May 24, 2013
No box office killing for big-budget 'Jack the Giant Slayer'
"Jack the Giant Slayer," the first big-budget action film of the year, was anything but a killer at the weekend box office.
"Jack," a retelling of the "Jack and the Beanstalk" fairy tale, earned the No. 1 spot on domestic box office charts with $28 million in ticket sales in US and Canadian theaters, according to studio estimates compiled by Reuters on Sunday.
But that was an underwhelming start for a 3D movie that cost $189 million to produce, plus tens of millions more to market.
"Jack the Giant Slayer" also grossed $13.7 million from 1,824 screens in 10 Asian markets.
Comedy "Identity Thief" took in $9.7 million to capture second place, and new adult comedy "21 and Over" finished in third place on domestic charts with $9 million in ticket sales from Friday through Sunday.
Low-budget horror sequel "The Last Exorcism Part II" took the No. 4 slot with $8 million, according to studio estimates.
"Jack" clearly was not a great opening by any means, said Phil Contrino, vice president/chief analyst with Boxoffice.com.
"But I wouldn't rush to call the film a financial flop just yet because overseas growth can really save a movie, and I feel that this is a movie that could do really well in other territories and make up for the fact that the North American haul was a little bit underwhelming."
The movie stars Nicholas Hoult as a young farmer who ventures into the land of the giants to save a kidnapped princess. The film received a mixed reception from critics. As of Friday, 49 percent of reviews recommended the movie on aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.
Warner Bros. believes "Jack" will perform well in overseas markets as it opens in more countries in the coming weeks. International sales, particularly for action movies, can run twice as high or more.
"It was within the range of our expectations," Jeff Goldstein, vice president theatrical distributions at Warner Bros., said about the film's domestic weekend performance.
"We know that this is a global picture and the technology and the special effects will really drive this movie internationally," he added.
Global takings helped to push "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" over the billion dollar milestone at the worldwide box office during the weekend, making it only the 15th film in history to achieve the feat.
"We could not be more proud to have reached this amazing benchmark," Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution of Warner Bros. Pictures, said in a statement on Sunday.