Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Entertainment

March 4, 2013

'Giant Slayer' scares up ho-hum $28 million debut

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It wasn't exactly a mighty victory, but "Jack the Giant Slayer" won the weekend at the box office.

The Warner Bros. 3-D action extravaganza, based on the Jack and the Beanstalk legend, made just $28 million to debut at No. 1, according to Sunday studio estimates. It had a reported budget of just under $200 million.

But the studio also hit a milestone on the global front with Peter Jackson's fantasy epic "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" crossing the $1 billion mark worldwide. The first of three films based on the classic J.R.R. Tolkien novel has made $301.1 domestically and $700 million internationally.

"Jack the Giant Slayer" comes from Bryan Singer, director of "The Usual Suspects" and the first two "X-Men" movies. It stars Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Ian McShane and Stanley Tucci.

Among other new releases, the college romp "21 & Over" from Relativity Media made only $9 million this weekend to open in third place. And the horror sequel "The Last Exorcism Part II" from CBS Films debuted in fourth place with just over $8 million.

Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.' executive vice president of theatrical distribution, said "Jack the Giant Slayer" opened lower than the studio had hoped, but he's encouraged by its CinemaScore, which was a B-plus overall and an A among viewers under 18. One bit of good news for "Jack" is that it had a 56-percent uptick from Friday to Saturday, suggesting strong word-of-mouth and more family audiences for the PG-13 adventure.

"That tells us that the audiences that are seeing it really do like it," Goldstein said. "The international opening in Asia has been very strong — the 3-D component of the special effects works in a big way outside the domestic marketplace."

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