Weekend Box Office: '42' hits it big


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Baseball has scored a rare hit in Hollywood,

The Jackie Robinson drama "42" led the domestic box office with $27.5 million in its opening weekend, 66 years after he became the first black player in Major League Baseball.

Monday was Jackie Robinson Day, when all big-leaguers wear No. 42 in his honor to mark his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.

Released by Warner Bros., "42" easily beat the domestic start of an established franchise in "Scary Movie 5." The Weinstein Co. sequel opened in second-place with $14.2 million, the smallest debut for the horror-comedy series. Three of the previous four "Scary Movie" installments had debuts of $40 million or more.

The previous low for the "Scary Movie" series was the second one, which opened with $20.5 million in 2001. "Scary Movie 3" had the best debut, with $48.1 million in 2003, though its total domestic haul of $110 million fell well short of the $157 million take for the 2000 original.

"Sometimes, when there's too big of a lag, people lose interest. If it's a ‘Star Wars' movie, nostalgia works in your favor. The long lag works in your favor. People are loaded with anticipation," said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. "Other franchises, if you go too long, they lose that pop and excitement, and it's hard to get that back."

It didn't help that "Scary Movie 5" got the franchise's worst reviews. Critics haven't much cared for any of the "Scary Movie" flicks, but reviews for the latest were almost universally bad.

The $27.5 million opening for "42" is a record for a baseball flick in terms of straight dollars, topping the $19.5 million debut of "Moneyball" in 2011. Factoring in higher ticket prices, the $13.7 million debut of 1992's "A League of Their Own" would have been on par with "42" in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars.

The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Brooklyn Dodgers boss Branch Rickey, who brought No. 42 onto the team in 1947 as the Major Leagues' first black player.

"It's a story that has so much emotion to it. Jackie Robinson's life had such an influence on our country," said Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros.

With generally good reviews, "42" drew in older crowds, with 83 percent of the audience over 25, Fellman said.

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 $9,074 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.

Weekend's Top 10

The top movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross (in millions), total gross (also in millions) and number of weeks in release.

1. "42" (Warner Bros.), $27.5, $27.5, one.

2. "Scary Movie 5" (Weinstein Co.), $14.2, $14.2, one.

3. "The Croods" (Fox), $13.1, $142.4, four.

4. "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" (Paramount), $10.9, $102.5, three.

5. "Evil Dead" (Sony), $9.5, $41.5, two.

6. "Jurassic Park" 3-D (Universal), $8.9, $32.0, two.

7. "Olympus Has Fallen" (FilmDistrict), $7.3, $81.9, four.

8. "Oz the Great and Powerful" (Disney), $4.9, $219.4, six.

9. "Tyler Perry's Temptation" (Lionsgate), $4.5, $45.4, three.

10. "The Place Beyond the Pines" (Focus), $3.9, $5.2, three.


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