Bloomberg News

‘Immortals’ Opens as No. 1 Film With $32.2 Million in Sales

November 15, 2011

(Updates with final box-office figures.)

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The action-adventure “Immortals” opened as the No. 1 film at U.S. and Canadian theaters, taking in $32.2 million in ticket sales.

The Adam Sandler comedy “Jack and Jill” premiered in second place with $25 million, while “Puss in Boots,” from DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., was third with $24.7 million, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement.

Sales were helped by 3-D showings of the film, according to Phil Contrino, editor of researcher Boxoffice.com. About 66 percent of the audience bought tickets for the format, he said. Tickets for 3-D screenings cost about $3 more than those for conventional showings.

The film “really hit its core base of males pretty well,” Contrino said in a telephone interview.

“Immortals” was expected to take in $23.5 million in its debut, the forecast of Boxoffice.com. In the film, set in ancient Greece, a stone mason gets help from the gods to battle a ruthless king set upon expanding his empire. The movie stars Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto and Mickey Rourke. The film cost about $75 million to make, according to Box Office Mojo.

“Jack and Jill,” from Sony Pictures, stars Sandler as an easygoing advertising executive who’s pushed to his limits by a Thanksgiving holiday visit from his identical twin sister. He stars in both roles. Katie Holmes plays the executive’s wife and Al Pacino portrays himself.

Sword-Wielding Cat

“Puss in Boots” is based on the sword-wielding cat, voiced by Antonio Banderas, from the “Shrek” movies. In “Puss,” the cat uncovers a plot to destroy his home village. The film also features the voices of Selma Hayek and Billy Bob Thornton.

“Tower Heist,” featuring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, fell to fourth from second with $12.8 million in receipts for Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures.

“J. Edgar,” director Clint Eastwood’s look at the life of J. Edgar Hoover, finished fifth in its opening weekend with sales of $11.2 million.

The movie, distributed by Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros., stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Hoover, the first director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Co-starring Armie Hammer and Naomi Watts, “J. Edgar” explores Hoover’s founding of the FBI in 1935 and his use of its investigative prowess to influence and intimidate political leaders.

Boxoffice.com’s Contrino said “J. Edgar” skewed toward an over-50 audience.

‘Tough Sell’

“You are dealing with people who don’t rush out opening weekend,” he said. “It will still have a pretty decent run. It won’t drop that much in the weeks to come. The reality is that even though it’s about a historical figure, it deals with unrequited gay love, and that makes it a tough sell when it comes to the mainstream public.”

Contrino is estimating that Summit Entertainment LLC’s “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1,” which debuts this week, will take in $155 million in its three-day premiere weekend. That would place it among the top five openings ever.

“‘Twilight’ is the first part of the end of the franchise and that will really help it,” Contrino said. “It’s just a colossal thing.”

Teen Vampires

The film is the fourth in the teen vampire series based on books by Stephenie Meyer.

Weekend revenue for the top 12 films rose 13 percent to $126.2 million from the-year earlier period, Hollywood.com said. Domestic box-office receipts this year have declined 3.9 percent to $8.83 billion. Attendance is down 4.8 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for Nov. 11 through today.

--Editors: Anthony Palazzo, Sylvia Wier, Stephen West

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net; Susanne Walker in New York at swalker33@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net.


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