In its opening weekend, “Lone Survivor” surpassed all expectations and raked in a huge $ 38.5 million in North America. The film nearly doubled studio estimates and scored the second-best debut for the month of January, after “Cloverfield” ($ 40.1 million).
“Frozen” slowed and fell to No. 2, taking in just over $ 15 million. The film’s domestic total has now reached north of $ 317 million. Meanwhile, Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” rolled to third place, grossing $ 9 million and pushing its domestic total to $ 78.6 million.
Also opening this weekend, “The Legend of Hercules” showed little muscle and came in fourth with a take of $ 8.6 million. It was a disappointing opening for the epic against its $ 70 million production budget.
Take a look below for the rest of the top 10!
Box Office Top 10
1. “Lone Survivor” $ 38.5M
2. “Frozen” $ 15.1M
3. “The Wolf of Wall Street” $ 9M
4. “The Legend of Hercules” $ 8.6M
5. “American Hustle” $ 8.6M
6. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” $ 8M
7. “August: Osage County” $ 7.3M
8. “Saving Mr. Banks” $ 6.6M
9. “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” $ 6.3M
10. “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” $ 6.1M
Gallery | The 6 Most Realistic Military Movies of the Past 20 Years
- ‘Black Hawk Down’ (Ridley Scott, 2001)
Focusing on a failed 1993 mission to bring down Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid, “Black Hawk Down” captures the harsh realities of modern-day warfare and demonstrates what it means to be a brother in arms. Released shortly after 9/11, the film was praised for its stylistic, fast-paced combat sequences — complete with POV gunner shots — that seem to thrust the audience right in the middle of the action.
- ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (Steven Spielberg, 1998)
“Saving Private Ryan” was heralded for its realistic depiction of combat, specifically the portrayal of the Normandy landing on Omaha Beach. The epic opening sequence — which cost $ 12 million and required 1,500 extras — is ranked as one of the best battle scenes of all time, its realism even forcing many veterans of D-Day to step away from the film for duration of the scene. The movie’s authentic illustration of the atrocities and difficulties of warfare have also been lauded by Quentin Tarantino and other filmmakers.
- ‘Rescue Dawn’ (Werner Herzog, 2006)
Based on Dieter Dengler’s real-life account, “Rescue Dawn” authentically portrays Dengler’s harrowing experience as a Vietnamese prisoner of war. To recreate the humid, lush setting, director Werner Herzog shot in the jungles of Thailand and cast Christian Bale to play the part of Dengler. As he’s shown us time and time again, Bale transformed himself for the role, losing a significant (and scary) amount of weight to better represent the POW. His emaciated frame effectively added to the movie’s cringeworthy scenes of torture, violence, and misery.
- ‘The Thin Red Line’ (Terrence Malick, 1998)
After a 20-year absence, director Terrence Malick returned to filmmaking with a bang. Released only months after “Saving Private Ryan,” “The Thin Red Line” examined the Pacific theatre of World War II and paid particular attention to the emotional state of soldiers in a distant land, and in the heart of battle. Soldiers are seen throwing-up before combat, reminding the audience of the fragility (and bravery) of these young men.
- ‘The Hurt Locker’ (Kathryn Bigelow, 2009)
“The Hurt Locker” garnered universal critical acclaim and was praised for its authentic portrayal of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among veterans. Winner of 2010’s Best Picture Oscar, the film examines a bomb disposal team and the subsequent psychological impact the life-threatening tasks have on the central character, William James (Jeremy Renner). However, despite its widespread success, “The Hurt Locker” still received criticism from veterans for its inaccuracies, specifically the way in which the team dangerously conducted its missions. Nonetheless, it’s generally lauded as the best Iraq movie to date, from civilians and veterans alike.
- ‘Letters From Iwo Jima’ (Clint Eastwood, 2006)
“Letters From Iwo Jima” depicts the Japanese soldiers’ point of view during the Battle of Iwo Jima, a contrast to the American perspective delivered in Clint Eastwood’s earlier film, “Flags of Our Fathers.” This fresh approach not only illustrates the good and evil on both sides of combat, but also highlights the human characteristics that all men possess — no matter what side they’re fighting for. Japan even praised the film for its accurate depiction of Japanese soldiers and authentic representation of 1940s Japanese culture.
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