Box Office: 'I, Frankenstein' Suffers Dismal Debut, Comcast Universal Goes 1-2

Five holdover movies managed to beat 'I Frankenstein' in its opening weekend. Here's what happened.

Jan 27, 2014 at 4:14PM

Comcast, Viacom, Disney, and Lions Gate compete for the box office crown

I, Frankenstein flopped at this weekend's box office. Image source: Lions Gate

To the disappointment of dozens of people hoping Frankenstein's monster could thrive as an action hero, it looks like he might never get another chance.

Despite both enjoying a massive marketing push from distributor Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:LGF), and also standing as the only film entering wide release this weekend, I, Frankenstein simply couldn't conquer critics' horrible reviews. When all was said and done, the action-horror flick scored just 5% approval on Rotten Tomatoes en route to a sixth place finish and a shockingly low $8.275 million debut.

Then again, that's not exactly a big shocker given I, Frankenstein's sub-$3 million start Friday. Lions Gate will obviously continue working to prop up the film, but note this is particularly bad news for the folks at Lakeshore Entertainment, who financed the bulk of I, Frankenstein's $65 million production budget.

But that's also not to say viewers completely loathed Lakeshore's rebooted take on the iconic character. In fact, exiting audiences granted it a reasonable "B" CinemaScore, or in-line with the scores assigned to Open Road Films' The Nut Job and Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA) Paramount's Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. However, both The Nut Job and Jack Ryan still managed to beat I, Frankenstein in their own second weekends, earning $12.3 million and $8.8 million for third and fifth place, respectively.

Meanwhile, wedged firmly in fourth was The Walt Disney Company's (NYSE:DIS) "A+" rated blockbuster, Frozen, which tacked on another $9 million in its ninth weekend and brought its domestic total to $347.8 million. Including international sales, Frozen has accumulated an amazing $810.3 million to date, or more than five times Disney's huge $150 million budget.

And the winners are...

That brings us to this weekend's repeat champions from Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Universal in Ride Along and Lone Survivor.

Lone Survivor came out narrowly ahead of The Nut Job after falling 42.9% to $12.6 million, bringing its domestic-only total after four weeks to $93.6 million. To The Nut Job's credit, however, keep in mind Comcast expanded Lone Survivor's theater count this weekend by nearly 200 to meet demand. 

But no other film came close to Ride Along, which dropped 49% to gross another $21.2 million over the past three days. This brings its total to $75 million, which is great for Comcast considering it only forked out $25 million to produce the new buddy comedy. Assuming Ride Along follows a similar downward trajectory as 2012's Think Like a Man -- which marked the last time comedian Kevin Hart and Director Tim Story teamed up -- there's no reason it shouldn't easily eclipse the $100 million mark by the time it exits theaters.

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Fool contributor Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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