Super Bowl weekend is always a tough time at the box office, but the quirky zombie comedy ‘Warm Bodies’ managed to pull off a fairly good $19.5 million debut, helped along by savvy marketing that showcased the film’s indie spirit. (Using hip music from The Black Keys in the trailer soundtrack didn’t hurt, either.)
The rest of the box office wasn’t nearly so lucky. ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’ slipped to second place with just $9.2 million, a 53.2% drop. In fact, most of last week’s new releases suffered horrible second-week drops, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
‘Silver Linings Playbook’ continued to do well, raking in $8 million with a light 14.1% drop. ‘Mama’ slid from second to fourth place with $6.7 million, while ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ rounded out the top five with $5.3 million.
Now here’s where it gets ugly. The new Sylvester Stallone flick ‘Bullet to the Head’ had one of the worst openings ever, landing in sixth place with just $4.5 million. Yet that was still somehow enough to keep it above ‘Parker’, which dropped 54.1% on its second week with a mere $3.2 million haul. It was also more than ‘Movie 43’ managed to earn on its second weekend as that film dropped a whopping 65.7% and pulled in just $1.65 million.
However, even that isn’t nearly as bad as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to the box office: on its second weekend out, ‘The Last Stand’ plummeted so low on the charts it isn’t even listed in the top 25 anymore, dropping a staggering 87.7% and earning a mere $265,000.
The lesson: star power isn’t enough to sell a film. If you can’t show audiences that your film is somehow different from the bevy of other films jostling for attention (and limited ticket funds), you won’t last long on the chart.