'Lone Survivor' leaves box office shocked and awed

10:40 AM, Jan 13, 2014   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
"Lone Survivor" was alone at the top of the box office in its opening weekend. (Photo: Universal Pictures)



Hercules was no match for Navy SEALs as Lone Survivor powered to a surprisingly lopsided win at the box office this weekend.

The true story of a military mission gone awry collected $38.5 million, according to studio estimates from box office trackers Rentrak.

While the movie opened in limited release on Christmas Day, the Mark Wahlberg drama did twice what most analysts expected. The movie has collected $38.9 million overall.

Despite an R rating and a story based on a failed 2005 mission that left 19 U.S. casualties, Survivorplayed particularly well in the heartland with a patriotic ad campaign, say analysts.

"Instead of focusing on the downer of a story, Universal's marketing has played up the movie's themes of courage and brotherhood," says Ray Subers, analyst for Box Office Mojo.

Critics and fans signed up for the mission. Survivor earned a 73% approval rating from the nation's reviewers and a thumbs-up from 86% of moviegoers, says pollstersRotten Tomatoes. Directed by Peter Berg, the movie earned a collective grade of A-plus from fans, according to CinemaScore.

The debut was enough for an easy win at the box office and bump Frozen from the top spot. The Disney animated comedy did $15.1 million and second place.

Leonardo DiCaprio's The Wolf of Wall Street was third with $9 million.

The only major newcomer of the weekend, The Legend of Hercules, mustered a wimpy $8.6 million, below its modest forecast of $12 million.

The film tied with American Hustle, which also claimed $8.6 million.

Final figures are due Monday.

You may also like... 

Weird Florida: A look back at some of the strangest stories of the year

Miracle Baby: Tampa toddler has 5-organ transplant

Broke Bad: Contest winner busted in synthetic drug ring

Here kitty, kitty: Lion escapes enclosure at Pasco sanctuary

Fake Cop: Man arrested 3 times for impersonating officer

Animal tragedy: Girl's miniature horse attacked by dogs

#ShortYellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights

Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children

Popular photo galleries:

Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers

Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos 

Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant

Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV***warning graphic***

Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole

Popular Databases:

Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here

Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here

Most Watched Videos