We're looking for contributors

THE MASTER Box Office: Biggest (Platform, Live Action) Opening Weekend Ever?

Joaquin Phoenix The Master Madisen BeatyThe Master to break live-action weekend box office record?

Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, the "Scientology movie" inspired by the life of L. Ron Hubbard, and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams, opened with an estimated $242,000 at five theaters (three in New York, two in Los Angeles) according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. (The Hollywood Reporter provides a more exact figure, $242,127, which certainly seems like the film's actual Friday box office take.) That's reportedly a record-breaking single-day figure for a live-action movie in "platform release" — in terms of per-theater average: $48,425. (More on that below. Photo: The Master Joaquin Phoenix, Madisen Beaty.)

Thanks to its excellent Friday opening, the Weinstein Company-distributed The Master is also expected to break the per-theater average opening-weekend box office record of Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, which debuted last spring. At four theaters, Anderson's acclaimed Cannes Film Festival entry averaged $43,082 per site on Friday and $130,749 on its first weekend out. The Master could reach up to $140-150k.

So, will The Master boast the most successful domestic opening weekend ever for a live-action film (in terms of per-theater averages)? Well, if you ignore Kevin Smith's Red State, which took in $204,230 at one location last year and if you live on a planet where inflation doesn't exist, the answer is: Quite likely, yes. But as long as you live on Planet Earth, where inflation is a reality, even if you choose to ignore Red State's "one-theater average" the answer is: Probably not.

Box office: The Master vs. Dreamgirls, Evita, Edward Scissorhands

Adjusted to 2012 dollars, the per-theater average of Bill Condon's 2006 musical Dreamgirls would be approximately $155,000 at three sites. (Note: Dreamgirls had the advantage of $25 tickets for reserved seats.) For its part, Alan Parker / Madonna's Evita raked in an adjusted $177,000 in 1996 at two locations. Also potentially ahead of The Master would be Tim Burton / Johnny Depp's Edward Scissorhands, with $151,000 at two sites.

Now, bear in mind that we're comparing apples and pineapples here. As I've explained in a post about Moonrise Kingdom's box office performance, when comparing platform releases, the addition or exclusion of one single theater not only can but does dramatically affect per-theater averages. When you're talking about four theaters, if you add a fifth, that represents a 25 percent increase in venues. Minus one would be a 25 percent decrease. Remember: all things being equal, the fewer the number of theaters, the higher the per-theater average should be.

The Master photo, Joaquin Phoenix, Madisen Beaty (not Amy Adams, as previously stated): The Weinstein Company.

If you enjoyed reading THE MASTER Box Office: Biggest (Platform, Live Action) Opening Weekend Ever? () and/or found it an informative post, please recommend it to your friends. See share buttons above or on the left.
Last modified: THE MASTER Box Office: Biggest (Platform, Live Action) Opening Weekend Ever? ()

Continue Reading: DESERT WARRIOR aka INNOCENCE OF MUSLIMS Director: Veteran of '70s Softcore Porn

Previous Post: RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION to Top So-So Weekend Box Office?

"THE MASTER Box Office: Biggest (Platform, Live Action) Opening Weekend Ever?" © 2004-2014 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s). Text NOT to be reproduced without prior written consent.

Feel free to leave your comment about the Alt Film Guide article "THE MASTER Box Office: Biggest (Platform, Live Action) Opening Weekend Ever?" in the space below. Note: Different views and opinions are perfectly fine, but courtesy and respect are imperative. Abusive, bigoted, trollish, baseless (spreading rumors or misinformation), and inflammatory comments and/or remarks will be deleted, and such commenters may be banned.

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

2 Comments to THE MASTER Box Office: Biggest (Platform, Live Action) Opening Weekend Ever?

  1. jaylo

    It's too bad that The Master wasn't a bigger movie. I think it would have been an Oscar favorite, especially Joaquin Phoenix who's brilliant in the role. He was better than Daniel Day-Lewis. Phoenix is a genius.

  2. Richard

    I knew L. Ron Hubbard and worked for him every day for 10 weeks in 1968. There is no comparason between the movie character and him. This movie appears to be a hit piece on Scientology that pretends not to be.
    Listen to any recorded lecture of L. Ron Hubbard to determine his tone, character and intentions.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND to Cross $300 Million Mark; AVATAR Jumps 20% on Thursday
Jeff Bridges' TRUE GRIT Opens in Third; Reese Witherspoon's HOW DO YOU KNOW Gone from Top Ten
HOP Tops Box Office; Jake Gyllenhaal's SOURCE CODE Disappoints
THE HANGOVER 2 May Lead Best Memorial Weekend Ever: Box Office
THE RUM DIARY: Johnny Depp Biggest Very-Wide-Release Box-Office Flop?
Rachel McAdams/THE VOW 2012 Sleeper Hit
Box Office: Zac Efron/THE LUCKY ONE Movie vs. CHARLIE ST. CLOUD
RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION to Top So-So Weekend Box Office?
Tom Cruise OBLIVION Weekend Box Office: Cruise's Best Opening in Seven Years?