Sucker Punch box office: Zack Snyder’s latest display of cinematic excess fails to lure domestic moviegoers
March 25–27 weekend box office (cont.): Although 20th Century Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules was the no. 1 movie on the North American (U.S. and Canada only) chart, this past weekend’s big box office news was the feeble commercial performance of the no. 2 title, Warner Bros.’ Sucker Punch.
Directed by Zack Snyder and starring Emily Browning as a young mental patient living in a fantasy world where she and her fellow inmates are sex slaves in tights, the critically excoriated Sucker Punch raked in $19.1 million from 3,033 locations according to final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.
Whereas in its first three days out Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules managed to surpass its modest production budget, Sucker Punch will find it impossible to match – let alone recover – its reported $82 million price tag (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses) in the domestic market. International moviegoers are its only hope.
Sucker Punch vs. Watchmen
For comparison’s sake: Distributed domestically by Warner Bros. (Paramount Pictures was a coproducing company), and starring Malin Åkerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, and Carla Gugino, Zack Snyder’s previous live-action film, Watchmen, opened with $55.2 million from 3,611 venues in March 2009.
The actioner ended its run with $107.5 million domestically, in addition to $77.9 million internationally. Worldwide total: $185.4 million – generally speaking a strong figure, but far from enough for Watchmen to recover its $130 million budget. (See further below more information about money-losing/profitable releases.)
Zack Snyder movies’ shaky commercial appeal
Considering that Zack Snyder’s 2010 computer-animated fantasy adventure Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole also turned out to be a commercial dud, Warners must be nervous about the director’ next, the mega-budget Man of Steel, starring British actor Henry Cavill as the latest big-screen incarnation of Superman.
And that would be fully understandable.
Besides Emily Browning as the Walter Mittyesque mental patient – known as “Babydoll” (no connection to Carroll Baker’s 1956 character in the two-word Baby Doll) – Sucker Punch features Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Oscar Isaac, Jon Hamm, Watchmen’s Carla Gugino, and veteran Scott Glenn (Nashville, Apocalypse Now).
Update: Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch ultimately collected a measly $36.4 million domestically and an estimated $53.4 million internationally. Worldwide total: $89.8 million – like Watchmen’s global gross, far from enough for the psychological fantasy actioner to recover its costs.
Sucker Punch’s top international markets were France ($5 million), Australia ($4.6 million), Germany ($4.2 million), Russia/CIS ($3.8 million), and the United Kingdom/Ireland ($3.8 million).
”Sucker Punch Box Office: Zack Snyder Appeal Increasingly Shaky” notes
Besides Henry Cavill, Man of Steel also stars three-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams (Junebug, 2005; etc.) as Lois Lane, and another Oscar nominee, Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, 2008), as General Zod.
Unless otherwise noted, “Sucker Punch Box Office: Zack Snyder Appeal Increasingly Shaky” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about Sucker Punch and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).
Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
Vanessa Hudgens Sucker Punch movie image: Clay Enos | Warner Bros.
“Sucker Punch Box Office: Zack Snyder Appeal Increasingly Shaky” last updated in October 2023.