Weekend Box Office: “Lone Survivor” Stuns Weak January with $39M Debut

"Lone Survivor" (2013) - Weekend Box Office

by Matt Marshall 

Afghanistan war drama Lone Survivor surpassed expectations this weekend, claiming the top spot at the box office with an estimated $38.5 million. Survivor expanded nationwide this weekend after two weeks in limited release. Contemporary war films, Black Hawk Down and Zero Dark Thirty were also released with a later mid-January expansion.

Disney’s Frozen dipped to second place with $15.1 million. The animated film has grossed over $317 million so far, edging out the entire run of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This is the fourth time, Frozen has been in this position over its eight-week run.

The Wolf of Wall Street clawed it way up one notch to third place. The Martin Scorsese film pulled in $9 million, bringing its total gross to nearly $79 million. Newcomer The Legend of Hercules and awards contender American Hustle both scored $8.6 million to round out the Top 5.

Note: These #’s are based on Sunday’s projections and can change with Monday’s actual #’s.

#1 – Lone Survivor (38)
$38.5 million / $38.9 million total

Lone Survivor’s generated plenty more interest than expected this weekend. Even with no awards buzz like Black Hawk Down or Zero Dark Thirty, Survivor outperformed the two films in similar frames. Survivor has been in limited release for a few weeks, pulling in $400,000. But with another $38.5 million in its bank, the Mark Wahlberg film finds itself as the second largest January opener behind Cloverfield. Despite four new releases next week, Lone Survivor should hold well enough to stay on target for a $100 million finish.

#2 – Frozen (1)
$15.1 million / $317.7 million total

Excluding Pixar films, re-releases and inflation, Frozen is Disney’s highest-grossing animated movie ever. The Lion King held that accolade for nearly 20 years with its $312.9 million run. Even with The Nut Job due out this Friday, Frozen remains on track for at least $350 million. After passing that milestone in a few weeks, Frozen will have its sights set on becoming the top animated movie of 2013. $53 million and an army of minions stand in its way.

#3 – The Wolf of Wall Street (4)
$9.0 million / $78.6 million total

It’s been no easy feat, but The Wolf of Wall Street keeps climbing up the box office charts. Coming in fourth place last weekend and fifth the one previous, Wolf finds itself in third place. First place dailies on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday have certainly helped. With the kids back in school and awards season in full gear, Wolf is one of the go-to films for older audiences. Crossing $100 million may take a few more weeks though.

#4 – The Legend of Hercules (NR)
$8.6 million / $8.6 million total

It’s a surprise The Legend of Hercules managed its way onto the Top 5. Currently at 4% on Rotten Tomatoes, Hercules has been universally panned by critics. We Live Film’s own MovieManMenzel described the film as a “train wreck” and “fits the bill for its January release date.” However, audiences were slightly more forgiving, giving the film a cumulative “B-” on CinemaScore. Expect Hercules to fall off the Top 5 next weekend, perhaps even the Top 10.

#5 – American Hustle (5)
$8.6 million / $101.6 million total

American Hustle became the 33rd film of 2013 to break $100 million over the weekend. Was it a big surprise? Of course not. With all the buzz surrounding Hustle, it was only a matter of time. This marks David O. Russell’s second trip above the century mark – the first being last year’s Silver Linings Playbook. Regardless of how well Hustle performs at the Golden Globes, the ensemble film could still see a finish of at least $125-130 million.

Opening Next Week: Devil’s Due, Ride Along, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, The Nut Job

Source: Box Office Mojo


Matt Marshall is a YouTube movie reviewer who hosts MNMreviews. He has a B.A. in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College and resides in Rochester, NY.

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