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Box Office Report: Baseball Pic '42' Scores With a $27.3 Million Opening

The rousing baseball biopic 42, from Warners and Legendary, scored at the weekend box office, batting in an estimated $27.3 million at the North American box office.

Scary Movie 5, the weekend’s other new wide release, bowed in second place, but the horror movie parody from the Weinstein Co.’s Dimension label had to settle for $15.2 million.

Meanwhile, overseas the new Tom Cruise sci-fi film Oblivion opened in first place with an estimated $61.1 million from 7,444 dates in 52 territories. The Universal release will hit theaters in North America on Friday.

Financed by Legendary, whose CEO Thomas Tull personally produced the $40 million project, the PG-13-rated 42 recounts the career of Jackie Robinson. The film was written and directed by Brian Helgeland (A Knight’s Tale), and stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as the Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey. With an excellent A-plus CinemaScore from all four quadrants of the audience, it was embraced by moviegoers as it outperformed expectations, which had the movie opening in the mid-to-high-teen millions.

42 enjoyed something of a hometown advantage in Los Angeles, where the Dodgers now play: Of the top ten-grossing theaters playing the pic, five were in Los Angeles. “It played extremely well in large and small markets, urban and suburban, and we have a great road ahead of us,” said Dan Fellman, Warners president, domestic distribution. “Congratulations to Thomas Tull and Legendary for bringing the picture to us.”

The movie did play older: 83 percent of its audience was over 25, with 45 percent of the audience between 25 and 49. Gender-wise, it broke fairly evenly though, with 48 percent male and 52 percent female. While African-Americans contributed to the audience that turned out for the drama about breaking racial barriers, the film enjoyed broad appeal. “There’s not one pattern that jumps out,” Fellman said. The film is currently playing in 3003 locations, but Fellman expects to expand it further in the coming weekend.

Scary Movie is the latest installment in the long-running franchise from The Weinstein Co.’s Dimension label that dates back to 2000. Malcolm D. Lee, who last directed 2008’s Soul Men, handled the directing reins of the PG-13 comedy, which cost just $19.5 million, and the cast is something of a rogue’s gallery of boldface names including Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Simon Rex and Ashley Tisdale.

While the movie’s opening was far below the $40 million opening that Scary Movie 4 registered seven years ago, Erik Lomis, TWC distribution president, said, "It was within our range of expectations, and we didn’t spend a ton of money on it, so we’re OK."

The movie played to a much younger demographic – 75 percent were under the age of 25, and 35 percent of those were under 17. And nearly half of the audience was Latino or African-American.

In other action, Sony's horror pic Evil Dead, from TriStar, FilmDistrict and Ghost House, which commanded the top spot last weekend, took in $9.5 million in its second outing, a drop of 65 percent, as it moved down to the fifth slot. Its domestic tally now stands at $41.5 million.

DreamWorks Animations' The Croods, released by Fox, proved resilient in its fourth weekend. The prehistoric animated movie ranked third for the weekend with $13.2 million, bringing its domestic gross to $142.5 million.

In fourth place, Paramount's G.I. Joe: Retaliation crossed the $100 million mark domestically. The action movie picked up an additional $10.8 million in its third weekend, bringing its tally to $102.5 million.

Universal's Jurassic Park in 3D, in its second weekend, ranked sixth. Collecting $8.9 million, a 53 percent drop from its opening, the re-release has taken in $31.9 million.

In the seventh slot, FilmDistrict's Olympus Has Fallen picked up another $7.3 million, bringing its cume to $81.9 million.

Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful was in eighth place with $4.9 million and a domestic total of $219.4 million. Worldwide, the movie's haul now stands at $471 million.

In ninth place, Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, grossed $4.5 million, bringing its total to $45.4 million.

As it expanded into 514 theaters, Focus' drama The Place Beyond the Pines, starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper and directed by Derek Cianfrance and produced by Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, secured a foothold in the top ten. Collecting $4.1 million, its total now amounts to $5.5 million.

Also expanding was Danny Boyle's thriller Trance from Fox Searchlight. Moving into 438 theaters, it lured $995,000, bringing its domestic total to $1.1 million.

In its second weekend, Sony Pictures Classics' The Company You Keep, directed by Robert Redford, moved into 41 screens, grossing $310,763, bringing its cume to $483,373.

After opening in New York last weekend, Shane Carruth's Upstream Color expanded into exclusive and limited engagements in six more cities. The film grossed $74,140 on 11 screens bringing its 10-day cume to $112,871.

To the Wonder, Terrence Malick's latest film, was released by Magnolia in 17 theaters as it also bowed on VOD. It rang up $130,000 for a per-theater average of $7,647.

Continuing its run, Roadside Attractions' Emperor, playing on 96 screens, picked up $51,500, bringing its total to $3.2 million.

Below are the top 10 estimates for the April 12-14 weekend at the domestic box office.
Title, weeks in release/theatercount, studio, three-day weekend total, cume
1. 42, 1/3,033, Warners/Legendary, $27.3 million
2. Scary Movie 5, 1/3,402, The Weinstein Co., $15.2 million
3. The Croods, 4/3,689, Fox/Dreamorks Animation, $13.2 million, $142.5 million
4. GI Joe: Retaliation, 3/3,525, Paramount, $10.8 million, $102.4 million
5. Evil Dead, 2/3,025, Sony/TriStar/FilmDistrict, $9.5 million, $41.5 million
6. Jurassic Park, 2/2,778, Universal, $8.8 million, $31.9 million
7. Olympus Has Fallen, 4/2,935, FilmDistrict, $7.3 million, $81.9 million
8. Oz The Great and Powerful, 6/2,504, Disney, $4.9 million, $219.4 million
9. Tyler Perry's Temptation, 3/1,805, Lionsgate, $4.5 million, $45.4 million
10. The Place Beyond the Pines, 3/514, Focus/Sidney Kimmel, $4.1 million, $5.5 million