The Sylvester Stallone action movie Bullet to the Head suffered the worst box office debut of a Sylvester Stallone star vehicle in wide release since the early '80s, grossing a disastrous $4.54 million at 2,404 North American locations as per weekend box office figures found at Box Office Mojo. The Walter Hill-directed cop thriller had a meager $1,892 average per venue, which means a short life at U.S. and Canada theaters. (Photo: Iconic Rocky and Rambo star Sylvester Stallone in Bullet to the Head.)
Bullet to the Head, whose budget is rumored to have been a not inconsiderable $55 million (not including marketing and distribution expenses), can already be listed as one of the biggest box office misfires of 2013 — along with Sylvester Stallone's fellow The Expendables 2 and The Tomb co-star Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Last Stand, which opened a couple of weeks ago. (See also: "Arnold Schwarzenegger The Last Stand: Worst Schwarzenegger Box-Office Debut in Three Decades.")
Zombie romantic comedy Warm Bodies has decent opening
Warm Bodies, zombie romantic comedy featuring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer, had a surprisingly good opening at the North American box office: $19.83 million at 3,009 locations, averaging $6,592 per theater. Down 52 percent, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, was the no. 2 movie. With only $34.67 million after 10 days, Hansel and Gretel has been a disappointment in the domestic market — though, as expected, the 3D action / fantasy flick is faring better internationally.
Multiple Oscar nominee Silver Linings Playbook was the no. 3 movie, with $7.73 million — down only 18 percent. Initially considered a box office disappointment, Silver Linings Playbook has been incredibly resilient chiefly due to its awards-season buzz and Academy Award nods. Oscar nominee David O. Russell directed; Oscar nominees Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and Jacki Weaver star. Cume to date: $80m, which means that the $100m milestone is within the film's reach — something unthinkable a few weeks ago.
Jessica Chastain: Two movies among top five
Jessica Chastain is the star of movies no. 4 and no. 5: the horror thriller Mama added $6.59 million while Kathryn Bigelow's controversial political thriller Zero Dark Thirty added $5.17 million (down 46 percent). The two movies' respective cumes are $58.12 million and $77.67m. It's unclear at this stage if Zero Dark Thirty will reach the $100m milestone at the domestic box office. At one point, it looked like a strong possibility; but somewhat less so now as, unlike Silver Linings Playbook, it's fading relatively fast.
Rounding out the top 10 movies on the domestic box office chart were Sylvester Stallone's aforementioned Bullet to the Head; Jason Statham's box office bomb Parker, with $3.3m; Quentin Tarantino / Leonardo DiCaprio's Django Unchained with $3m; Hugh Jackman / Anne Hathaway's Les Misérables, with $2.42m; and Steven Spielberg / Daniel Day-Lewis' Lincoln with $2.4m.
Ben Affleck's Argo up
At no. 11, Producers Guild, Screen Actors Guild, and Directors Guild Award winner Argo, directed by and starring Ben Affleck, scored another $2.02 million — up 12 percent after adding 300 venues — for an impressive cume of $120.37m. And at no. 12, Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey brought in $1.9m. Cume: an impressive, yet somehow underwhelming for a Lord of the Rings prequel, $296.19m.
Note: Initially, this post listed Michael Winner as the director of Bullet to the Head. Blame that on the overworked editor, who wrote a Michael Winner obit a few days ago.
Sylvester Stallone Bullet to the Head photo: Warner Bros.