LOS ANGELES — It was the slowest Super Bowl weekend at the box office in nearly two decades, as poor reviews and winter storms combined to clobber Sony’s “Miss Bala” and other studios mostly sat out the three days.
The Super Bowl does not automatically spell doom for Hollywood. “Taken,” starring Liam Neeson as a retired C.I.A. agent on a mission to save his kidnapped daughter, made its debut against the big game in 2009 and collected $25 million, leading to a three-film series.
But the only major studio to take the risk this year was Sony, which released “Miss Bala” on 2,203 screens in the United States and Canada and came up with an estimated $6.7 million in ticket sales, according to Comscore. That total was not a disaster — “Miss Bala,” an action thriller starring Gina Rodriguez, cost only $15 million to make — but it’s never good when the only new wide-release film in theaters can’t overtake movies that have already been playing for weeks.
“Glass” (Universal) repeated as No. 1 in its third weekend, collecting $9.5 million, for a new domestic total of $88.7 million. “Glass,” which completes an M. Night Shyamalan trilogy, has generated an additional $110 million in ticket sales overseas. “The Upside,” a sleeper hit starring Kevin Hart from STXfilms and Lantern Entertainment, took in about $8.9 million in second place, for a four-week domestic total of $75.6 million. “The Upside” has only been released in a handful of overseas markets so far, collecting $6.1 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
“Miss Bala” was third. The PG-13 movie, directed by Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”), finds Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”) playing a woman dragged into the Mexico drug war. If nothing else, “Miss Bala,” adapted from a 2011 Spanish-language film of the same name, represents progress in Hollywood’s effort to be inclusive: In addition to having a female director and Latina star, the film had a mostly Latino crew.
Total ticket sales in North America over the weekend stood at $71 million, according to Comscore, the lowest since 2000, when Hollywood only managed $66.3 million and the top film was “Eye of the Beholder,” which starred Ashley Judd and Ewan McGregor and was a remake of a French thriller.