JACK TUMBLES OFF BEANSTALK
Warner Bros. executives on Monday were no doubt praying that a sturdier beanstalk would grow beneath Jack the Giant Slayer overseas than the limp and feeble one that materialized domestically over the weekend. Final box office figures indicated that the movie (based on the “Beanstalk” fairy tale), which reportedly cost $195 million to produce, took in just $27.2 million, making it the most hapless dud of the year. Adding to the studio’s chagrin was the fact that the No. 2 film, Universal’s Identity Thief, which cost just $35 million to make, slipped just 31 percent in its fourth week to wind up with $9.7 million and bring its total to $107.4 million. And Silver Linings Playbook, which cost just $21 million, remained among the top ten in its 16th week, with $5.7 million, bringing its total gross to $115.3 million. Also two new films, each made for peanuts, seemed as if they would become profitable even though their box-office take was minimal. Relativity’s 21 and Over, with a budget of $13 million, earned $8.8 million and CBS Films’ The Last Exorcism Part II, with a budget of $5 million, earned $7.7 million. Overall, the box office was down nearly 40 percent from the comparable week last year, when Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax debuted with $70.2 million. For the year, total ticket sales are down 7.9 percent, while attendance is down 8.9 percent.