Battle: Los Angeles Takes Box Office with $36 Million

I’m been watching the box office returns for Jonathan Liebesman’s “Battle: Los Angeles” very carefully this week. It’s one of the first movies of 2011 that I’m hoping will launch a franchise (or at least a sequel or two) because the premise just begs to explored further. “Battle: New York”, anyone? Or if we really want to get fancy, how about “Battle: Hong Kong”? Or “Battle: Paris”? Just tossing them out there.

So how did “Battle: Los Angeles” do in its opening week? Not bad, though it could have been better.

The Aaron Eckhart-starring film opened in first place with $36 million, knocking “Rango” down to second. Add $16.7 million from overseas markets, and it’s cornered $53 million in worldwide box office so far. “Battle: Los Angeles” is budgeted at $70 million, so you’re probably looking at the film to at least double that to turn any kind of a profit, and possibly triple it to warrant a sequel or two.

Again, not super great numbers, but for a film whose biggest star is Aaron Eckhart (not exactly a major household name just yet), it did pretty well. Sony sounds happy about it, though studios are always loathe to admit when a film under performs, and always happy to boast when they take the #1 spot.

In its second week, “Battle: Los Angeles” will have to do battle with Bradley Cooper’s “Limitless” and the sci-fi nerd comedy “Paul”. The latter won’t be too much of a problem; Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, as popular as they are with fanboys across the Interwebs, are just not that big of a draw for the mainstream American populace. “Limitless”, though, might give “Battle” a real fight for first place. We shall see.