Box Office Report: 'Jack the Giant Slayer' Soft on Friday, Eyeing Meek $25 Million Weekend
UPDATED: The first big-budget tentpole of 2013 hopes not to suffer the same fate as last year's "Battleship"; "21 and Over" and "The Last Exorcism Part II" also off to soft start.
Bryan Singer's revisionist fairy tale Jack the Giant Slayer, starring Nicholas Hoult in the title role, is off to a meek start at the North American box office and might earn only $25 million for the weekend unless the PG-13 pic transforms into a family film Saturday.
That's a sobering figure considering New Line and financing partner Legendary Pictures spent $195 million to make the 3D tentpole, which is loosely based on the classic British story Jack and the Beanstalk. Including marketing, the total price tag approaches $300 million.
Nor are early returns promising for new entries 21 & Over and The Last Exorcism Part II. Relativity Media's 21 & Over might debut with only $11 million, while CBS Films' Exorcism II might only get to $8 million.
Jack already is drawing comparisons to last year's Battleship -- although it boasts far better reviews -- which cost roughly the same and opened to $25.5 million in late May. Universal suffered a major financial loss; ditto for Disney after March 2012 tentpole John Carter flopped (that film debuted to roughly $30 million, although it cost in the $250 million range).
New Line and its parent company Warner Bros. already are counting on strong international business to make up for any deficit in North America. Their hopes are being fulfilled so far in seven Asian markets where Jack opened on Thursday, grossing a total of $2.5 million, ahead of Wrath of the Titans ($2.1 million) and Journey 2: Mysterious Island ($1.3 million), both of which were successes.
Jack debuted to $761,000 in North Korea to come in behind two local films, New World and Miracle in Cell No. 7. It placed No. 1 in the six other Asian territories.
In North America, Warners is making a major push for families, despite Jack's PG-13 rating. The film's release was pushed back from June 2012 in order to make the movie more kid-friendly. That effort included changing the name from Jack the Giant Killer.
Jack's debut could exceed $25 million if older kids and their parents being turning out in force Saturday.
The movie grossed $400,000 in Thursday night and midnight runs