Baseball film "42" scores $27.3 million in box office win

Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:34pm EDT
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By Lisa Richwine and Andrea Burzynski

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Baseball drama "42," the story of Jackie Robinson becoming the first black player in the major leagues more than 60 years ago, took home a win at the movie box office after scoring $27.3 million from weekend ticket sales in the United States and Canada.

The film about the Hall of Fame player topped industry forecasts for an opening of about $20 million. It defeated new horror spoof "Scary Movie 5," the second-place finisher with $15.2 million from Friday through Sunday, according to studio estimates.

Animated Stone Age adventure film "The Croods" took the No. 3 slot. The Dreamworks Animation production rung up sales of $13.2 million in its fourth week for a total of $142.5 million in the U.S. and Canada.

In international markets, Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller "Oblivion" debuted with $61.1 million in 52 countries, distributor Universal Studios said. The film opens in the United States and Canada on Friday.

"42" stars TV actor Chadwick Boseman, seen on shows such as "Fringe" and "Justified," as the legendary Robinson. The title refers to Robinson's jersey number with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Harrison Ford plays Branch Rickey, the Dodgers general manager who paved the way for Robinson to enter Major League Baseball as its first black player in 1947.

Audiences thought the movie was a home run, awarding a rare A+ rating in polling by survey firm CinemaScore. Critics also gave "42" high marks, with 75 percent recommending the movie among reviews on the Rotten Tomatoes website.

"It was big in small towns, large towns, urban markets and suburban markets," said Dan Fellman, president of theatrical distribution for Warner Bros., the Time Warner Inc unit that distributed the film. Legendary Pictures produced the film for $40 million.

Box office analyst for Paul Dergarabedian noted that the film's 25 percent uptick on Saturday indicated strong word of mouth.   Continued...

Director of the movie Brian Helgeland poses at the premiere of "42" in Hollywood, California April 9, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni