‘In The Heart of the Sea’ Ship-Wrecks at Box Office

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Our own Jonathon Sturgeon deemed Ron Howard’s new film In the Heart of the Sea “a whale of a bad time,” and audiences seem to have taken his and many other critics’ warning; Variety reports the seagoing picture “sunk at the box office this weekend” (GET IT?), with an unfortunate opening weekend gross of $11 million on over three thousand screens.

Heart, a production reportedly price-tagged at $100 million, is the second financial disappointment in a row for Howard and star Hemsworth, whose 2013 racing drama Rush topped out at $26 million domestic—though it recouped its costs with an impressive foreign run. But that film cost a fraction of Heart (a $38 million budget, to be precise), and overseas grosses aren’t looking to rescue this one. It also marks another costly failure for Warner Brothers, whose recent run of bad commercial luck (The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Pan, Jupiter Ascending) was interrupted only by Creed.

That said, it was a weak weekend overall, with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 barely eking out a first place finish (with $11.3 million) in its fourth week of release. Sea was the week’s only new wide release; further down the charts, The Big Short scored an impressive limited debut, with a $90,000 per-screen average on eight screens.

The rest of the top ten remained virtually unchanged, though that will also shift come Friday when the year’s most anticipated new movie finally hits multiplexes. And yes, we’re as excited about Sisters as everyone else.