Peter Berg’s “Lone Survivor,” the patriotic-themed true story tale of a famed Navy SEAL mission gone awry, stormed to the top of the box-office this weekend.
‘Lone’ pulled in a whopping $38.5 million over the weekend, easily the biggest debut of any post-9/11 war film, partly helped by avoiding the politics of its storyline in favor of more general themes of friendship and heroism.
That figure is also the second-best nationwide launch of any film January, behind only “Cloverfield” with $40.1 million. In fact the film did so well, especially in the so-called ‘heartland’, that one Texas theater canceled screenings of other films to accommodate the extra business on Saturday. Seven of the Top 10 grossing theaters for the film were in Texas.
If that weren’t enough, the film also managed to nab the highly-coveted A+ CinemaScore in audience exit polling – indicating filmgoers who saw it were very happy with what they saw.
Film critics weren’t as swept away, but they did give it decent reviews with a 60/100 on Metacritic and a 73% (6.6/10) on Rotten Tomatoes. The one place where the film didn’t do so well this weekend? Canada. Due to the strong patriotism angle, the film isn’t expected to do much internationally.
Surprise animated hit “Frozen” came in second with $15.1 million, followed by “The Wolf of Wall Street” with $9 million. The week’s other new wide release, “The Legend of Hercules,” tied for fourth with “American Hustle” with both scoring $8.6 million.