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Weekend Box Office – Word of Mouth Drives Argo to #1, Cloud Atlas Hanging In

Argo isn’t just a Best Picture frontrunner amid the Oscar pundit circles; it is that rare word of mouth film that people “out there in the world” are talking about. Why, because it delivers in so many different ways. It doesn’t hurt that we are in the midst of an election season that has shades of Argo threaded throughout. You might think that would keep people away but the opposite turns out to be true.  In the end, though, Argo is entertaining and that is perhaps the most important reason why it’s got legs. It has made $60 million so far and will have no problem getting to $100 million, making it Ben Affleck’s biggest hit and one of the biggest hits of Oscar season and of the year.

The Town: $92 million
Gone Baby Gone: $20 million

The stats, according to BoxOffice.com:

1 Argo $12,355,000 -25% 2,855 -392 $4,327 $60,780,288 3 Warner Bros.
2 Hotel Transylvania $9,500,000 -27% 3,276 -108 $2,900 $130,436,341 5 Sony / Columbia
3 Cloud Atlas $9,400,000 2,008 $4,681 $9,400,000 1 Warner Bros.
4 Paranormal Activity 4 $8,675,000 -70% 3,412 0 $2,542 $42,632,365 2 Paramount
5 Silent Hill: Revelation 3D $8,000,000 2,933 $2,728 $8,000,000 1 Open Road

Bravo to Cloud Atlas for hitting number three that close to the number 2. Sure, people will want to think of it as a bomb but here is a giant effects movie with a big heart that isn’t a sequel, a remake, or formula-driven dreck. I hope it makes back its money. Viewers will discover Cloud Atlas slowly, over time.

22 Comments on this Post

  1. Cloud Atlas will have a good hold over the coming weeks.

  2. Eh, it’s just because people are tardy. They should have seen ARGO, which now seems like day old socks, last week.

    CLOUD ATLAS will gain more steam (hopefully). If not we’ll just have to physically force people to see it. :D

  3. Let’s just all agree that Cloud Atlas was a brave and bold film, but still a flop, and move on people. :)

  4. *throws David into the basement*

  5. Mohammed

    Cloud Atlas is a dreck. No question about it. It’s on my worst list this year so far with The Avengers. Some time people buy sh** and some times they don’t. The latter should be celebrated.

  6. I read that Cloud Atlas has already covered its 100M budget through international presales, so even though it might not MAKE money, it won’t LOSE money, either, when all is said and done…and considering how brave this project is, I would consider that a success. I can’t wait to see it, they release it here in 3 weeks !

    Even though the film is divisive, I was pleasantly surprised that it managed to climb to 55 on Metacritic (last time I checked it was around an awful 39) and 62 on Rottentomatoes. I know these scores are not good enough to help it in the long run, but still, nice to see that there WERE influential critics who GOT it and LOVED it.

    Of course, the ultimate clue that I will probably love it, is the fact that Rex Reed hated it. That clown LOVES to hate anything that dares to deviate from his idea of textbook-filmmaking : his most recent victims were Inception (1/4), Please Give (1/4), Cyrus (1/4), True Grit (1/4), Hanna (1/4), Crazy Stupid Love (1/4), The Cabin in the Woods (1/4), Margin Call (1/4), Submarine (1/4), 50/50 (1/4), Meek’s Cutoff (1/4), The Dark Knight Rises (1/4), Moonrise Kingdom (1/4), Ruby Sparks (1/4), The Master (1/4), Melancholia (0/4), We need to talk about Kevin (0/4), Seven Psychopaths (0/4).

  7. Can I just add that Speed Racer was absolutely awesome?

  8. *puts the mountain on top of Mohammed*

    SPEED RACER made me dizzy. It was like it was raining Skittles in an arcade.

  9. I admired Cloud Atlas. But I think it’s reaching to call this opening for Cloud Atlas to be solid. It’s soft. 9.4 million means it’ll hope & pray to make 30-40 million in the US.

    Plus, it only has a C+ CinemaScore which means it will have no word of mouth, at all.

    I honestly hope that it can find some legs (because I think the film, flawed and all, is something to see on a big screen). But I’m not hopeful at the moment.

  10. On another note, the Paranormal Activity franchise is a perfect example of milking the cow dry. I’ve only seen the first one (which I enjoyed), but if the other movies are just shaky cam, slow pacing, and overdue scares without any sense of creepiness, then I don’t see why people are still interested in the franchise.

