STUDIO DANCES WITH WOLVES AS THE GREY DEBUTS WITH $20M (Updated)
It’s not yet quite in the black, but The Grey got off to a terrific start over the weekend, wolfing down an estimated $20 million and coming in at the high end of early forecasts. Even after the film debuted on Friday with a better-than-decent $6.5 million, most pundits were still predicting that it would not earn more than $17 million over the three days. The Grey, which reportedly cost Open Road Studio around $34 million to make, owed much of its success, analysts said, to the face and name of Liam Neeson, who has become something of an action hero in recent years, appearing on its posters, flyers, and TV commercials. Coming in second was last week’s winner, Underworld: Awakening, which raked in about $12.5 million and edged out the debuting One for the Money, with $11.75 million. Put an asterisk next to the latter figure, however, since it involves a disputed formula involving discounted ticket sales through Groupon, in which the studio, Lionsgate, agreed to make up the difference to theaters for all of the Groupon discounts. It was not immediately clear whether the Lionsgate contribution — if it actually took place — was included in the $11.75 million figure. Coming in fourth was the George Lucas-produced Red Tails, which collected around $10.4 million in its second week. Rounding out the top five was Summit Entertainment’s Man on a Ledge, which debuted with about $8.3 million. With $3.5 million in its seventh week, Paramount’s Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol crossed the $200-million mark. It has now grossed $202.57 million.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo:
1. The Grey, $20 million; 2. Underworld: Awakening, $12.5 million; 3. One for the Money, $11.8 million; 4. Red Tails, $10.4 million; 5. Man on a Ledge, $8.3 million; 6. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, $7.1 million; 7. The Descendants, $6.6 million; 8. Contraband, $6.5 million; 9. Beauty and the Beast, $5.3 million; 10. Haywire, $4 million.
Final Figures for the Top Five Films
1. The Grey, $19,665,101
2. Underworld: Awakening, $12,352,802
3. One for the Money, $11,750,000
4. Red Tails, $10,370,323
5. Man on a Ledge, $8,001,932