Two nationwide openers with vastly different stories and critical reception had milder debuts at the box office this weekend. Ex Machina, the acclaimed sci-fi thriller from Alex Garland, finished in sixth with a solid $5.4 million – the biggest three-day take in A24’s history. That is about half of what Transcendence earned last April ($10.9 million), but that title came equipped with huge stars and a debut in nearly 3,500 theaters. Ex Machina is doing just fine in its more modest roll-out. With $6.9 million after two weeks in limited release, the film should ultimately surpass Spring Breakers ($14.1 million) to be the biggest earner in A24 history.
Meanwhile, Little Boy could not generate much excitement (or goodwill from critics), debuting outside the Top 10 with $2.8 million. The WWII drama only opened in about 1,000 cinemas and with minimal marketing and audience enthusiasm, it was never expected to make a big dent at the box office. The film also made about half of its take this weekend on Friday, a sign of poor word-of-mouth.
Finally, Russell Crowe’s feature directorial debut, The Water Diviner, debuted to decent figures in limited release. The historical drama earned $1.3 million from 320 locations. Without much of a marketing push from Warner Bros., the film had the cards stacked against it. Regardless, it was a much bigger hit in Crowe’s native Australia, where it earned $12.2 million at the box office and won Best Picture at the country’s Academy Awards (tying with The Babadook).
Here are the numbers for the Top 10 films at the North American box office for the weekend of April 24 through 26, 2015:
1. Furious 7 – $18.3 million ($320.5 million total)
2. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 – $15.5 million ($43.9 million total)
3. The Age of Adaline – $13.4 million (NEW)
4. Home – $8.3 million ($153.8 million total)
5. Unfriended – $6.2 million ($25.2 million total)
6. Ex Machina – $5.4 million ($6.9 million total)
7. The Longest Ride – $4.4 million ($30.4 million total)
8. Get Hard – $3.9 million ($84.1 million total)
9. Monkey Kingdom – $3.6 million ($10.3 million total)
10. Woman in Gold – $3.5 million ($21.6 million total)
NOTE: These numbers are weekend estimates based on Friday and Saturday’s estimated takes. Actual numbers for the three-day weekend are reported on Monday afternoon.