Tim here with your box office report for the holiday weekend. And a soft weekend it was, with the two new wide releases - Penguins of Madagascar and Horrible Bosses 2 - both face-planting (the former marking yet another underperformance DreamWorks Animation can't afford right now), and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay 1.0 making a huge amount of money that's still sufficiently less huge than its predecessors that it feels kind of underwhelming. Which is a bizarre thing to say about a movie making a huge sum of money by any standard you could possibly come up with, but such is the bigotry of high expectations. The saggy box office of 2014 continues its relentless march of mediocrity.
While the Hunger Games hold steady in the #1 slot, and almost certain to do it again next week, the most exciting story is about a different game altogether: The Imitation Game, which opened to $482,000 for the three-day weekend at 4 locations. This gives it a mindblowing per-screen average of $120,500, the second-best of the 2014 after The Grand Budapest Hotel in March.
THE TOP DOZEN (Fri-Sun)
01 THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 1 $56.9 (cum. $225.7) Michael's Review
02 PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR $25.8 NEW Tim's Review
03 BIG HERO 6 $18.8 (cum. $167.2) Tim's Review / Nathaniel's Take
04 INTERSTELLAR $15.8 (cum $147.1) Michael's Review / The Podcast
05 HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 $15.7 NEW
06 DUMB & DUMBER TO $38.3 (cum $72.2)
07 THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING $5.1 (cum. $9.6) Nathaniel's Review
08 GONE GIRL $2.5 (cum. $160.8) The Podcast / Jason's Review
09 BIRDMAN $1.9 (cum. $17.2) The Podcast / Nathaniel's Review
10 ST. VINCENT $1.8 (cum. $39.3) Michael's Review
11 BEYOND THE LIGHTS $1.6 (cum. $12.8)
12 FURY $1.6 (cum. $81.9) Michael's Review
PLATFORM / LIMITED
excluding wide openers losing theaters
01 FOXCATCHER $1.0 72 locations (cum. $2.1) Nathaniel's Review / Michael's Review
02 WHIPLASH $.50 179 locations (cum. $4.0) The Podcast / Michael's Review
03 THE IMITATION GAME $.48 4 locations NEW The Podcast / Meet the Contenders
04 ROSEWATER $.36 216 locations (cum. $2.6)
It was a solid weekend overall for the Oscar hopefuls - The Theory of Everything's wide-release expansion more than doubled its whole take in limited release in just three days, while Foxcatcher, still rolling out, had the highest per-screen average of any film to make more than a million for the weekend. Nothing to set the world on fire, but solid performances for the adult-skewing titles. And much the same can be said for the sturdy if not awe-inspiring $27,000 made by The Babadook during its first three days in release at three theaters - and while it has a legitimate shot at precisely no Oscars whatsoever, it's still a top-shelf scary movie that everybody with even a slight affection for horror cinema owes themselves to see at the first opportunity.
What did you see this weekend? Does anyone else think this impressive start augurs well for The Imitation Game with audiences and the Academy?