This past weekend, cheapest three new films opened domestically in over 1500 theaters. One of them featured an ensemble cast that included three Oscar winners. Another one told the inspirational true story of thirty-three men who were trapped in a mine together for over two months. The third told the story of a football coach who inspired his team to great success.
Unfortunately for the three films, cheapest only two of them made it to the top ten highest-grossing movies of the weekend and the highest of the three of them earned less than ten million at the box office.
The three new films were Love the Coopers, The 33 and My All American. All three of them received lackluster reviews from critics. Coopers, featuring a cast that included Diane Keaton, Alan Arkin, and Marisa Tomi, opened at number three at the box office– a tough opening for such a star-studded holiday comedy. The 33, starring Antonio Banderas, barely made it into the top five despite its religious message but My All American was the biggest loser of the weekend as the Aaron Eckhart film earned only 1.3 million dollars in its first weekend.
Here are the estimated weekend grosses of the top five films (according to BoxOfficeMojo.com):
1. Spectre— $33.7 million
2. The Peanuts Movie — $24.0 million
3. Love the Coopers — $8.3 million
4. The Martian — $6.7 million
5. The 33— $5.8 million
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the big winners at the box office and a few of the big losers.
Loser: My All American
Inspirational sports movies are often easier sells at the box office. Regardless of the stars, moviegoers often know what to expect when they see a commercial advertising a movie about a coach who tries to take his team all the way. For some reason though (perhaps it’s the fact that the film has received atrocious reviews), this football drama never caught on with audiences.
For comparison’s sake, Spotlight— a drama about the Boston Globe’s reporting of the Church abuse scandal– made 1.35 million dollars in only 61 theaters domestically. In 1565 theaters, My All American only made 1.36 million dollars.
Daniel Craig’s (reportedly) last appearance as James Bond remained at the top of the box office over the weekend. Despite falling short of Skyfall‘s box office, the film is a global hit. It’s already earned half a billion dollars across the world and its run is just beginning.
At the end of its run, the film might not be able to match Skyfall‘s billion dollar box office but it’s certainly going to vastly improve upon the box office results of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, Craig’s two other outings as Bond.
Loser: By the Sea
After Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken became a major hit last year, expectations grew for her 2015 drama By the Sea. Written and directed by the Oscar-winning actress, the film stars A-list movie star actor Brad Pitt. The film’s release was small– only ten theaters nationwide– but so was the box office. The film opened with less than 100,000 dollars and the reviews were predominantly negative.
The film could succeed in wider release but this lackluster opening for a Brad Pitt movie definitely was a disappointment.
Winner: Prem Ratan Dhan Payo
What is Prem Ratan Dhan Payo? It’s a movie that despite little publicity opened at number 8 at the domestic box office this past weekend. In less than 300 movies, the film earned over 2.4 million dollars. The film, according to EW.com, is a Bollywood music romance that defied expectations.
Although By the Sea‘s per screen average was 1500 dollars more than this film’s average, this film is a big winner considering that it didn’t boast major stars or great anticipation. This film succeeded despite the massive odds against it and showed that star power isn’t often as important as we think it is.