CinemaScore was Fox 2000's Water For Elephants based on Sara Gruen's best-selling book and written by Richard LaGravenese and directed by Francis Lawrence. Clearly, the classy ad campaign was intriguing for adults who don't rush out to see films, and for Robert Pattinson's Twi-hards who do. But this beautifully filmed but searing drama was considered a hard sell.
1. Rio 3D (Blue Sky Studio/Fox) Week 2 [3,842 Theaters]
Friday $10.7M, Saturday $9.7M, Easter Weekend $26.5M (-32%), Cume $80.9M
2. Madea's Big Happy Family (Tyler Perry/Lionsgate) NEW [2,288 Theaters]
Friday $10.5M, Saturday $9.2M, Easter Weekend $26M
3. Water For Elephants (Fox 2000/Fox) NEW [2,817 Theaters]
Friday $7M, Saturday $6.8M, Easter Weekend $17.5M
Via The Hollywood Reporter
Overperforming in its opening was Fox 2000’s period circus romance Water for Elephants, which debuted to $17.5 million from 2,817 locations. Based on Sara Gruen’s bestselling book and directed by Francis Lawrence, the film stars Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz.
Water for Elephants drew an A- CinemaScore, and played heavily to adult women. Females made up 70% of the audience, while 70% were over the age of 25. The film’s successful opening is a win for Fox’s marketing team, which targeted fans of the book, as well as playing up the love story.
Via LA Times
"Water for Elephants," based on Sara Gruen's bestselling novel about a 1930s traveling circus, had a budget of about $40 million. Most of those who saw the film seemed to be either older women familiar with the book or fans of young "Twilight" heartthrob Pattinson, as the audience was 70% female. And those moviegoers enjoyed the picture, giving it an average grade of A-minus. That positive buzz could be especially good news for the movie because audiences don't usually run to see adult dramas on their first weekend in theaters.
In any event, the movie is off to a far better start than Pattinson's last nonvampire movie. In March 2010, his Sept. 11 drama "Remember Me" opened only to a modest $8.1 million. The "Water for Elephants" results could mean that he's being taken more seriously as a dramatic actor -- or perhaps just that he should star in more films alongside popular leading ladies with box office clout, like Witherspoon.
Robert Pattinson has a brief and undistinguished box-office track record in movies minus Twilight mate Kristen Stewart.
So, how'd the Reese Witherspoon thing work out for him--and Water for Elephants?
So far, so good.
The $40 million romantic drama, based on Sara Gruen's no-clowing-around novel of circus life in the 1930s, debuted with an estimated $17.5 million. The Friday-Sunday take was a bit bigger than expected for the film—and for the genre.
"Adult films usually don't sprint out of the gate. We did," Fox exec Bert Livingston told us in an email today. "I think being on bestseller list twice helped."
For Pattinson, the opening marks a step up from his last non-Twilight movie, Remember Me, which opened to $8.1 million last year.
Water for Elephants' performance probably comes as a greater relief to Witherspoon, whose How Do You Know was one of 2010's biggest bombs. That $120 million comedy-drama grossed less than $50 million worldwide.
Pattinson's and Witherspoon's film placed third in the weekend standings behind returning champ Rio ($26.8 million) and the debuting Madea's Big Happy Family ($25.8 million).
From Box Office Mojo