Weekend Box Office – THE DEVIL INSIDE Wins Big with $34.5 Million Despite Harsh Negative Reaction

     January 8, 2012


We’ve got a very interesting case at the box office this weekend. Paramount’s horror pic The Devil Inside definitively won the weekend with a big $34.5 million take, but reaction to the film from both critics and audiences has been extremely negative. Not only does it sit at 7% on Rotten Tomatoes, but the film earned an “F” CinemaScore, which gauges how the film plays with general audiences. It’s already becoming infamous for a horrendous ending, but audiences turned up in droves making the little $1 million horror movie a bona fide hit. Hit the jump for more.

Title Weekend Total
1 The Devil Inside $34,500,000 $34,500,000
2 Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol $20,500,000 $170,200,000
3 Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows $14,100,000 $157,400,000
4 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo $11,400,000 $76,800,000
5 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked $9,500,000 $111,600,000
6 War Horse $8,600,000 $56,800,000
7 We Bought a Zoo $8,500,000 $56,400,000
8 The Adventures of Tintin $6,600,000 $61,900,000
9 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy $5,800,000 $10,400,000
10 New Year’s Eve $3,300,000 $52,000,000

mission-impossible-ghost-protocol-movie-poster-02While Paramount is surely happy with the large take from The Devil Inside, I wouldn’t exactly be expecting the film to have long legs at the box office given its intense negative reaction. Then again, some moviegoers may choose to attend because of its terrible reputation. Whatever the case, it provides an interesting dilemma for the studio. Obviously with that kind of profit they’ll be itching to greenlight another low-budget sequel as quickly as possible (thanks for that Paranormal Activity and Saw), but the negative reaction leaves no guarantee that audiences will come back for more. They’ll probably want to see how the film does in subsequent weeks before they make a definitive decision.

Elsewhere, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol continues to do extraordinary business. The fourth installment in the franchise fell only 30%, bringing its cumulative total to a stellar $170 million and easily surpsassing the $134 million made by Mission: Impossible III. Additionally, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows also held well, bringing in $14.1 million. It’s domestic total now comes to $157 million, just shy of the first film’s total domestic take of $209 million.

Things for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo are looking up. After a disappointing—if respectable—opening, the David Fincher adaptation ended up being one of the weekend’s best holds, falling just 24% from last week to bring in $11.4 million. Sony is still planning on moving forward with the sequel, but there’s still no word on whether Fincher will be back in the director’s chair. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked continues to destroy souls as this weekend’s take of $9.5 million brings its total to $111.6 million. Sigh.

the-girl-with-the-dragon-tattoo-posterAfter losing a bit of steam in this year’s Oscar race with snubs from a couple of the guild awards, Steven Spielberg’s period drama War Horse brings its total up to $56.8 million with an $8.6 million haul. The Beard’s other film in theaters, the animated Adventures of Tintin, continues to do fair business with a domestic total of $61.9 million. While that’s a bit disappointing for an expensive animated family film, Tintin has already done incredible business overseas where audiences are more familiar with the source material.

Cameron Crowe’s brutally earnest family flick We Bought a Zoo finished seventh with $8.5 million, bringing its total up to $56.4 million. I had assumed that audiences would turn up in droves to the family-skewing drama, but it appears that those terribly cheesy (and misleading) TV spots may have hurt the film’s chances. I’ve heard from multiple people that they had no plans of seeing the movie based solely on the “It’s a wacky, zany zoo!” TV spots.

Focus Features’ critically praised espionage thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy expanded from 57 theaters to 809, bringing in an estimated $5.8 million. This brings its cumulative total up to $10.4 million, and was enough for it to top 2011’s still-lingering bomb New Year’s Eve. Speaking of which, the unofficial follow-up to Garry Marshall’s Valentine’s Day finished in 10th place with $3.3 million. The romantic comedy has grossed $52 million so far, which is nowhere close to Valentine’s Day’s $110 million domestic haul. For a movie called New Year’s Eve, I don’t really expect much business in the following weeks.

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