Some will call this a slow weekend, but it may be better to think of it as the calm before the storm. Next week, the summer movie season begins and people are saving their pennies for 'Iron Man 3,' so it's not really surprising that this was an uneventful couple of days at the multiplex. At least the folks behind 'Pain and Gain' can be glad that their film led an otherwise quiet weekend.
Like any holiday that sees families congregating together and then desperately seeking activities where they don't have to talk to each other for two hours, this Easter weekend saw a strong bump at the box office thanks to a few new contenders and a handful of holdovers with some surprising staying power.
For the second week in a row, 'Oz the Great and Powerful' lived up to its title and dominated the box office. One of the newcomers managed to fare surprisingly well in the face of Sam Raimi's blockbuster...but another simply got crushed.
After a series of increasingly dire weeks at the box office, 'Oz the Great and Powerful' arrived and shook things up in a major way, earning the first truly massive opening weekend of 2013 and setting the table for all kinds of Oz-related content in the near future. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is something that we'll let you judge.
The first poster for 'The Hangover Part III' does an excellent job of being exactly what you wouldn't expect. Instead of the Wolf Pack standing around in various states of disarray (as was the case with the last two films), the poster is a pretty spot-on parody of the one-sheet for 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two,' with Zach Galifianakis and Ken Jeong standing in place of Harry Potter and Voldemort.
'Jack the Giant Slayer' may have taken the number one spot at the box office, but no one is celebrating -- it may sit at the top, but it sits at the top of one of the weakest box office weekends since, well, last weekend.
With Hollywood focused on the Oscars, this was one of the dullest box office weekends in recent memory, with each of the new releases arriving with a shrug, last week's champions plummeting and 'Identity Thief' climbing back to the top of the chart.
In retrospect, it's easy to say "Of course the new 'Die hard' movie was going to open at number one at the box office!" but you can bet Bruce Willis and company were a little worried. After all, 'A Good Day to Die Hard' opened in the wake of the failure of 'The Last Stand,' 'Parker' and 'Bullet to the Head,' three other macho, R-rated movies starring modern action icons. However, the strength of the 'Die Hard' brand seems to have broken that trend: John McClane's fifth outing made $25 million over the weekend.
Eventually, the popular opinion on zombies is going to shift and people are going to stop watching 'The Walking Dead' and buying zombie-themed video games, but that day is not today. People still love zombies and if the opening weekend is any indication, they love 'Warm Bodies.'
Make no mistake: this was a slow and bad weekend at the box office, an example of the January doldrums at their absolute worst. However, this was probably the only environment where a film titled 'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters' could have flourished, so at least someone is happy.
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