Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Entertainment

March 4, 2013

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

(Continued)

"Jack the Giant Slayer" made $13.7 million in 11 international territories for a worldwide total of $41.7 million. Internationally, "A Good Day to Die Hard," the fifth film in the blockbuster Bruce Willis franchise, was the big winner of the weekend with $18.3 million for a global total of nearly $222 million.

Domestically, this is the sixth weekend in a row that movie ticket sales are down, said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. He pointed out that many of the action pictures aimed at men this year — including "Snitch," ''The Last Stand," ''Bullet to the Head" and "Parker" — have been disappointments at the box office.

"Other films have done OK but we need to do better than OK to keep up with last year's pace," he said. "Where is the audience? I don't want to overstate this, but where are the guys?"

Among the few bright spots, the Jason Bateman-Melissa McCarthy comedy "Identity Thief" has become the first film to cross the $100 million mark this year. Now in its fourth week in theaters, the Universal movie has made $107.4 million.

"This is a tough marketplace right now. Everything is underperforming," Dergarabedian said. "There hasn't been a huge breakout hit yet. For every 'Identity Thief' there have probably been 10 other films that have underperformed."

Meanwhile, winners at last weekend's Academy Awards, including "Argo," ''Silver Linings Playbook" and "Life of Pi," are still sticking around in the top 20 after several months in theaters, further underscoring the weakness of recent new releases.

But Dergarabedian was optimistic that things will turn around with the opening next week of Disney's "Oz the Great and Powerful," a much-anticipated prequel to "The Wizard of Oz" starring James Franco and directed by Sam Raimi. It's expected to open in the $75-100 million range.

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