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'Lone Survivor' surprises with huge box office debut, tops 'Frozen'

By Daniel S Levine,

The war drama Lone Survivor was not expected to light up the box office this weekend, but that’s exactly what happened as audiences stayed away from awards favorites and The Legend of Hercules.

Since movies about the wars in the Middle East have bombed at the box office, Lone Survivor wasn’t expected to top $20 million, especially since the only major star in the film is Mark Wahlberg. But, after a stunning Friday, the film’s projections nearly doubled. According to The LA Times, the film made an estimated $38.5 million, making it the second-biggest January opening ever, behind only Cloverfield (2008).

Lone Survivor is based on Marcus Luttrell’s book, which is his account of an ill-fated Navy SEALs mission in Afghanistan. Wahlberg plays Luttrell. The film earned an A+ CinemaScore grade from audiences.

Box Office Mojo notes that Disney’s Frozen came in second place with $15.1 million. That brings its domestic total to $317.7 million. The Wolf of Wall Street climbed to third place, although it only made $9 million. Despite running three hours, audiences are flocking to see the controversial Martin Scorsese movie, bringing its total to $78.6 million.

Lionsgate and Summit’s Hercules flopped with just $8.6 million. The movie starred Twilight actor Kellan Lutz as Hercules. Thankfully for Paramount, audiences will likely have forgotten about this by the time Brett Ratner and Dwayne Johnson’s Hercules opens in July.

David O. Russell’s American Hustle also made $8.6 million and crossed the $100 million mark this weekend.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones dropped to just $6.3 million and Spike Jonze’s Her made just $5.4 million in its first week of wide release.

image: Universal/image.net

 

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