaranteed to knock Chappie from its perch atop the box office.  Whether or not the latest Liam Neeson action vehicle, Run All Night, also busts out a particular set of skills on the Chapster remains to be seen.

Check back next week, same Rogue time, same Rogue channel, to find out.

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