Turn off the Lights

‘Argo’ Jumps into First During Weak Box Office Frame

Thanks to another slim drop and no newcomer debuting to over $10 million, acclaimed thriller Argo jumped to the top spot becoming the first film since True Grit to capture first place in its third week. 

Great word of mouth, Oscar buzz and no direct competition is ensuring Ben Affleck’s third foray behind the camera keeps hanging on. Following its $19.5-million start, Argo dipped just 15.2 percent in week two and this weekend another $26.5 percent for $12.1 million and a $60.5 million total. Climbing past $100 million seems likely at this point.


In second, expensive sci-fi epic Cloud Atlas landed with a $9.6-million thud in this its opening weekend. This isn’t immensely surprising considering the running length and dense subject matter, though considering the strong marketing campaign and A-list leads Tom Hanks and Halle Berry at the helm, it's still underwhelming.

Although budgeted at $102 million, the good news for Warner Bros. is that they only paid to acquire the distribution rights for what is now the most expensive independent production of all time.

The Top 10 

1. Argo - $12.1M (weekend)…$60.5M (gross)
2. Cloud Atlas - $9.6M…$9.6M
3. Hotel Transylvania  - $9.4M…$130.4M
4. Paranormal Activity 4 - $8.5M…$42.5M
5. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D - $8.0M…$8.0M
6. Taken 2 - $7.7M…$117.1M
7. Here Comes the Boom - $5.2M…$30.2M
8. Alex Cross - $5.1M…$19.5M
9. Sinister - $4.9M…$39.4M
10. Fun Size - $4.1M…$4.1M
13. Chasing Mavericks - $2.2M…$2.2M


Six years after its predecessor surprised with $20.2 million, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D opened in fifth with less than half that amount — $8 million. The sequel cost less than half of the original, but the gap, lack of new additions to the video game franchise, horrid reviews and direct horror movie competition meant bad things for the fright flick. 

Down in tenth was Nickelodeon’s Fun Size, which opened to a truly terrible $4.1 million. That number is made all the more embarrassing considering the tween Halloween film opened in more than 3,000 theaters (Cloud Atlas debuted in 2,000). 

Even more pathetic was the Gerard Butler surf drama Chasing Mavericks,which barely made a splash with $2.2 million and a 13th place debut. That’s good enough for the 11th worst opening weekend average of all time and makes two Walden Media-produced films this year that have tanked after Won’t Back Down opened to just $2.6 million. 

There will certainly be a new victor next weekend as three new films enter the marketplace lead by the buzz-worthy Disney flick Wreck-It Ralph in 3,600 locations. Then in an estimated 1,800 theaters a piece are Denzel Washington’s Flight and pulpy kung fu Western The Man with the Iron Fists.


Meet the Author

Follow Us