published Monday, April 15th, 2013

‘42’ scores at the box office

New York Times News Service
This film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson in a scene from "42."
This film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson in a scene from "42."
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Poll
Do you plan to see '42' in theaters?

Hollywood was predictably shocked over the weekend to find that a well-reviewed drama succeeded at the box office even though it was aimed at geriatric moviegoers — industry definition: Anyone over 25.

The Jackie Robinson biopic “42” was a strong No. 1 at North American movie theaters, taking in about $27.3 million, according to its distributor, Warner Bros. Legendary Entertainment spent a relatively modest $38 million to make the film, which performed best among older men, the hardest demographic for studios to reach.

The opening is a record for a baseball flick in terms of straight dollars, topping the $19.5 million debut of "Moneyball" in 2011. Factoring in higher ticket prices, the $13.7 million debut of 1992's "A League of Their Own" would have been on par with "42" in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars.

Sputtering in second place this weekend with about $15.2 million in ticket sales was “Scary Movie V,” according to Hollywood.com, which compiles box-office data. This parody movie was even cheaper — it cost about $20 million to make — but took in less than most analysts expected, especially considering the publicity generated by the stunt casting of Lindsay Lohan as herself. Perhaps this is the end of the road for the “Scary Movie” franchise.

“The Croods,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” and “Evil Dead” rounded out the top five.

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