Three films cluster at top of box office
Updated: 2012-09-24 11:08
Actress Jennie Garth arrives as a guest at the premiere of the new film "End of Watch" in Los Angeles September 17, 2012.[Photo/Agencies]
Police drama "End of Watch" and horror thriller "House at the End of the Street" tied for the top spot at the North American box office this weekend, with Clint Eastwood's "Trouble With the Curve" close behind.
Each of the top films brought in $13 million respectively at US and Canadian box offices.
The gritty "End of Watch", written and directed by the writer of 2001 crime drama "Training Day", David Ayer, brought in $13 million at US and Canadian box offices.
The opening by "End of Watch" was the largest for independent film distribution company Open Road, a 2-year-old joint venture between theater chains AMC and Regal. Its two other films this year, "Hit and Run" and "Silent House", opened with less than $7 million apiece.
Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg said "End of Watch" was successful because it appealed to a wide swath of moviegoers.
Referring to "End of Watch" as a "smart action movie", Ortenberg added that it is a prototype for the type of films Open Road hopes to make. Its next film, action ensemble "Breacher", is another David Ayer project.
"House at the End of the Street", which features Jennifer Lawrence in her first role since this year's blockbuster "The Hunger Games", also brought in $13 million.
The timing of horror thriller's release capitalized on Lawrence's "Hunger Games" fame, said Relativity president of distribution Kyle Davies. The film primarily targeted young females and did a large share of marketing through mobile-phone-based applications.
The audience for "Street" was 61 percent female, and 70 percent of filmgoers were under 25.
Baseball movie "Trouble with the Curve" was hot on the heels of the top films, taking in $12.7 million, according to box office estimates released on Sunday. The film is Clint Eastwood's first starring role in four years and comes less than a month after his headline-grabbing speech at the Republican national convention.
Rounding out the top five was the 3D re-release of "Finding Nemo" with $9.4 million, and "Resident Evil: Retribution" with $6.7 million. Both films premiered in theaters last weekend.
Futuristic action film "Dredd" disappointed with a mere $6.3 million on its debut weekend, failing to crack the top five and coming in below expectations.
Though the overall box office is down when compared to last year, a couple of independent films have performed strongly.
"The bright spots are the indie films like 'The Master' and 'The Perks of Being A Wallflower,' which are both doing terrific business in their limited runs," said Paul Dergarabedian, box office analyst at Hollywood.com.
"The Master", which stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as a charismatic cult leader and has been compared to the story of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, set a new per-screen average record when it opened in limited release last week, and has garnered strong reviews.
This week, the film expanded to take in $5 million in domestic markets, bringing its total domestic gross to $6.1 million so far, and it snagged the No 7 spot in this weekend's overall box office rankings.
Teen movie "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" starring Emma Watson scored the fourth-highest per-screen average of 2012 with its debut.
Related Photos: 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' premieres
DIVIDING UP THE AUDIENCE
The close finish among the top three films was a reflection that the broad slate of new releases, which each targeted a different demographic, divided up the movie-going audience.
Warner Brothers, a unit of Time Warner, released "Trouble with the Curve". Relativity Media released "House at the End of the Street". Open Road Films, a joint venture of the AMC and Regal theater chains, released "End of Watch".
Sony Corp's movie studio released "Resident Evil: Retribution". "Dredd" was released by Lions Gate.
"The Master" was released by the Weinstein Co.
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" was released by Summit.
Pyongyang International Film Festival opens 2012-09-21 10:55
Film 'Dangerous Liaisons' photos 2012-09-20 13:59
Micro films will get a big reception 2012-09-18 14:25
Four films get digital facelift 2012-09-18 14:05
Campaign for kids 2012-09-12 10:13
Films celebrate ties 2012-09-12 10:06
Today's Top News
President Xi confident in recovery from quake
H7N9 update: 104 cases, 21 deaths
Telecom workers restore links
Coal mine blast kills 18 in Jilin
Intl scholarship puts China on the map
More bird flu patients discharged
Gold loses sheen, but still a safe bet
US 'turns blind eye to human rights'
Lunar probe , China growth forecasts, Emission rules get tougher, China seen through 'colored lens', International board,
All-out efforts to save lives
Liaoning: China's oceangoing giant
Poultry industry under pressure
'Spring' in the air for NGOs?
Boy set to drive Chinese golf
Latest technology gets people talking