In The Heart Of The Sea Tanks In Weekend Box Office Returns

Posted by at 11:32 am on December 14, 2015

in-the-heart-of-the-seaRon Howard’s whaling drama “In the Heart of the Sea” has been scuttled, heading for a lackluster opening weekend of $11 million to $12 million at 3,103 U.S. locations, early estimates showed Friday. The fourth weekend of Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” could edge “In the Heart of the Sea” with early Friday tracking around $11 million to $12.5 million for a three-day total.

Recent forecasts had projected that “In the Heart of the Sea” would take in $12 million to $14 million but Thursday night previews generated only $575,000 — underlining the marginal moviegoer interest in the poorly reviewed movie. The numbers are a clear disappointment, given a production budget around $100 million plus the star power of Chris Hemsworth.

It’s probable that “In the Heart of the Sea” will not even match “Pan,” another big-budget money-loser for Warner Bros. “Pan” opened with $15.1 million on the second weekend of October and limped to $34.8 million domestically.

With Disney opening “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on Dec. 18, prospects for holdover business in the coming weeks are fairly dim. International grosses for “In the Heart of the Sea” have been unimpressive so far with $18.5 million in 38 markets last weekend.

“In the Heart of the Sea” is based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s 2000 book about the sinking of the whaling ship Essex in 1820 — which inspired Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick.” Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland, Ben Whishaw and Brendan Gleeson also star. Howard shot the film in 2013 and Warner Bros. had originally planned to open it on March 13 of this year, but the studio decided earlier this year to push it back nine months. Village Roadshow co-financed.

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