Three months into a dismal 2013, Hollywood had yet to come out with anything remotely appealing for a family audience—Escape From Planet Earth was a slap in the face—so it was inevitable that The Croods, a remotely appealing animated movie from DreamWorks, would make bank. With a $44.7 million opening, this CGI comedy-adventure took the top spot on an unusually healthy weekend for the floundering industry, and opens the door for a number of sequels with tortured premises a la Ice Age. The asinine “Die Hard in a White House” thriller Olympus Has Fallen was the big surprise, earning a stronger-than-expected $30.5 million, over twice what the last Gerard Butler movie, Playing For Keeps, made in its entire run. That means it’s back to the A-list for “meaty old Gerard Butler” (as the New York Times’ A.O. Scott referred to him). Hope you’re all happy.
Meanwhile, a pair of independent (or independent-ish) productions tried to break into the mainstream with limited success. The Tina Fey-Paul Rudd dramedy Admission, powered by reviews ranging from “eh” to “it was kinda okay,” limped into fifth with $6.4 million, underlining Fey’s continued troubles gaining much traction on the big screen. But the real fun for box-office watchers was the performance of Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, if only because nothing Korine has directed before—his last film, Trash Humpers, especially—seems at all fit for mass consumption. The overlap between fans of despoiled Disney stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens and Korine’s arthouse provocations is virtually nil, but the former was on a collision course with the latter over the weekend and the results weren’t pretty—unless you’re a fan of Harmony Korine, in which case they were glorious. Twitter lit up with teenage garment-renders, posting under hashtags like #worstmovieever, but the film snuck away with $5.4 million of their money anyway, with very little advertising and promotion. Given that it only cost $2 million, it’s already Korine’s biggest hit by far.
Arthouse box office was a tale of two extremes—and of rare box-office justice. On the positive end, the wonderful SXSW winner Gimme The Loot enjoyed the coveted A.V. Club bump, taking the weekend’s highest per screen average with $23,400 on a single screen. Only enemies of joy can stop it now. On the other side of the ledger, the not-reviewed-by-The A.V. Club-because-it’s-way-the-hell-out-in-the-sticks-and-life’s-too-short spoof InAPPropriate Comedy opened on 275 screens to $625 per screen, an average only slightly higher than Hyde Park On Hudson made in its fourth tepid month. Directed by Vince Offer, a.k.a. the “ShamWow!” Guy, and featuring Lindsay Lohan and Adrien Brody among other luminaries, the film is definitely not a figment of your imagination and will surely be coming soon to Nathan Rabin’s My World Of Flops column if Nathan is feeling particularly masochistic that day.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.