Next in line at the North American box office this weekend, May 13-15, was the Reese Witherspoon-Robert Pattinson-Christoph Waltz circus drama Water for Elephants with $4.1 million at no. 8, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.
Directed by Francis Lawrence, Water for Elephants has proved itself quite resilient: it was down only 32 percent. Domestic total: $48.47 million. Water for Elephants should pass the $50 million milestone domestically within the week. Cost: $38 million.
It's worth noting that Water for Elephants was the top release in Australia this weekend, taking in $3.8 million. The film's current worldwide total stands at $82.47 million.
Rounding out the top twelve were:
- Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family with $2.2 million (down 47 percent). Domestic total: $50.21 million. Perry's latest passed the $50 million milestone some time today. There's no way Madea's Big Happy Family will get even close to the box office success of Perry's previous Madea misadventure, Madea Goes to Jail, which went on to gross $90.5 million domestically. Madea's Big Happy Family cost a reported $25 million.
- AnnaSophia Robb's Soul Surfer with $1.8 million (down 22 percent). Domestic total: $39.2 million. Cost: $18 million.
- Glenn Close-Hayden Panettiere's Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil with $1.03 million (down 49 percent, after losing 1,229 locations). Domestic total: a dismal $8.44 million. Internationally, Hoodwinked Too! grossed $622k up to May 8. Cost: $30 million.
- Patrick Wilson-Rose Byrne's Insidious with $965k (-28 percent). Domestic total: $51.68 million. Cost: $1.5 million, in addition to $20m+ in marketing expenses.
Gone from the top twelve were the Disney documentary African Cats, Jake Gyllenhaal-Michelle Monaghan's Source Code, and Aimee Teegarden-Thomas McDonell's Prom. (Obviously, I spoke too fast yesterday about Prom's weekend resurgence. Prom was down 60 percent compared to last weekend, after losing 1,529 locations.)
Among the top-twelve movies Thor, with the assistance of 3D surcharges, had the highest per-theater average, $8,706. Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil had the lowest, $808.
Also among the top twelve (barring newcomers Bridesmaids and Priest), Jumping the Broom posted the highest weekend-to-weekend drop-off rate, -52 percent. Rio posted the lowest, -6 percent.
Photo: Water for Elephants (David James / 20th Century Fox / Regency)
Mel Gibson, The Beaver
In other box office news: Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris opened in second place in France, collecting $4 million this weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The romantic comedy which has received a number of positive reviews stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, and Marion Cotillard. (The no. 1 movie in France was Fast Five.)
Black Swan has finally opened in Japan, grossing $6.1 million (including previews). Starring Oscar winner Natalie Portman, the international total of Darren Aronofsky's psychological drama currently stands at $198.6 million.
Directed by Jodie Foster, and starring Mel Gibson, Foster, and Jennifer Lawrence, The Beaver was up nearly 47 percent at the North American box office this weekend after adding 83 locations. That sounds better than the film's actual performance: The Beaver brought in only $158k at 105 locations, averaging a paltry $1,505 per site according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.
Directed by Dan Rush, and starring Will Ferrell, Everything Must Go earned the actor good reviews but disappointing box office figures: $825k at 218 theaters, for a weak $3,784 per-site average.
At 40 locations, Hesher debuted with only $125k and a low $3,175 per location. Directed by Spencer Susser, Hesher features Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rainn Wilson, Natalie Portman (who also co-produced the film), and three-time Oscar-nominated veteran Piper Laurie.
Justin Chadwick's The First Grader debuted with an okay $22,600 at 3 locations. Its per-theater average was $7,533.
Photo: The Beaver (Ken Regan / Summit Entertainment)