Jackie Robinson biopic 42 got off to a very strong start this weekend, while Scary Movie 5 wound up opening even lower than already-low expectations. The Top 12 earned $108.8 million, which was slightly up from the same weekend last year. 42 took first place with $27.5 million from 3,003 locations. That's easily the best opening ever for a baseball movie ahead of The Benchwarmers ($19.7 million) and Moneyball ($19.5 million). It's also the second-highest opening for a sports drama behind 2009's The Blind Side ($34.1 million).
Warner Bros. is reporting that the audience was 52 percent female and 59 percent over the age of 35, and all demographic groups awarded the movie a rare "A+" CinemaScore. Combine the older crowds with the great word-of-mouth and it's entirely possible that 42 winds up earning close to $100 million by the end of its run, which will make this a huge success for Warner Bros. and producer Legendary Pictures.
At 3,402 locations, Scary Movie 5 opened in second place with $14.2 million. That's the lowest start for the Scary Movie franchise, and is less than half of Scary Movie 4's $40.2 million debut on the same weekend in 2006. It's also off from January horror spoof A Haunted House ($18.1 million), which didn't have a strong brand working in its favor.
For in-depth analysis on 42 and Scary Movie 5, check out last Thursday's Weekend Forecast.
In third place, DreamWorks Animation's The Croods dipped 37 percent to $13.1 million. To date, the animated hit has earned $142.5 million, and it now looks like it will fall short of reaching $200 million by the end of its run.
In its third outing, G.I. Joe: Retaliation fell 48 percent to $10.9 million. On Sunday, the action sequel passed $100 million.
Last weekend's winner Evil Dead plummeted 63 percent to $9.5 million, which meant it fell from first to fifth place. Through 10 days, Evil Dead has grossed $41.5 million, and it still looks poised to close just above $50 million. Jurassic Park 3D was off 52 percent to $8.9 million; that drop is closer to Phantom Menace 3D (65 percent) than Titanic 3D (31 percent). Jurassic Park 3D has now earned $32 million, which is a bit behind Phantom Menace through the same point.