Lone Survivor: Best War-Film Bow Since 9/11
'Hercules' stumbles while 'Frozen' clings to second spot
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2014 1:35 PM CST
This image released by The Weinstein Company shows, from left, Meryl Streep, Julianne Nicholson and Juliette Lewis in a scene from "August: Osage County."   (AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, Claire Folger)

(Newser) Lone Survivor shocked Hollywood this weekend with a blistering $38.9 million debut—the best of any war film since 9/11, says the Hollywood Reporter. Analysts tell USA Today that the Mark Wahlberg drama, about a US military mission gone wrong, fared well in the heartland thanks to a patriotic ad campaign. "Instead of focusing on the downer of a story, Universal's marketing has played up the movie's themes of courage and brotherhood," says an expert from Box Office Mojo. Filling out the top five are Frozen ($15.1 million), The Wolf of Wall Street ($9 million), newcomer The Legend of Hercules and American Hustle (both $8.6 million).

Meanwhile the darkly comedic August: Osage County, starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, expanded to 905 screens for about $2.2 million, Entertainment Weekly reports. "The success of the film clearly speaks to the popularity of Meryl and Julia," said a Weinstein Company executive. The well-reviewed Her, about a writer who falls for his computer's operating system, grew to an extra 1,600 theaters and banked a soft $5 million. "This isn't about today's particular result, it's about feeding the film for upcoming weeks," said a Warner Bros. executive about the company's Oscar strategy.

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Jan 12, 2014 8:51 PM CST
Lone survivor was really really dumb. I think the portrayal of the soldiers by actors is disrespectful exploitation, more so than zero dark thirty. Restrepo is real.
Jan 12, 2014 4:46 PM CST
I saw the movie last week and it sure bought back memories/nightmares; unfortunately the major things that could go wrong with a mission did go wrong. First they lost commo and then their air support was diverted. If I were the SEAL team Leader I would have tied up the Afghan sheepherders which may have bought them enough time to clear the area. I was disappointed to see that with all the technology we currently have today (I.E. Tactical Satellite- TACSAT) that they were faced with the same issue we had back in Nam in the early 70’s (bad commo). A good friend of mine lost his life plus a few others in Nam because he lost communications with his higher during a firefight. Well worth seeing; overall it was a good movie which hopefully does the Navy SEALS justice.
Jan 12, 2014 3:01 PM CST
I saw Lone Survivor. Damn falling down those mountains looked brutal. Ouch. Killed a whole lot of taliban though. For 4 seals the body count had to have been over 50.