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'42' hits one over box-office fence

By DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE PRESS SERVICES

This article was published April 19, 2013 at 2:31 a.m.

chadwick-boseman-stars-as-jackie-robinson-in-42-the-film-came-in-first-at-last-weekends-box-office-and-made-more-than-27-million

Chadwick Boseman stars as Jackie Robinson in 42. The film came in first at last weekend’s box office and made more than $27 million.

The Jackie Robinson biography 42 opened as the top weekend film at theaters in the United States and Canada, taking in $27.5 million for Legendary Pictures and distributor Time Warner Inc.

The spoof Scary Movie 5, was second in its debut, taking in $14.2 million for Weinstein Co.’s Dimension Films, researcher Hollywood.com reported Monday.

42 is the first independent production for Legendary, which is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Tull and best known for the Dark Knight films. The company, whose financing and co-production agreement with Warner Bros. expires at this end of the year, is developing three more on its own, including the action films Great Wall and Pacific Rim.

“What you have here is Jackie Robinson making history again, because 42 had the best opening in history for a baseball movie,” Gitesh Pandya, chief executive officer at Boxofficeguru.com, said. “It’s a story that’s long overdue. You have baseball fans interested in seeing that story finally come to the big screen. Plus, you have the human drama of it that makes it a film with broad appeal.”

In 42, Chadwick Boseman stars as the first black to play major league baseball. Harrison Ford co-stars as Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers general manager who recruited Robinson and helped him deal with the racism of fans and players. The film, made for $40 million, was expected to take in at least $21 million last weekend, the estimate of Box Office Mojo.

Scary Movie 5 continues the series poking fun at the horror genre. The latest version takes on the recent trend of possession movies by focusing on a couple who are stalked by a demon soon after they bring their newborn home from the hospital.

The first four films generated $818.2 million in global ticket sales. The new installment cost about $20 million and was forecast to take in $17.6 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

“This proved to be an unnecessary sequel, and audiences rejected it,” Pandya said. “It shows that the franchise has run out of steam.”

The Croods, about a prehistoric family of cave dwellers, came in third with $13.1 million in receipts for Dream-Works Animation SKG Inc. The movie, featuring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds, has taken in $142.4 million after four weeks in theaters.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation, a sequel to the 2009 film from Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures about elite U.S. commandos, was fourth with $10.9 million. This time the troops battle a government plot to destroy their team while fending off mortal enemy Cobra. Dwayne Johnson stars as Joe team member Roadblock. Adrianne Palicki plays trooper Lady Jaye, and Channing Tatum returns as Duke.

Evil Dead dropped to fifth place from first, taking in $9.5 million for Columbia. The film, a remake of director Sam Raimi’s horror tale, follows a group of young adults who gather in a remote cabin to help a friend through a cold-turkey bid to kick heroin, and inadvertently trigger a malevolent spirit to join them.

In limited release, director Terrence Malick’s drama To the Wonder had a modest start, taking in $130,000 in 18 theaters for an average of $7,222 a cinema. That compares to a $9,153 average in 3,003 theaters for 42.

To the Wonder stars Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem in a dreamlike, poetic musing on love.

MovieStyle, Pages 32 on 04/19/2013

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