Friday Update: The final domestic market gross for February rang in at $616.32 million.
Previously: Another box office winter ends.
January began the year in a big way with $827 million, but February will end on a more sour note. We're projecting a $611 million domestic market gross for the month once Thursday's numbers are reported. That will bring 2013's domestic market cume to $1.438 billion--a 12.8 percent decline from 2012's $1.649 billion between January and February.
The month itself will come in as the lowest grossing February since 2002 ($592.51 million) and marks a sharp 25.3 percent year-to-year monthly decline.
Three weeks from this Friday, DreamWorks' latest animated venture will hit theaters. The Croods marks their first spring season offering since 2010 when How to Train Your Dragon achieved critical acclaim and a memorable box office run for an original animation.
Chris Sanders--half of Dragon's writing/directing duo--returns behind the "camera" and script for The Croods, so expectations are very positive. What does social media have to say so far?
During the five-day period starting Friday, February 22, The Croods totaled 1,813 tweets. By comparison, DreamWorks' Rise of the Guardians pulled just 867 tweets during the comparable period one month out from its November 2012 release.
This week's tabulations for our forums' most anticipated movies saw a major increase from Oz: The Great and Powerful two weeks out from release. The Sam Raimi-directed Disney pic leaped six positions to land in the top five for the first time.
Counter-balancing that film's ascent was the continued decline of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. November's highly anticipated sequel slipped another three spots down to #9 this week. That represents the film's second lowest ranking since its eligibility began (having ranked #10 in our December 13, 2012 update). However, with a new poster debuting at the end of last week, it's possible we see the title rebound in our next update.
With a relatively slow February now entering the final quarter, it's time to start looking ahead at March's offerings. We recently analyzed the early Twitter tracking for Jack and the Giant Slayer, but opening against it on March 1 will be a flick targeting a different audience: 21 and Over.
Billed as "from the writers of The Hangover" (Jon Lucas and Scott Moore), we can't help but notice a number of similarities between it and last year's Project X--a solid breakout both domestically and in foreign markets. That film sold itself as "produced by the director of The Hangover" (Todd Phillips) while riding positive word of mouth from early screenings. Hoping to duplicate that movie's $96.
Before Thursday, it was widely expected that A Good Day to Die Hard would win its debut weekend by a significant margin. Despite a heavy marketing campaign that tried to pitch the fifth entry of the 25-year-old franchise as 2013's first "event" film, the flick was neck-and-neck with the romantic drama Safe Haven on Friday (after outright losing to it, as expected, on Valentine's Day).
For the 3-day weekend, Boxoffice.com is projecting a $23.5 million take for Die Hard 5, but that's not enough to say that first place is locked when considering that Identity Thief is projected at $22.5 million and Safe Haven itself should be close behind with $22 million.
Friday Update: Relativity estimates that Safe Haven made $8.9 million on Valentine's Day. That means it ended up behind the grosses of Valentine's Day ($23.4 million) and The Vow ($11.4 million) on the most romantic day of the year. It did top the $6 million Valentine's Day haul of Just Go With It.
Wednesday Update: There aren't many sure things in Hollywood, but one of them is that if you release a romantic film in time for Valentine's Day you will rake in money from couples.
This year, Relativity will open Safe Haven just in time--it hits theaters right on Valentine's Day--to (hopefully) become the movie part of dinner and a movie.
This week's edition of Forum Buzz welcomes a couple of movies into the top ten which weren't around for the party last week. Neill Blomkamp's Elysium scooted up four positions to reach #9, while Fast & Furious 6 continued its ascent up the chart by jumping three more positions to #8. This is the first time the latter has charted in the top ten.
With those two films moving up, it means that Oz: The Great and Powerful and Evil Dead were knocked out the top ten and into a tie for #11.
The biggest leap of the week came from Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity. The acclaimed director's upcoming sci-fi drama was up an incredible thirty positions to #14.