  11. If you look at Cloud Atlas’s Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores, they’re fairly middling. But compare that to its 8.4 rating on IMDB, which is a rating up there with those for masterpieces in the IMDB top 250. My gut says Cloud Atlas will drop off quickly in theaters, but will gain a strongly devoted cult following on DVD.

  12. Tero Heikkinen

    Great for Argo!!! In Finland (and I assume in many European countries), Skyfall turned out to be bigger than many expected (well, it was always going to be big, but it will be huge). It is now on its way to become the biggest film of the year – seeing as it already had the biggest opening weekend here.

  13. From Ew.com…With C+ audience review and more newcomer movies, it will be hard for it to be a real hit!

    The pricey novel adaptation Cloud Atlas finished in third place with a weak $9.4 million. Remarkably, that was the best start of any of this weekend’s newcomers, which is a testament to the weakness of the frame. The heady drama, which follows six separate storylines and stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Hugh Grant in various roles, genders, and races, proved too difficult for mainstream audiences to latch onto. Audiences, which were 77 percent above the age of 25, issued the film a “C+” CinemaScore.

    For Warner Bros., Cloud Atlas‘ failure is not the worst news — the studio acquired domestic distribution rights for a reported $15 million and marketed the film — but the real losers here are the Wachowski siblings and the foreign investors who financed the project. Cloud Atlas cost a whopping $100 million, and it has no chance of making that money back — at least not in the States. Another loser? Tom Hanks, whose box office clout has all but disappeared in recent years. Cloud Atlas arrives on the heels of two other box office underperformers: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close ($31.9 million) and Larry Crowne ($35.6 million).

  14. argo is good- not great. lacks that transcendent artistic touch.

  15. I am so thrilled Argo is number 1! Woohoo

  16. Great news for Argo. Couldn’t be happening to a “nicer” film. Loved it but I don’t think it is quite at that level of greatness that should earn it a Best Picture win. Despite this, I would not be at all upset if it did win. It’s more worthy than The Artist and The King’s Speech.

    I’m looking forward to seeing contenders which I think could top it — Lincoln, Django Unchained and others.

    By a wide margin, my most anticipated movie of 2012 is The Hobbit. I just don’t think there’s any way it will be in consideration for major Oscars. Too much working against it: it’s only the first part of a 3-film series, the Academy already “went there” in 2004, and the film tells a “smaller” story than that of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy — meaning there is less at stake.

  17. I saw Cloud Atlas in part because of the beautiful trailer and your deeply heartfelt podcast Ms. Stone. And I have to say this was one of the most truly disappointing movies I’ve seen this year. It’s frustrating because I desperately wanted to like the film, rooting for it to send me into cinema heaven, but I couldn’t invest in anything that was being shown to me. I actually found it a bit silly. It sucks to say this because the culture needs more ambitious art to infiltrate the marketplace, but this is just not going to cut it. Maybe down the road it’ll gain a cult following, but sad to say we’re looking at another big casualty at the box office. It’s not good for ambitious narrative and certainly not good for the Wachowskis.

  18. Cloud Atlas. I was going to get a group together, but I decided to go see it alone. I am glad that I did. While I fully realize that this movie is not for everyone, it moved me more than any other movie has in many many years. The morphing, blending, and sharing of characteristics across time and space was just so beautifully done, and I simply cannot get it out of my head. If you go in with an open mind (and heart) and just let the interconnectedness wash over you, you will be bowled over like I was. I will see it again, and I will own it when it gets released on download.

    Through the whole movie, I couldn’t help to think of the personal journey of Lana Wachowski. To be such a high profile transgendered female, and to watch these actors play different characters that span race and gender, it just puts an incredible and awe inspiring sheen on the whole thing.

    I am a pretty cynical person, and I doubt anyone would ever accuse me of being a pollyanna. However, I am truly sorry for those who cannot disconnect enough to enjoy this movie.

  19. Looks like a Sci-Fi Tree of Life from the trailer, and if you need a 5-minute trailer to explain a movie’s basic plot, that may indicate you’ve got a long road ahead. If this does hit 9 figures, it will take the overseas market to do it.

  20. I really liked Argo but I’m hoping there’s a better film from 2012 that I could root for til the last envelope at the Oscars is opened.

  21. Mohammed

    Argo is my nr 1 movie of the year so far. From what I’ve seen Lincoln will not do it, but Les Miserables will be the one who wins the top prize if it maintains the gut punch in the trailer. You got to give it to Tom Hooper. The man knows what he’s doing.

  22. Cloud Atlas is a major box office flop. No better way to describe this disaster film.

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