Dredd Improves Over Friday Projections, Still Can't Crack Top Five

Box Office Mojo

's final box office estimates for the weekend are in, and Dredd 3D, which some critics (that would be this writer) have called "the best comic book film of the year", improved somewhat over its dismal Friday projections, but still has made only about half of what it was expected to when Box Office Mojo made its best guesses for the weekend on Thursday.

All told, Dredd will make $6.3 million this weekend, up from the $5.7 million it was projected to make on Friday but down from the $12.6 million it was projected to make at the beginning of the weekend. The film's word of mouth has dropped off some throughout the weekend as well; while it's still "certified fresh," its overall critic score at Rotten Tomatoes has dropped to 77% and its audience score 86%. That's down from numbers in the 90% range for both shortly before the film's release.

The film, which stars Star Trek and Lord of the Rings star Karl Urban as Judge Dredd, also failed to crack the top five at this weekend's box office, slipping two spots from where it was projected after a strong performance by Disney's 3D reissue of Finding Nemo.

Finding Nemo's success probably isn't all that surprising; the box office as a whole was down 20% from the same time last year, and so a safe bet like one of the highest-grossing and best-reviewed animated films of all time--which was likely to do around the same amount no matter what the rest of the box office did--stood to benefit from the depressed audience turnout.

Dredd wasn't the only movie to take a beating compared to expectations; Clint Eastwood's Trouble With the Curve, projected to come in at #1, dropped to #3 with only $12.7 million this weekend, behind both End of Watch and House at the End of the Street, which scored $13 million each. Finding Nemo 3D and Resident Evil: Retribution rounded out the top five with $9.4 million and $6.7 million, followed by Dredd.

A dismal opening frame would seem to diminish the chances of the film making $50 million at the U.S. domestic box office, the mark that's been rumored to be the go-ahead for a sequel. Writer Alex Garland had planned a trilogy of films, based on ideas from the 2000 AD comics, but had speculated more recently that the most realistic path forward for the character might be on television rather than film.