‘End of Watch’ Pulls off Upset Victory

on September 24, 2012 by Daniel Garris

Open Road's End of Watch ended up winning what turned out to be a very tight three-way race for first place at the box office this weekend. The low-budget police drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña grossed $13.15 million over the frame. Heading into the weekend, End of Watch had been widely expected to open behind both Warner's Trouble with the Curve and Relatively's House at the End of the Street, but at the end of the day End of Watch came out on top thanks in part to the weaker than expected performances of its competitors. End of Watch grossed $4.60 million on Friday and generated a solid opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.86 to 1. The film opened nearly on par with the $13.35 million start of 2010's Brooklyn's Finest. End of Watch received an A- rating on CinemaScore, which represented the strongest CinemaScore among this weekend's four wide releases.

House of the End of the Street placed in a close second with $12.29 million. The low-budget PG-13 horror film starring Jennifer Lawrence trailed End of Watch by just $865,449 and topped Trouble with the Curve by a slim $125,194. Despite noteworthy pre-release interest and online discussion levels, the Lawrence vehicle was unable to approach the $20.87 million debut registered by Daniel Radcliffe horror vehicle The Woman in Black earlier this year. House at the End of the Street led the way on Friday with $4.62 million, but fell behind End of Watch as the weekend progressed after registering an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.66 to 1. The film registered a so-so B rating on CinemaScore.

Trouble with the Curve had to settle for third place with $12.16 million. The drama starring Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams opened below pre-release expectations and well below the $19.50 million start of last year's Moneyball. Instead, Trouble with the Curve opened much more along the lines of the $11.22 million start of last year's Eastwood directed J. Edgar, which had a less mainstream concept and opened in 1,910 locations (as opposed to 3,212 for Trouble with the Curve). Trouble with the Curve opened with $4.18 million on Friday and went on to tally an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.92 to 1. The film received a B+ rating on CinemaScore and will hope to hold up well going forward with help from skewing heavily towards older moviegoers.

The news was much worse this weekend for Lionsgate's Dredd 3D. The 3D comic book adaptation starring Karl Urban (and this weekend's most expensive new wide release) grossed just $6.28 million to debut in sixth place. Despite solid critical reviews, Dredd 3D opened below its already modest pre-release expectations. Dredd 3D received a B rating on CinemaScore, but will have a hard time holding up well going forward given its fanboy driven nature. Facing new direct competition from Sony's Looper this coming weekend won't help matters either for Dredd 3D.

Upon expanding into moderate release, The Master finished in seventh with $4.39 million. The Paul Thomas Anderson directed film from The Weinstein Company was up 496 percent over last weekend's platform debut, but also saw its per-location average fall to $5,572. This weekend's performance for The Master was a bit softer than the $4.87 million There Will Be Blood grossed in its first weekend of semi-wide release back in January of 2008. The ten-day total for The Master stands at $5.45 million.

Tags: Trouble with the Curve, House at the End of the Street, End of Watch, Dredd 3D, The Master

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