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Lone Survivor tops US box office with $38.5 million

Lone Survivor

Story by Jack Foley

PETER Berg’s Lone Survivor has topped the US box office with better than expected opening figures and one of the best openings in modern times for a war film.

Based on Marcus Luttrell’s real-life memoir about four SEALs sent on a dangerous mission to Afghanistan to capture or assassinate a notorious Taliban leader, the film stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster and is Berg’s first release since blockbuster flop Battleship. Unlike Battleship, however, Lone Survivor has been a passion project for him.

The film took $38.5 million to notch up the second-best debut of all time for a January release – monster movie Cloverfield holds the record with $40.1 million.

In doing so, it also displaced box office juggernaut Frozen, which slid to second following its return to No.1 last weekend, and new release The Legend of Hercules, which debuted in fourth spot with a weak $8.6 million, tying with holdover American Hustle and thereby completing the US top five.

Commenting on Lone Survivor‘s performance, Nikki Rocco – Universal domestic marketing chief – said: “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.”

Disney’s Frozen has now taken over $317 million in the US and has shot past the $700 million mark worldwide to end the weekend with $712.2 million in total ticket sales.

While also going great guns is Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, which came in third with $9 million for the weekend and a US total of $78.6 million.

David O. Russell’s American Hustle also crossed the $100 million mark in the US, ending its fourth weekend with $101.6 million.

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