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Over the weekend, Lautner starrer Abduction opened to $11.2 million in North America. While hardly a disaster, most box office observers thought the Lionsgate action pic—Lautner’s first solo outing–would open in the mid-teens.
Abduction did appeal heavily to younger females, Lautner’s Twilight fanbase, but needed more males, the natural audience for action fare.
According to exit polling, 68 percent of those going to see Abduction were females, while 56 percent were under the age of 25.
Abduction wasn’t helped by poor reviews, although moviegoers seemed to like it more than critics, giving it a so-so B- CinemaScore (females under 18 gave it an A- CinemaScore).
In Abduction, directed by John Singleton, Lautner plays a teenager who learns his parents aren’t who they say they are when he sees his picture on a missing children’s website. Abduction also stars Lily Collins, Sigourney Weaver, Maria Bello and Freema Agyeman.
Abduction did outdo Pattinson’s Remember Me, which opened to $8.1 million in March 2010 on its way to cuming a tepid $19.1 million domestically. At the same time, Remember Me was a romantic drama, versus a more commercial action-thriller like Abduction.
Remember Me played much better overseas, underscoring the runaway success of the Twilight franchise worldwide, and the fact that star power can mean more internationally.
Earlier this winter, Water for Elephants—starring Pattinson opposite Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz—opened to $16.8 million domestically. The Fox 2000 movie was based on the best-selling book by Sara Gruen, and cumed $58.7 million in North America and $58.4 million internationally for a total $117.1 million.
Abduction, costing $35 million to make, will be financially successful, according to Lionsgate (Lautner reportedly was paid in the $5 million range).
“The film will be profitable for Lionsgate, and that’s great for Taylor,” said Lionsgate executive vice president of domestic distribution David Spitz, adding that the pic opened in line with pre-release expectations.
As with Remember Me, Abduction could make up sizeable ground overseas, where it opened to strong numbers in Australia and Latin America over the weekend.
In Australia, Abduction grossed $1.3 million. Numbers weren’t immediately available for Latin America, although Lionsgate said the movie scored No. 1 debuts in Argentina, Brazil and No. 2 in Venezuela.
Summit Entertainment’s Twilight films are known the world over, and have grossed $1.8 billion globally. The fourth film, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part I, opens in theaters Nov. 18.
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