(The figures given in this article based upon the actual box office figures released on March 4)
The first weekend in March may have featured giants, but the box office totals appeared a bit more diminutive in regards to this same weekend last year. Of course, last year had The Lorax and Project X, two films where the audiences were clear about which film to go to.
Unlike Jack the Giant Slayer, which managed to easily take the number one spot, even though it wasn't entirely clear whether the film was meant for kids or adults, because it certainly wasn't meant for both.
Jack's opening weekend grosses tallied to $27.2 million, causing many analysts to call it this year's John Carter, which flopped last year after bowing at $30.2 million. This is far from a fair comparison though. John Carter was a highly publicized sci-fi thriller that couldn't take the top spot in its opening weekend, while Jack the Giant Slayer is a dark fairy tale which received about half the advertising Carter did.
Comparing Jack to other dark fairy tales would be much more fair, and those haven't been immensely successful. Last year's Mirror Mirror and last January's Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters bowed at $18.1 million and $19.7 million respectively -- both nowhere close to Snow White and the Huntsman's $56.2 million last June, but at least it puts Jack's opening in perspective. While the film is quite entertaining, its victory will be cut short when Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful debuts next Friday.
In its fourth weekend, Identity Thief managed to continue the laughs with $9.7 million, easing 30.8 percent into second place. Universal pulled of a surprise hit last Summer with Ted, and Thief could become a similar success story. It's now tallied over $107 million, and is still performing solidly, even among newcomers, making it 2013's first solid hit.
21 and Over was bounced into third place with a subpar $8.8 million. Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but this rule never has applied to comedies. Last year's Project X shared a lot of the same themes as 21 and Over, but Project opened to grosses almost doubled what 21 earned due to the fact Project was original at the time. 21 looked like a second-rate imitation, and audiences will often opt for the real thing than what appears to be a cheap knock off, causing fewer tickets sold.
Dwayne Johnson's solo vehicle Snitch eased a fairly standard 41 percent into fourth place with $7.8 million. This isn't a great second outing for a film, but, considering Snitch has earned $24.4 million, which is more any tough guy action film this year, at least it shows that action isn't dead.
The Last Exorcism Part II scared audiences away, tallying only $7.7 million, which was good enough for fifth place. Horror sequels don't often gross as much as their predecessors, and this was a fairly predictable turn out, especially since the sequel changed the formula, which, if Paranormal Activity taught us anything, it's don't change the formula.
Thanks to a major awards win at the Oscars a week ago, Silver Linings Playbook eased only 0.5 percent, earning $5.7 million in its 16th weekend, bringing the total to a golden $115.3 million. The Oscars were good for Argo and Life of Pi, which both saw bumps in their tallies after their wins.
The good news ends with submarine thriller Phantom. Though first time distributor RCR is not reporting the weekend figures yet, some sights are reporting figures lower than $1 million, which is quite sad for a movie released in over 1,100 theaters.