Based on its opening weekend estimates, it looks as though Oliver Stone's W. is not going to be one of his most financially successful films. After all, it couldn't even beat a three-week-old Chihuahua.
While the film's $10.5 million dollar opening weekend is not a disaster, it's certainly not as strong as it could have been. At this point, the film will need positive word of mouth and perhaps some more controversy in order to maintain solid staying power during a typically competitive fall season.
Stone's most recent films performed better during their opening frames than W. has. In 2006, World Trade Center debuted with $18.7 million from 2,957 locations. Also, despite mixed reviews, Alexander and Any Given Sunday were both able to cross the $13 million mark when they opened. Alexander landed at 2,445 locations while Sunday debuted at 2,505.
It's definitely worth noting that Lionsgate only released W. at 2,030 locations, and another 300-400 could have easily helped it into the range that Alexander and Sunday reached.
Stone's most financially successful film remains Platoon. The Vietnam drama grossed $137.9 million in 1986 and it eventually went on to win Best Picture and Best Director Oscars.
Even though it had a somewhat mediocre opening weekend, W. should not be counted out just yet. Josh Brolin's lead performance is garnering praise and it could lead to Awards season plaudits, which in turn leads to more box office. Also, the film should perform very well on DVD and other home viewing platforms considering that audiences will have to pay less to see the film and appease whatever curiosity they may have.