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January 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Rarely have box-office prognosticators been so far off as they were for the results of Universal’s Lone Survivor. Estimates had initially ranged from $18-25 million. When the film opened on Friday with $14.4 million, they revised that figure to around $30 million. After it took in another $14.5 million on Saturday, the studio (which itself had predicted that the movie would earn $15-20 million) put out its official estimate for the weekend: $38.5 million. But even that figure turned out to be quite a bit off the mark. Based on the Friday and Saturday results and the usual fall-off on Sunday, Universal guessed that the movie would earn around $9.7 million on Sunday. Instead, it dropped 38 percent from Saturday to Sunday, winding up with $8.9 million. The official total for the weekend: $37.8 million. That still made it the second-highest weekend gross in January, finishing behind 2008’s Cloverfield, which opened with $40.1 million. A year ago, Zero Dark Thirty went into wide release with $24.4 million to lead the box office, which, incidentally, virtually matched this weekend’s total. (This weekend was up 0.66 percent over the comparable weekend a year ago.) For all their excellent reviews, Her and Inside Llewyn Davis performed below predictions. Expanding to 1,729 theaters, Her earned just $5.35 million, while Davis, at 729 theaters, mustered only $1.88 million.