"Jack the Giant Slayer," Bryan Singer's new version of "Jack and the Beanstalk," didn't get off the ground this weekend.
The nearly $200-million 3-D production opened with a disappointing $28 million, according to an estimate from distributor Warner Bros. It seems likely that the film will follow in the footsteps of another big-budget box office dud -- Walt Disney Studios' $250 million "John Carter," which launched with $30.2 million in March 2012 and ultimately collected just $73.1 million domestically.
It was a weak weekend at the box office overall, as three other new films also had lackluster debuts. "21 & Over," an R-rated college-set comedy about a drunken 21st-birthday celebration, was expected to start off with $15 million but instead collected an underwhelming $9 million. The low-budget horror sequel "The Last Exorcism: Part II" didn't come close to the original's $20.4 million opening, grossing just $8 million in its first weekend in theaters. And the Cold War submarine thriller "Phantom" posted one of the worst debuts ever for a film in wide release, taking in a jaw-dropping $460,000 from 1,118 theaters. (The company that released "Phantom," RCR Media Group, did not report an official weekend gross, so that figure is an estimate from other studios.)
Estimated total receipts tumbled 35% from the same three-day period last year., making this weekend the sixth in a row that ticket sales have been down compared with a year ago. Year to date, sales are down 8%, and attendance is off 9%, according to Hollywood.com.
Those who saw "Jack the Giant Slayer" this weekend, however, didn't hate it, assigning the film an average grade of B+, according to market research firm CinemaScore. The film's financiers -- Warner Bros., New Line division and Legendary Pictures -- are hoping that good word of mouth will help prop up the film at the box office in the coming weeks. But next weekend marks the arrival of another family-aimed movie,
"Jack the Giant Slayer" features
"Jack" will have to perform extremely well overseas if it is to be a financial success. Though the movie debuted in only seven foreign markets this weekend, Warner Bros. was already touting its minor international returns. On Friday, the studio said the film was No. 1 in six of the seven countries where it opened abroad, performing best in South Korea with an initial gross of $761,000. Final international numbers were not available early Sunday.
"21 & Over" is a disappointment for
The film, which follows three twentysomethings over the course of a wild night on a college campus, marked the directorial debut from
The few who did see the movie this weekend were young -- 73% of the audience was under the age of 25, and the crowd overall gave the film an average grade of B.
Meanwhile, inexpensive horror flicks have been struggling at the box office in recent weeks. Just a week after the scary "Dark Skies" opened with an unimpressive $8.2 million,
Though the film won't come close to reaching the $41 million the original made, Steven Friedlander, CBS Films' executive vice president of theatrical distribution, said he wasn't worried about the sequel.
"It's one of those pictures that will do well on video-on-demand and VOD," he said. "The original had a found footage premise and came out right when that genre was really fresh, but the sequel didn't have that hook."
As for "Phantom," the