A month and a half into one of the most anemic summers in recent box-office history, we finally have a feel-good story—or at least a better-than-expected remake of a feel-good story. In the race to update the year 1984 for the 21st century, The Karate Kid was the best around, taking a robust $56 million in its opening weekend. Given the sleeper-hit qualities of the original film—the VHS of which was worn to the point of tracking problems for your humble reporter—it stands to reason that The Karate Kid will be able to sustain its strong start for longer than the average blockbuster, too. The news wasn’t as happy for the other ‘80s property (don’t worry, Mr. Carnahan, we won’t call it a remake): The A-Team took an iffy $26 million for second place, but as Box Office Mojo’s Brandon Gray notes, those are roughly equivalent to Miami Vice numbers and not as strong attendance-wise. Enough to wipe that smug grin off Bradley Cooper’s face, no?
In limited release, several movies performed extremely well, buoyed by some of the best reviews of the year. (See, critics: You’re still relevant, despite being forced to see Killers with the great unwashed. Now march into your bosses’ offices and demand raises.) The Ozarks noir Winter’s Bone collected $21,350 per screen on four screens, an impressive total given its grim subject matter. (Had Roadside Attractions been bold enough to release it in as many theaters as The Karate Kid, it’d have made $78.2 million, so this still seems like a missed opportunity. And don’t try puncturing the logic of that extrapolation.) Even better was the documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work, which took $24,368 per screen on seven screens, and will be rolled out aggressively in a bid to become an Exit Through The Gift Shop-level phenomenon. Godspeed!
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.