It might be a quick death for "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."
The film opened to a $16.5 million opening weekend at the domestic box office this weekend, finishing in third place -- well behind the Pixar film "Brave" as well as last week's No. 1 film, "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted."
Although "Lincoln" was showing on 1,000 fewer screens than "Brave," it was also averaging just $5,309 on each compared to more than $16,000 from the Pixar film, according to The Numbers. "Brave," by the way, earned $66.8 million, keeping it in line with the opening weekend of "Cars 2" last year, but far behind the $110.3 million opening of "Toy Story 3" the year before.
"Lincoln" is also far behind any other major R-rated film opening this year, especially since "Prometheus" picked up $51.1 million just two weeks ago, ranking it No. 10 all-time, according to Box Office Mojo. It's also half the opening of "21 Jump Street," which picked up $36.3 million in March.
In fact, "Lincoln" is not even in the top 200 openings of all-time for R-rated films, which currently ends with 2010's "Edge of Darkness" at $17.2 million.
This is definitely bad news for writer Seth Grahame-Smith and director Timur Bekmambetov. And although this was shot on a typically low $70 million budget, it will be nearly impossible for the domestic box office to make up that kind of money in its theatrical run.
A little more than a third of critics liked the film, according to Rotten Tomatoes, but two-thirds of audiences liked it. One fan called the film "soulless," saying that it was "a move made purely for cynical marketing purposes." However, others said that some might be taking the film too seriously.
"Obviously, if you [walked] into the movie expecting an Oscar-winning movie, the joke is on you," one Rotten Tomatoes poster said.
"Prometheus" has now dropped to fourth place in its third week with a $10 million weekend, bringing its total to $108.5 million. "Snow White & the Huntsman" remained in fifth place with $8 million this week, and $137.1 million overall.
"The Avengers" should cross the $600 million mark this week after adding $7 million more to its total, bringing it up to $598.3 million. "Men In Black 3" earned $5.6 million for a grand total of $163.3 million over the last month.
"Lincoln" and "Prometheus" are going to get some serious R-rated competition next week with the release of the comedy "Ted," as well as more mainstream competition from the likes of "Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection" and Disney's "People Like Us."
About the Author
Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.Email author