Punisher Gets Punished at Box Office

Ray Stevenson Talks Punisher

Marvel’s run at having films based on its characters open at #1 at the domestic box office was broken in a big way this weekend, when Punisher: War Zone, the third attempt to start a Punisher film franchise opened at #8 with only $4 million. The film opened on just over 2,500 screens, and brought in $1,595 per screen as opposed to $5,451 brought in per screen by Four Christmases which remained in the #1 slot for its second week. Beating War Zone - two animated films, two action films (one from Lionsgate, which also released War Zone), Twilight and Australia.

Punisher: War Zone barely beat another debut this weekend, Cadillac Records, which opened at #9 with $3.5 million. In comparison, 2004’s The Punisher opened at #2 on its debut weekend (April 16-18th), and saw a domestic opening of $13 million. cost a reported $35 million to make.

The weak opening of War Zone will certainly cause some Chicken Littling about films based on comic book superheroes among industry pundits, though it can be pointed out that the weekend after Thanksgiving is traditionally a soft box office weekend, the movie had no bankable stars, and War Zone suffered from nearly unanimous poor reviews from critics, scoring only a 17% (4/10) on Rotten Tomatoes.com which averaged 65 reviews.

The full top ten for the weekend:

1) Four Christmases - $18.2 million

2) Twilight - $13.2 million

3) Bolt - $9.7 million

4) Australia - $7.0 million

5) Quantum of Solace - $6.6 million

6) Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa - $5.1 million

7) Transporter 3 - $4.5 million

8) Punisher: War Zone - $4 million

9) Cadillac Records - $3.5 million

10) Role Models - $2.6 million

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