'Ender's Game' Destroys Crowded Box-Office Weekend

“Ender’s Game” had no problem surpassing a kiddie flick about turkeys and taking over “Bad Grandpa.”

Many weren’t sure how Summit Entertainment’s adaptation of the 1985 sci-fi book would go over at the box office, but it held its own.

The film didn’t make any box-office records, but it fell in line with opening weekends for recent sci-fi, space flicks (excluding “Gravity” of course).

Overall, this was one of the first weekends in a while where a new release didn’t flat out bomb.

Out of the top 10 this week are Hugh Jackman’s thriller “Prisoners” after seven weeks, box-office bomb “Escape Plan” featuring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and James Gandolfini’s “Enough Said.”

Here are this weeks winners and losers in Hollywood:

10. After bombing last weekend, “The Counselor” rounds out the top 10 with $US3.3 million in week two. The Ridley Scott-directed film with an all-star cast isn’t doing well overseas either. The $US25 million thriller has made $US16.8 million worldwide.

9. Kimberly Peirce’s “Carrie” remake holds on making $US3.4 million after three weeks. The film has surpassed its $US30 million budget at theatres with $US37.7 million.

8. Another new kiddie film at theatres has finally caused “Cloudy 2” to fall three spots at theatre earning $US4.2 million. The sequel hasn’t made more than the original ($176 million vs. $243 million); however, it also cost less to make ($78 million vs. $US100 million).

7. Oscar-buzzed “12 Years a Slave” made it’s wide release into 410 theatres making a big $US4.6 million. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

6. “Captain Phillips” kept a strong hold moving down three spots with $US8.5 million. The Tom Hanks Somali pirates film has made $US126 million since opening a month ago.

5. “Gravity” continues to be box-office gold bringing in another $US13.1 million. The film just won’t slow down. It’s been out for five weeks and the George Clooney / Sandra Bullock space film has made $US427 million worldwide.

4. Relativity’s animated film about turkeys, “Free Birds,” didn’t perform as strongly as expected with $US16.2 million. Many analysts thought the Woody Harrelson / Owen Wilson flick would be at the very top of the box office this weekend. The movie cost an estimated $US55 million. With Disney’s “Frozen” out at the end of the month, the turkey movie has a few short weeks to make a gain at theatres.

3. Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas, and Kevin Kline had a good weekend with “Last Vegas” making $US16.5 million. That’s not a surprise. People love Morgan Freeman and the trailers pinned the film as the “Hangover” but with a bunch of older actors cracking jokes at one another. Unlike the “Hangover” films, this CBS film cost $US28 million.

2. Jackass film “Bad Grandpa” holds steady at number 2 for the weekend with another $US20.5 million. That makes a total of $US79.7 million for the Spike Jonze and Johnny Knoxville film. By the end of it’s run, it should be the second-highest grossing “Jackass”-themed movie at the box office behind the 3-D film.

1. “Ender’s Game” fell in line with box-office estimates making $US28 million opening weekend. That’s neither great nor poor for the sci-fi adaptation. Compared with recent sci-fi flicks (“Gravity” aside), that’s slightly more than bomb “After Earth” ($27.5 million), but less than “Oblivion” ($37 million) and “Elysium” ($29.8 million). It wasn’t a great adaptation of the book, one that author Orson Scott Card has acknowledged is difficult to adapt onto the big screen. As someone who has read and loved the book, the film was too fast-paced, trying to include too much into a film that wasn’t even two hours.

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