While Warner Bros. continues to celebrate the bustling box office for American Sniper, perhaps the studio heads have finally decided to stop giving big checks to Andy and Lana Wachowski. The siblings delivered their third straight box office flop this weekend, as Jupiter Ascending could only amass $19 million worth of ticket sales. (52% of ticket sales were for 3D showtimes.) That is slightly above the initial take of Speed Racer ($18.6), their costly disappointment from 2008. With a $175 million price tag attached – triple American Sniper‘s budget – the studio will need to rely on healthy overseas grosses to see anything close to a profit.
The film was delayed from opening last July to potentially earn more in a less hectic time of year, but audiences were turned off by the goofy trailers, poor reviews and mixed word-of-mouth. (A B- CinemaScore indicates that this will not be a big choice for audiences on Valentine’s Day.) As for stars Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis, Jupiter Ascending is far from their biggest openers. It is just slightly above their 2011 comedies The Dilemma ($17.8 million) and Friends with Benefits ($18.6 million), and those films did not have 3D, IMAX or an enormous price tag attached. Expect a final total of under $50 million in North America for the space opera.
The news was even worse for another expensive, delayed fantasy film starring an Oscar front-runner: Seventh Son, which earned just $7.1 million in its opening weekend. The action-adventure starring Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes and Julianne Moore was dumped into theaters without much promotion or awareness, while paying customers had other action-packed options to attend this weekend. On the bright side, the film has already earned $82 million overseas, so a strong domestic showing was not as essential.
Rounding out the top five was Paddington, which brought in another $5.4 million to raise its cume to a solid $57.3 million. Given the direct competition from SpongeBob this weekend, a 35% drop was extremely good. Continued strong word-of-mouth should get the family comedy to a total near $70 million.
Here are the numbers for the Top 10 films at the North American box office for the weekend of February 6 through February 8, 2015:
1. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water – $56 million (NEW)
2. American Sniper – $24.1 million ($282.3 million total)
3. Jupiter Ascending – $19 million (NEW)
4. Seventh Son – $7.1 million (NEW)
5. Paddington – $5.4 million ($57.3 million total)
6. Project Almanac – $5.3 million ($15.8 million total)
7. The Imitation Game – $4.9 million ($74.7 million total)
8. The Wedding Ringer – $4.8 million ($55.1 million total)
9. Black or White – $4.5 million ($13.1 million total)
10. The Boy Next Door – $4.1 million ($30.9 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.
Source: Box Office