The Hollywood Reporter -- The rousing baseball biopic 42, from Warners and Legendary, scored at the weekend box office, batting in an estimated $27.3 million at the North American box office.
Scary Movie 5, the weekend's other new wide release, bowed in second place, but the horror movie parody from the Weinstein Co.'s Dimension label had to settle for $15.2 million.
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Financed by Legendary, whose CEO Thomas Tull personally produced the $40 million project, the PG-13-rated 42 recounts the career of Jackie Robinson. The film was written and directed by Brian Helgeland (A Knight's Tale), and stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as the Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey. With an excellent A-plus CinemaScore from all four quadrants of the audience, it was embraced by moviegoers as it outperformed expectations, which had the movie opening in the mid-to-high-teen millions.
42 enjoyed something of a hometown advantage in Los Angeles, where the Dodgers now play: Of the top ten-grossing theaters playing the pic, five were in Los Angeles. “It played extremely well in large and small markets, urban and suburban, and we have a great road ahead of us,” said Dan Fellman, Warners president, domestic distribution. “Congratulations to Thomas Tull and Legendary for bringing the picture to us.”
The movie did play older: 83 percent of its audience was over 25, with 45 percent of the audience between 25 and 49. Gender-wise, it broke fairly evenly, though, with 48 percent male and 52 percent female. While African-Americans contributed to the audience that turned out for the drama about breaking racial barriers, the film enjoyed broad appeal. “There's not one pattern that jumps out,” Fellman said. The film is currently playing in 3003 locations, but Fellman expects to expand it further in the coming weekend.
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Scary Movie is the latest installment in the long-running franchise from The Weinstein Co.'s Dimension label that dates back to 2000. Malcolm D. Lee, who last directed 2008's Soul Men, handled the directing reins of the PG-13 comedy, which cost just $19.5 million, and the cast is something of a rogue's gallery of boldface names including Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Simon Rex and Ashley Tisdale.
While the movie's opening was far below the $40 opening that Scary Movie 4 registered seven years ago, Erik Lomis, TWC distribution president, said, “It was within our range of expectations, and we didn't spend a ton of money on it, so we're okay.
The movie played to a much younger demographic – 75 percent were under the age of 25, and 35% of those were under 17. And nearly half of the audience was Latino or African-American.