Weekend Wrap Up: August Apathy

Late August has long been a dumping ground for subpar films and, fittingly, these movies rarely break out. This weekend did nothing to buck that trend, as none of the openers exceeded expectations by a large degree and we’re left with action flick holdovers topping the charts once again.

The Expendables 2

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All the trailers, TV Spots and promotional materials gave no indication that this very major character even existed.

Topping the charts for the second straight week is the The Expendables 2. The old-guy action flick dropped 53% down to 13.5 million for a total of 52.3 million, which is about 13 million behind what its predecessor had at the same point. The second weekend drop is right in line with the first flick, so I think the studio might be overestimating a bit. Nonetheless, I’m sure no one at Lions Gate is particularly worried, especially as The Expendables 2 seems primed for strong overseas grosses, where the first film did well, and sequels often build on their success across the ocean.

The Bourne Legacy

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In stark contrast, the advertising for this movie made it seem like this character had a much bigger role than she really did.

Our runner-up for the second straight weekend is The Bourne Legacy. The Jeremy Renner film fell an okay 46% to 9.3 million for a total of 85.5 million. It’s still declining at a noticeably larger rate than any previous entry in the franchise, despite the fact that Supremacy and especially Ultimatum debuted to much higher numbers. Legacy has an outside shot at beating Identity and earning the dubious distinction of lowest grossing entry in the series. Still, this is proof of concept for Universal that if you promise action scenes and slap “Bourne” on the title, then people will come out to see your film.

The top four films this weekend are exactly the same as they were last weekend, so once again we have ParaNorman in third. The stop action animation film fell an unexpectedly large 39%. The best comparison, Coraline, fell only 12%, and that was after a bigger opening as well. Nonetheless, ParaNorman pulled in 8.5 million for a respectable total of 28.3 million so far. Still, considering the strong reviews, I was expecting better legs. I think it will rebound next weekend.

Down 43% to 7.4 million, The Campaign grossed 7.4 million and lifted its sum to 64.5 million. For a movie that didn’t look particularly funny, it’s done quite well and should end up around 8 million. Bumping up a spot to fifth is resident box office juggernaut The Dark Knight Rises. Though it’s definitely a disappointment compared to its unrealistically high expectations, the latest Batman flick has still pulled in 422 million. It fell a good 35% to 7.2 million this weekend. I’m thinking it will end up around 440 million, which would still put eighth on the list of biggest domestic blockbusters ever.

Holding well and slipping just 34% to 7.1 million is The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Feel good family movies often have good legs so this doesn’t really surprise me. Plus, there are no other movies like this in theatres right now. A total of 27 million so far isn’t great, but compared to what must be a low budget, this should end up turning a profit. Next we have the best of this weekend’s openers and I use the term “best” loosely. Premium Rush opened to a very weak 6.3 million. I honestly thought the lack of competition, fast paced advertising, novel concept and adorable face of Joseph Gordon-Levitt would turn this into a surprise hit. Alas, I was so wrong.

Eighth brings us to one of the few successes (although I use that somewhat loosely too) of the weekend, 2016 Obama’s America. This “documentary” was perfectly timed to coincide with the Republican National Convention, so right-wingers had a whole lot to celebrate this weekend. Anyway, it grossed 6.2 million and had by a good margin the highest per theatre average in the top ten. Even still, it’s a far cry from most of Michael Moore’s left-wing films. I’m not sure what, if anything, that tells us.

Hope Springs has the best hold in the top ten, dipping 34% to 6 million, and is the only movie I managed to predict correctly this weekend. A total of 45 million so far ain’t too bad for a movie that can fit into a genre as weird as “Tommy Lee Jones romantic comedy.” Rounding out the top ten with a terrible 4.7 million is Hit and Run. Kristen Bell once had such a promising future, and doing inane pet projects with her boyfriend Dax Shepherd isn’t doing her career any favors.

As I figured, Sparkle did fall off the face of the earth, crashing 64% to 4.2 million. Almost 19 million total against a 14 million budget isn’t bad, though. Finally, the ultimate punctuation mark on this ho hum weekend is The Apparition, one of those films I’d have never heard of if I didn’t check the box office. Any way, the unfathomably awfully reviewed film (it has a ZERO at Rotten Tomatoes) made just under 3 million and will probably be on Blu-Ray in about five weeks. If they even decide it’s worth the disk space.

So, there you have it. Sorry I couldn’t report on bigger news in my first box office wrap up here at Cup of Joe, but don’t blame me. Blame John Q. Moviegoer. Next weekend also brings a bunch of unremarkable movies, and it doesn’t look like things will pick up any time soon. Most notable of next weekend’s releases is The Possession, not because it’s the umpteenth possession movie but because the trailer was cool and featured Scala and Kolacny Brothers’s great remix of “Engel,” originally by one of my favorite bands, Rammstein. With that, I’m out. See you next Friday, guys.

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