‘Lone Survivor’ Victorious With $38.5 Million Debut

The Hollywood Reporter (January 12, 2014)

Winning over the minds and hearts of moviegoers in America’s heartland, Peter Berg‘s Navy SEALs drama Lone Survivor opened to a huge $38.5 million in North America, far more than expected and the best showing of any post-9/11 war film.

The patriotic-themed pic, earning a coveted A+ CinemaScore, boasts the second-best debut of all time for the month of January after Cloverfield ($40.1 million). Lone Survivor was strongest in flyover states, led by Texas (as expected, Canada was weak). The film’s cume is $38.9 million when accounting for its exclusive awards qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles.

Starring Mark WahlbergTaylor KitschEmile Hirschand Ben Foster, Lone Survivor is based on MarcusLuttrell‘s memoir about four SEALs sent on a dangerous mission to Afghanistan. (Wahlberg plays Luttrell.)

“It’s a great story about patriotism, survival and heroism, and incredible courage. It worked well everywhere, but Middle America really, really responded. The publicity and marketing effort was amazing, including supporting Marcus in reaching out everywhere to tell his story. Pete and Mark were everywhere, too,” said Universal domestic marketing chief Nikki Rocco.

by Pamela McClintock