Box Office Report: Nostalgia Kicks Off April

Though March 2013 wasn’t able to surpass March 2012 at the box office – though that has largely to do with 2012’s one-two blockbuster punch of The Lorax and The Hunger Games – it still managed to give some much needed momentum to the sluggish 2013 annual box office thanks to hits Oz, Olympus Has Fallen, and The Croods. With April now in session, the first weekend frame of the new month luckily continued in last month’s footsteps as 6 nationwide releases each earned over $10 million. Thanks in large part to thrilling debuts for remake Evil Dead and rerelease Jurassic Park 3D, plus strong holds from both family films and actioners, this opening April weekend continued to give the annual box office a much needed boost as we gear up for another huge Summer Movie Season in May. Click below for a full box office report:

Top 10 Movies (April 5-7)
1. Evil Dead – $26 million
2. G.I. Joe: Retaliation – $21.1 million
3. The Croods – $21.1 million
4. Jurassic Park 3D – $18.2 million
5. Olympus Has Fallen – $10.1 million
6. Tyler Perry’s Temptation – $10 million
7. Oz: The Great and Powerful – $8 million
8. The Host – $5.2 million
9. The Call – $3.5 million
10. Admission – $2 million

Opening quite strongly at #1 this weekend was Evil Dead, the remake/re-vision hybrid of Sam Raimi’s horror-defining 1981 cult classic (it’s not a by-the-books remake, it merely takes elements of the original and incorporates them into a slightly different version). After earning $1.8 million during special Thursday screenings, the film went on to gross a sturdy $26 million, noticeably above this year’s last horror remake, Texas Chainsaw 3D ($21 million debut). Effectively marketed towards lovers of the original classic (the previews included the reimagining of iconic scenes from the 1981 version) as well as newbie horror fans, Evil Dead successfully sold itself as a must see horror event, embodied by the film’s great tagline – “The Most Terrifying Film You Will Ever Expierence” – that put the film on every horror lovers must-see list. By being both unique and nostalgic, Evil Dead debuted rather nicely, though its sharp decline from Friday-Sunday indicates that buzz with long time fans was high and drove many out early to see the film. Where Evil Dead goes from here is anyone’s guess, though its makes another great month for Sam Raimi, who produced this re-imagining of his original and who is also enjoying success with his directorial effort Oz The Great and Powerful, which held on extremely well in its 5th week, dropping 30% and lifting its grand haul to a great $212 million.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation and The Croods held on extremely well also and were bumped down a spot to claim second and third this weekend, respectively. For an action/toy-based blockbuster like Retaliation, a 47% drop is rather sturdy, though the film’s $86 million total is well below that of Rise of Cobra’s $98 million through the same time. Luckily, Retaliation is proving to be a hit overseas and it will be easily surpass the first film’s international gross. As expected, The Croods is quickly becoming the family blockbuster of the Spring thanks to a light 21% drop and another $21 million in the bank. In three weekends, The Croods has never grossed less than $20 million dollars and with $125 million and counting, expect this prehistoric family to get close to a $200 million final finish. Also holding on extremely well is Gerard Butler’s Olympus Has Fallen, which dropped only 29% – a remarkable hold for an R-rated movie – in its third weekend to lift its total haul to $71 million. Made for $70 million, Olympus is the first successful R-rated actioner of the year and should be commended for restoring box office faith in the weakening genre.

In fourth place, Steven Spielberg’s milestone blockbuster Jurassic Park returned to theaters retrofitted with 3D and earned a promising $18.2 million. In recent years, 3D-rereleases have become a hot commodity and Park debuted quite high for this subgenre, earning more than Titanic 3D ($17.3 million) and Monster’s Inc. 3D ($4 million). Clearly, the enduring popularity of Spielberg’s classic is to thank – it was once the highest grossing film ever made in 1993 – and by marketing the rerelease as a celebration of the film’s 20th anniversary, the move to convert the classic into the new medium felt more fluid and less like a money-seeking cash crab. Regardless of how well Jurassic Park 3D holds in the coming weeks, it has already recouped its $17 million budget and is a big winner for Universal Studios.

Did you go to the movies this weekend? What did you see?

Article by Zack Sharf

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