Damon-less Bourne does all right
Posted: August 17, 2012 at 1:29 a.m.
LOS ANGELES Hollywood didn’t so much celebrate last weekend as breathe a sigh of relief.
Three new movies - The Bourne Legacy, The Campaign and Hope Springs - opened right around where their studio backers had hoped. All fell short of out-of-the-gate hit status, but none flopped, leaving plenty of hope that they could turn into successes.
Bourne opened to a studio estimated $38.1 million in the United States and Canada, while The Campaign took in $26.5 million and Hope Springs, which opened Aug. 8, grossed $19 million over five days.
With Bourne and Hope Springs both getting an average audience grade of B, according to market research firm CinemaScore, and The Campaign a B-, there’s little evidence yet to judge which of the movies may have a long box-office life and which might quickly fizzle.
The opening was well below that of the last two Bourne movies. However, other recent films that restarted franchises, such as X-Men: First Class and the James Bond movie Casino Royale, saw similar drops but were good enough to generate sequels.
About 69 percent of audiences for The Bourne Legacy were older than age 30, a sign that most who turned out were familiar with the series.
The Campaign, meanwhile, demonstrated that star Will Ferrell still has plenty of commercial appeal despite such recent disappointments as The Other Guys and Land of the Lost. The new political comedy, which co-stars Zach Galifianakis, is Ferrell’s first lower-budget, mainstream picture since 2008’s Step Brothers.
The North Carolina-set movie performed particularly well in the Midwest and South. Warner Bros.’ domestic distribution president, Dan Fellman, said he believed The Campaign could ultimately do as well as previous Ferrell hits such as Talladega Nights and Anchorman.
Warner Bros. spent about $60 million to make The Campaign.
Hope Springs, starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as a sixty something married couple working with a therapist played by Steve Carell, is the latest film aimed at older audiences to open at the end of a summer, following in the path of such successes as The Help and Julie & Julia.
Columbia and partner Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer paid about $15 million for domestic distribution rights to the film, which was produced by Mandate Pictures for about $30 million.
After three weeks at No. 1, The Dark Knight Rises dropped to No. 3. Its domestic total of $389.5 million is about $50 million behind where director Christopher Nolan’s last Batman movie, The Dark Knight, was on its fourth weekend.
Meanwhile, Total Recall, which opened Aug. 3 to a soft $25.6 million, tumbled 68 percent in the United States and Canada to a bit more than $8 million, as bad word of-mouth is turning the sci-fi remake into a flop for Columbia.
Kids comedy Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days held on much better, declining 44 percent on its second weekend, to $8 million.
MovieStyle, Pages 32 on 08/17/2012