Weekend Receipts: Why You Shouldn't Cry For John Carter Just Yet

Everything went pretty much according to plan at the box office over the weekend: Scurrilous liberal plot The Lorax indoctrinated enough kids and families to reign over a second consecutive week, while Disney's super-expensive sci-fi gamble John Carter settled somewhat anemically into second place. But it's not all bad for our boy on Barsoom. Your Weekend Receipts are here.

1. Dr. Seuss's The Lorax
Gross: $39,100,000 ($121,950,000)
Screens: 3,746 (PSA $10,438)
Weeks: 2 (-44.3%)

The year's biggest hit to date achieved that distinction in nine days, as opposed to roughly three full weeks for the likes of Safe House and The Vow. And there was even one less hour this weekend. Summer is here! Break up The Lorax!

2. John Carter
Gross: $30,603,000 (new)
Screens: 3,053 (PSA: $4,487)
Weeks: 1

Right or wrong, the widely reported $250 million (at least) price tag will precede any and every conversation regarding John Carter as long as people are talking about John Carter. Which may be longer than the sluggish domestic gross implies — though not that much longer — if the rest of the world has anything to say about it: Andrew Stanton's epic took in nearly $70 million abroad, including the fourth-highest debut ever in Russia. The takeaway remains relatively grim: No blockbuster status is foreseen, but at least the unprecedented write-down foreseen at Disney may not be that bad. Happy Monday?

3. Project X
Gross: $11,550,000 ($40,125,000)
Screens: 3,055 (PSA $3,781)
Weeks: 2 (Change: -45.1%)

Not a remarkable hold, but considering the competition both above and below it &mdash plus the long-ish tails of several of the year's bigger releases to date — Warner Bros. will take it. The only question remaining: What's the threshold to greenlight the sequel?

4. Silent House
Gross: $7,010,000 (new)
Screens: 2,124 (PSA $3,300)
Weeks: 1

Here is a conversation sure to have ensued in roughly 750 theaters screening the very soft-performing Elizabeth Olsen thrller:

Viewer 1: "That doesn't look like Ryan Reynolds."
Viewer 2: "When does Denzel show up?"
Viewer 1: "Are we in the right theater?"
Viewer 3: "Shhhh!" [Throws popcorn]

5. Act of Valor
Gross: $7,000,000 ($56,100,597)
Screens: 2,952 (PSA $2,372)
Weeks: 3 (Change: -48.4%)

Slowly, inexorably, probably futilely, Relativity continues to push its Navy SEALs experiment toward $100 million theatrically. Look for a special St. Patrick's Day weekend campaign pushing Act O' Valor: "Erin go BLAM," "Kiss me, I shot Osama bin Laden in the face," etc. Or... not.

[Figures via Box Office Mojo]

Follow S.T. VanAirsdale on Twitter.
Follow Movieline on Twitter.


  • MartiniShark says:

    It was exactly one year ago when "Mars Needs Moms" cratered in theaters. Disney needs to just avoid the Red Planet entirely.

    As for a second "Project X" -- Warners is already working on it. No surprise, considering they are the studio making a follow-up to "Green Lantern".

    • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

      Agreed on Disney (and maybe everyone else, too) and Mars. Not so much on Warners: Project X will be in the black this week if it isn't already (after P&A); Green Lantern's numbers don't scream "franchise," but at $220m globally, it'll probably eventually break even. Just spend half as much on the next one! And maybe let screenwriters produce the script, rather than the same old committee of monkeys hacking away in some bungalow on the WB lot. It'll be fine!

  • j'accuse! says:

    Right. I saw John Carter at our gigantic Boeing IMAX Theater @ the Pacific Science Center, and with all due respect to a certain reviewer, it did seem like at least $250 million worth of fun to me. I rather enjoyed it, in fact, it had a bit of a throwback feel to it, one of those big sweeping epic space operas that, unlike Mr. Lynch's Dune actually made sense and didn't have that WTF end credits moment.

    • Patrick Hallstein / McEvoy-Halston says:

      Re: "I saw John Carter at our gigantic Boeing IMAX Theater @ the Pacific Science Center, and with all due respect to a certain reviewer, it did seem like at least $250 million worth of fun to me."

      You realize with this you've near made the expenditure seem puny -- what else to park in a Boeing IMAX theatre but some giant battletub of a movie? Maybe see it at some place rink-a-dink, and see if the movie sits as comfortably with its sufficient-to-sink-half-a-worforce pricetag. I personally didn't sense enough confidence to keep me from sharking in for the kill.

      • j'accuse! says:

        Patrick, I love your comments, even the ones I don't entirely understand. I have this image of you writing every one of these in some hazy, dimly lit Chinatown opium den, wearing a fez and holding the pipe between your toes whilst surrounded on all sides by recently made female acquaintances.

        • Patrick Hallstein / McEvoy-Halston says:

          You got the Chinatown opium den bit right, but forgot the Freud I smuggled in.