Here is an interesting stat. Reacher, the Christopher McQuarrie-directed adaptation of the Lee Child book series with Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, has crossed $200 million worldwide. That makes 19 films that Cruise has starred in that have done that well globally. Have any other actors put up those kind of numbers? I can’t think of any. There have been reports that Reacher might be a one off. The movie cost $60 million and I am hearing that they are already figuring out the sequel at Paramount and Skydance. Studios are all about franchise building, and some take off financially on the second go-around. There are so many good Reacher books written by Child that there’s a wealth of ground to cover here.
Friday Box Office: Tom Cruise’s ‘Jack Reacher’ #2, Judd Apatow’s ‘This Is 40′ #3, Behind Peter Jackson’s #1 ‘The Hobbit’
FRIDAY 11:30 PM UPDATE: Remember that all these pre-Christmas movie openings will be helped tremendously by the holiday multiple gift from Santa. Some of the newcomers opened on Wednesday, with others Friday. Domestic box office looks like this tonight which definitely isn’t a full reflection of what will be pre-Christmas weekend moviegoing. So this not-great-start is looking like only $100M total moviegoing, which is -19% from last year. See this as a quick glimpse until my refined numbers and full analysis Saturday and Sunday:
1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (MGM/WB) Week 2 [Runs 4,100] PG13
Friday $10.5M (-73%), Weekend $31.5M, Cume $145.2M
The problem with blockbusters is they have giant openings and then giant falls. But even with a -73% drop from a week ago, Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth epic is still the big #1 domestic and international. Going into the weekend, its huge domestic haul was already $113.1M and its international take was just shy of $189M. That makes for a worldwide cume of about $303M. Yikes! The pic now opens in Russia and the Ukraine as it continues to blanket the globe with new and old JR Tolkien faithful.
2. Jack Reacher (Skydance/Paramount) NEW [Runs 3,352] PG13
Friday $5.7M, Weekend $17.5M
Tom Cruise is currently not sitting quite as pretty as he was midday based on matinee trends. Yes, he’s still #2 today and should stay there all weekend now that audiences bestowed an ‘A-’ CinemaScore. That should help word of mouth, along with the expected holiday multiple. Still pic will debut less than the $20M which major stars like Cruise should gross to open movies. Frankly, Hollywood didn’t think this ammo actioner would make even this kind of money after tracking trouble. (There’s been snark from the film project’s get-go that Tom Thumb was miscast as Reacher, who’s a physically big guy in the novel.) But it only cost $60M, or so co-financiers Skydance and Paramount keep claiming. Remains to be seen if it’ll struggle to get to $100M total box office. If so then Oracle scion David Ellison may have to rethink steering movies towards Cruise even after Mission: Impossible 4 paid off.
3. This Is 40 (Universal) NEW [Runs 2,912] R
Friday $4.0M, Weekend $12.0M
Adult pictures don’t open big this time of year but then they go on to enjoy huge multiples. The studio wasn’t expecting the so-so reviews fgr This Is 40 but is expecting Judd Apatow fans to turn out over the weekend. Remains to be seen if tonight’s ‘B-’ CinemaScore from audiences hurts word of mouth. Universal knew tonight could swing anywhere between $3M to $4.5M depending on how the R-rated dramedy fared on Friday Date Night. I don’t agree with rival studios calling this openign “soft” just because This Is 40 had identical tracking to Jack Reacher. (“I’m surprised it’s so far behind. And for a movie that Universal sent out Academy screeners in November, it garnered only 49% positive reviews,” one rival studio exec snarked to me tonight.) It’s a way different genre though equally cheap. But let’s see if it has a better holiday multiple.
4. Rise Of The Guardians (DW Animation/Par) Week 5 [Runs 3,031] PG
Friday $1.5M, Weekend $7.2M, Cume $79.8M
This movie keeps taking advantage of Hollywood shortsightedness in not skedding more December family pictures this season. Still, compared to other tentpole toons, this is still a disappointment.
