Friday Report: Three Middling Movies Compete for First Place

by Ray Subers
House at the End of the Street

September 22, 2012

House at the End of The Street, End of Watch and Trouble with the Curve were all in a heated race for first place on Friday, though none of them were very impressive. At least they all did better than Dredd, which is looking like a major misfire at this point.

House at the End of the Street narrowly took the top spot on Friday with an estimated $4.64 million from 3,083 locations. That's noticeably higher than recent "House" horror movies Silent House ($2.66 million) and Dream House ($2.89 million), but still on the low end for horror movies in general. For example, that gross is a bit behind that of September 2010's Devil ($4.8 million), which was considered a disappointment at the time. The Jennifer Lawrence movie is on pace for between $12 and $13 million for the weekend.

End of Watch wasn't far behind with an estimated $4.6 million from 2,730 theaters. That's about on par with writer-director David Ayer's last movie, Street Kings ($4.38 million), and also close to 2010 police movie Brooklyn's Finest ($4.7 million). Open Road Films is projecting a $13.5 million three-day weekend, meaning it could ultimately claim the top spot.

Trouble with the Curve was the favorite going in to the weekend, but had to settle for third place with an estimated $4.17 million on Friday. That's nearly identical to star Clint Eastwood's recent directorial efforts J. Edgar ($4.26 million) and Hereafter ($4.13 million), but way off from his last starring vehicle Gran Torino ($9.63 million in its nationwide expansion). It's also off from last September's baseball movie Moneyball ($6.73 million); if Trouble follows Moneyball's pattern, it will wind up with just over $12 million for the weekend.

After an underwhelming start last weekend, Finding Nemo 3D plummeted 53 percent to an estimated $2.39 million on Friday. In comparison, The Lion King 3D only dipped 32 percent on its second Friday. Through eight days, the 3D re-release has earned just $22.9 million, or just a little more than The Lion King made in its first two days.

Dredd rounded out the Top Five with a terrible $2.23 million. That's close to April's Lockout ($2.22 million), which went on to earn just $14.3 million in its entire run. Dredd did at least do better than Shoot 'Em Up ($1.95 million), but that's a very minor consolation prize. The best case scenario looks like a $6.5 million haul for the three-day weekend.

After opening on top last weekend, Resident Evil: Retribution got pummeled in its second outing. The movie fell 77 percent to $1.95 million, which is the worst drop so far in the franchise (the previous movie dropped 72 percent). It's now made $28.72 million, and should ultimately wind up just above the first movie's $40.1 million.

On the heels of one of the best limited debuts ever, writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master expanded to 788 locations and grossed $1.39 million on Friday. For the three-day weekend, it will earn somewhere between $4 and $5 million.

In just four locations in New York and Los Angeles, The Perks of Being a Wallflower debuted to a very respectable $84,900. That translates to a per-theater average of $21,225, and the weekend should ultimately be strong enough to propel this movie in to its upcoming expansion.

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Forecast: Odds Favor Clint's 'Curve' on Competitive Weekend

Related Chart:
Grosses for Friday, September 21, 2012

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WEEKEND: Weekend Estimates, 'A Quiet Place' #1
DAILY: Friday Estimates, 'Super Troopers 2' #1
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DAILY: Thursday 4/19 (43 tracked)
DAILY: Wednesday, 4/18 (37 tracked)
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DAILY: Monday, 4/16 (35 tracked)