When Universal Studios asked the magic mirror who would be the fairest movie in all the land this weekend, it replied, “None other than your own, Snow White and the Huntsman.”
The dark adaptation of the classic fairy tale bumped Men in Black 3 off of the throne with a $56 million opening weekend. It was a slight surprise considering Snow White opened to just 3,773 theaters, a wide release certainly, but not as wide as MIB 3, which was still playing in nearly 500 more theaters than Snow White. Universal was able to receive some redemption after Battleship flopped and while it wasn’t the perfect film, we have to say that it was worth it to see Charlize Theron’s performance.
MIB 3 had a solid second weekend, falling just -46.3%, not bad for the average blockbuster film. It’s made nearly half of its budget back after 10 days so while the Memorial Day Weekend wasn’t as big Sony was hoping, it’s doing very well across seas. Both Snow White and MIB 3 need to get as much as they can because Prometheus is on the horizon and trust us when we say that it deserves to open at #1 this weekend.
Marvel’s The Avengers still managed to hit the $20 million mark in its fifth week out and is still making theaters an average of over $5000 on the weekend. But what is bigger news for the superhero epic, is that it became the #3 film in All Time Domestic and All Time Worldwide passing The Dark Knight and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, respectively. The Avengers has made an estimated $1.35 billion in worldwide box office and still has a long ways to go to take on either of James Cameron’s behemoths, Titanic and Avatar. $1.5 billion seems like a reachable plateau and the only major country yet to release the film is Japan, which is set to show it on local theaters August 17, 2012.
In indies and foreign films, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel continues to perform well among the blockbusters as it had its widest release yet at 1,294 theaters and climbed back to sixth, like it did in its third week before dipping to eighth for two weeks. It’s never going to break into the top five, but it’s finding its audience and is sticking around while more expensive films continue to drop out of people’s consciousness after a week or two. The religious freedom film based on the Cristero War (1926-1929), For Greater Glory, was the other new release this week just made the top ten with $1.8 million, but it’s unlikely it will get more support in the coming weeks.
In Limited Release
Four smaller films are making waves in the art houses. At 12th place, Bernie ($937,000) is quietly pleasing audiences and has expanded to 302 theaters. Moonrise Kingdom expanded to 12 more markets for a total of 16, and brought in ($849,000), for a whopping average of $53,000 per theater. Wes Anderson’s latest film is another quirky comedy where young actors act adult and the adults act childish, is hitting the mark with audiences looking to relive the magic found in Rushmore and Royal Tennenbaums. Coming out of nowhere is Crooked Arrows, a drama about lacrosse of all things, starring Brandon Routh (yes, from Superman Returns) added 260 theaters and had a surge over its first week.
Also, keep an eye on The Intouchables, where it was the second highest grossing film ever in its native France last year and has finally made the trip across the pond. There’s no telling how the Weinsten Company is going to roll this film out further. It’s a film that deserves more attention than what it’s getting, but it’s tough to convince American audiences to watch a French film in the dead heat of summer when there is a never-ending march of blockbuster films slated each week. So if it’s playing near you, don’t wait too long to see it.
Small films that floundered were Piranha 3DD, which made $179,000 in 86 theaters. The shlocky horror film was also released day and date on demand, but without the ability to show in 3D. High School starring Adrien Brody, Michael Chiklis and Colin Hanks opened to 200 theaters but made just an average of $403 per location.
Here is the list of the top 20 films in Weekend #22 of 2012 according to Box Office Mojo and their estimated box office numbers.
1 Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal) $56,255,000
2 Men in Black 3 (Sony) $29,300,000
3 The Dictator (Paramount) $20,273,000
4 Battleship (Universal)Dark Shadows (Warner Bros.) $4,810,000
5 The Dictator (Paramount) $4,725,000
6 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight) $4,600,000
7 What to Expect When You’re Expecting (Lionsgate) $4,430,000
8 Dark Shadows (Warner Bros) $3,860,000
9 Chernobyl Diaries (Warner Bros) $3,045,000
10 For Greater Glory (Arc Entertainment) $1,800,000
11 The Hunger Games (Lionsgate) $1,500,000
12 Bernie (Millennium) $937,000
13 Moonrise Kingdom (Focus) $849,000
14 Crooked Arrows (Branded Peck Ent) $728,000
15 The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Sony) $700,000
16 Think Like a Man (Screen Gems) $660,000
17 The Intouchables (Weinstein Co.) $350,000
18 Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (Universal) $347,000
19 The Three Stooges (Fox) $245,000
20 Hysteria (Sony Picture Classics) $190,000
Photo of Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Rupert Sanders taken by Lucky Bronson. Photo of The Intouchables courtesy of The Weinstein Company.