5. Monsters Inc 3D (Pixar/Disney) Week 1 [Runs 2,618] G
Friday $1.4M, Weekend $5.0M, Cume $6.5M
Opened Wednesday and Disney now pumping up the publicity volume in preparation for the Christmas wannasee. Re-teched 2001 toon whose lifetime domestic gross was $257M should make a fat multiple while it also drums up interest for 2013′s prequel.
6. The Guilt Trip (Skydance/Paramount) Week 1 [Runs 2,431] PG13
Friday $1.4M, Weekend $4.7M, Cume $6.7M
Also opened Wednesday and Hollywood did a double-take tonight. ”It fell off the map,” one rival studio exec exclaimed to me. Co-financier David Ellison helped foot the minor $40M bill to pair up Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand in a double-lame genre of road trip and mother movie. Stop, before you crap out another.
OPINION: Is anyone surprised that, following a one-week waiting period since 20 children and six others were gunned down in a Newtown, Conn. elementary school, the National Rifle Association would surface to pass the buck and blame the carnage on violent Hollywood movies and video games?
It has only been a few months since the last gun massacre, when 12 were killed and 58 wounded by an assault weapon-wielding madman during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. In the aftermath, I asked a number of filmmakers — and even studio moguls assembled at our The Contenders panel — if that tragedy caused them to re-evaluate the violence they depict onscreen. It’s a no-win question for studio moguls, and they were circumspect; they said they understood the responsibility of movies that project into the culture differently than other forms of media. But they haven’t dramatically changed the decision-making process on the movies they finance and distribute to the masses because they feel they already exercise responsible restraint. Quentin Tarantino — whom I interviewed before the Connecticut massacre — flat out rejects the notion that movie violence leads to the real thing.
“I think that guy was a nut,” Tarantino told me in Playboy Magazine, referring to the Aurora shooter. “He went in there to kill a bunch of people because he knew there would be a lot of people there and he’d make a tremendous amount of news doing it. That’s no different from a guy going into a McDonald’s and shooting up people at lunchtime because he knows a lot of people will be there.” When I asked him to address criticism that onscreen violence promulgates the real thing, Tarantino pointedly said, “I make violent movies. I like violent movies. I’m on record about how I feel there is no correlation between art and life in that way.”
Some of my favorite films, from The Godfather to Heat and Goodfellas, depict violence. I hate guns, have never owned one, and do worry about gratuitously violent films — particularly in the horror genre — and I won’t watch them. I do find it disconcerting that right after the last two major shootings that studios and TV networks had to alter movies like Gangster Squad and more recently change marketing on films like Jack Reacher because of parallels to tragic events. I don’t play video games, and personally loathe those that make players participants in warfare settings. That’s mainly because I feel it is the height of disrespect to the armed forces risking their lives, only to have their soldiering reduced to a form of mindless entertainment. But for a gun lobby to point the finger at Hollywood for semi-automatic killing sprees is preposterous and it’s too bad that we are only just waking up to that.
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Paramount Moves Tom Cruise’s ‘Mission: Impossible’ To December 21 And Sets ‘One Shot’ For Early 2013
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures will move Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol from its Dec. 16, 2011 release date to Wednesday, Dec. 21, putting the picture smack into the holiday corridor. That moves the film back from opening against Warner Bros’ Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows and Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel. It will now open against the David Fincher-directed Sony drama The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and be released two days before Paramount’s The Adventures of Tintin, Summit’s The Darkest Hour, Fox’s We Bought A Zoo, and FilmDistrict’s release of the Angelina Jolie-directed In The Land Of Blood And Honey.
At the same time, Paramount will soon formalize a Feb. 8, 2013 release date for One Shot, the Christopher McQuarrie-directed adaptation of the Lee Child mystery novel series that the studio hopes will launch another Cruise franchise. Cruise committed earlier this month to play Jack Reacher, a retired military policeman who wanders the country with his toothbrush, the clothes on his back and his bankbook and inadvertently gets involved in conspiracies that find him taking the side of the powerless and exploited. He often settles matters with explosive violence. For Paramount, the strategy is to replicate the winter release pattern it followed successfully on Shutter Island, the Dennis Lehane novel that was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Leonardo DiCaprio.