Fee-fi-fo-flop? Jack the Giant Slayer fails to vanquish the box office beast on its opening weekend

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Dodgy marketing and a surprising release date have been blamed for Jack the Giant Slayer's failure to rake it in big at the box office on its debut weekend. The film might have eased its way into first place regardless, but the beast is far from vanquished as the blockbuster looks set to join a long list of big budget turkeys.

Based on the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy-tale, the 3D flick made just $28 million to take number one - despite estimates that the film (which cost a reported $190 million to make) would take at least $60 million on its first weekend.

Jack the Giant Slayer looked set to be a box office smash, coming from Bryan Singer, director of The Usual Suspects and the first two X-Men movies, and starring Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Ian McShane and Stanley Tucci.

Click here or on "View Images" for the biggest box office turkeys of 2012

Next weekend sees the opening of Sam Raimi's Oz The Great And Powerful which will be hoping to draw Jack the Giant Slayer's rival audiences.

Speaking to the New York Times Warner Brothers' executive president of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein, the studio behind Jack the Giant Slayer, said: "Our audience in the United States was a little bit more narrow than we wanted, but the Canadian numbers are really strong, and the overseas reaction has exceeded our expectations."

Goldstein said Jack the Giant Slayer opened lower than the studio had hoped, bud added: "The story on this movie is far from being written - we need more time."  Jack also had a 56-percent uptake from Friday to Saturday, suggesting strong word-of-mouth and more family audiences for the PG-13 adventure.

The weekend was not all bad for Warner Brothers as it hit a global milestone with Peter Jackson's fantasy epic The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey crossing the $1 billion mark worldwide. The first of three films based on the classic J.R.R. Tolkien novel has made $301.1 million domestically and $700 million internationally. 

Among other new releases, the college romp 21 & Over from Relativity Media made only $9 million this weekend to open in third place. And the horror sequel The Last Exorcism Part II from CBS Films debuted in fourth place with just over $8 million. 
 
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 cinemas, 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. It's expected to open in the $75-100 million range. 

"We need the cavalry to arrive and we need them soon," he said. "Maybe James Franco is the cavalry." 

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian cinemas according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday: 

1. "Jack the Giant Slayer," $28 million. ($13.7 million international.) 

2. "Identity Thief," $9.7 million. 

3. "21 & Over," $9 million. 

4. "The Last Exorcism Part II," $8 million. 

5. "Snitch," $7.7 million. 

6. "Escape From Planet Earth," $6.7 million. 

7. "Safe Haven," $6.3 million. 

8. "Silver Linings Playbook," $5.9 million. 

9. "A Good Day to Die Hard," $4.5 million. ($18.3 million international.) 

10. "Dark Skies," $3.6 million. 

Estimated weekend ticket sales at international cinemas (excluding the U.S. and Canada) for films distributed overseas by Hollywood studios, according to Rentrak: 

1. "A Good Day to Die Hard," $18.3 million. 

2. "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters," $15.2 million. 

3. "Jack the Giant Slayer," $13.7 million. 

4. "Les Miserables," $10.5 million. 

5. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," $9.2 million. 

6. "Django Unchained," $8 million. 

7. "New World," $7.3 million. 

8. "Miracle in Cell No. 7," $6.2 million. 

9. "Beautiful Creatures," $6 million. 

10. "Flight," $5.2 million. 
 

AP

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Feeling all at sea: Barbara's 18-year-old son came under the influence of a Canadian libertarian preacher – and she had to fight to win him back
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Living the high life: Anne Robinson enjoys some skip-surfed soup
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
Doctor Who and Missy in the Doctor Who series 8 finale

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones