The Coen Brothers and a star-studded cast couldn’t compete with an animated panda that knows martial arts.
“Hail, Caesar!” underwhelmed at the box office this weekend with a disappointing $11.4 million haul — the lowest-grossing wide release of Joel and Ethan Cohen’s celebrated directing career — that was crushed by last week’s release, “Kung Fu Panda 3,” which won its second consecutive weekend by raking in $21 million.
Hollywood’s latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation, “The Choice,” also failed to ignite much passion from audiences, who only coughed up $6.1 million to see it, but the romance still beat the $5.2 million earned by “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” a horror movie mashed up with Jane Austen‘s classic novel.
“The Choice,” starring Teresa Palmer and Benjamin Walker, was tracking at $5.7 million heading into the weekend, just ahead of the projected $5.3 million hail for “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” Comparably, Sparks’ 2015 film, “The Longest Ride,” opened to $13 million. “The Choice” has a mere 8 percent approval rating from critics counted on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Pride and Prejudice,” fully financed by Cross Creek at $28 million, was initially tracking for $8 million by the studio. It is based on the book by Seth Grahame-Smith of the same name, which inserts the undead into Austen’s 1813 masterpiece. It currently holds a CinemaScore of B-, but 40 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Everything seemed to underperform expectations, I would say,” said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution at Sony. About “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” he said, “we would like to have done more, it’s a movie that is a lot of fun and really… a film that we felt had a shot.”
“Hail, Caesar!” costarring Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin, Jonah Hill and Alden Ehrenreich, surprised, as it was initially tracking for $9.5 million heading into the weekend. It currently holds a 79 percent “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Looking not only at this weekends’ newcomers but at the complete list of current box office performers, Leonardo DiCaprio‘s “The Revenant” came in third with another $6.9 million this weekend, adding to its $144.7 million domestic haul.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” came in fourth with $6.8 million, crossing the $900 million domestic mark and being the only film in history to reach that milestone on Friday. Moreover, on Saturday, the seventh installment crossed the $2 billion worldwide mark.
Additionally, Universal’s ‘Ride Along 2’ will reach $100 million worldwide on Sunday, grossing an estimated $77.2 million at the domestic box office.