Labor is always among the weakest holidays for box office activity. It tends to benefit holdovers the most and give them nice little boosts. However, openers rarely break out and the Labor Day opening weekend record is held by Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake with 30.6 million for the four day weekend. Although that record is still safe, we did have a small breakout this weekend.
The Possession managed to open toward the higher end of run of the mill horror movies, pulling in a solid 17.7 million over the weekend. Figuring it should do decently on Monday, it will probably claim the third biggest Labor Day opening weekend ever by beating out Jeepers Creepers 2. A slightly dubious honor for sure, but I’m Lions Gate is thrilled with this result, as the production budget was a low 14 million.
In second, we have fellow opener Lawless. Of the two wide releases this weekend (no, Oogiloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure does NOT count), this was clearly the better choice, even though its reviews were hardly glowing (a decent 66% at Rotten Tomatoes). Anyway, it seems Shia Labeouf has a hard time carrying a picture that doesn’t involve giant robots as Lawless debuted to an okay 9.7 million. Like almost any movie ever, this one could’ve benefited from Optimus Prime kicking ass.
Third, fourth and fifth places bring us three films that have been box office buddies for weeks. The Expendables 2 rebounded from last weekend by slipping 34% 8.8 million. Its 66 million total isn’t setting any records, but it might be enough to justify a third film anyway, especially since none of the stars’ individual films do nearly as well. Easing just 22% is The Bourne Legacy, which pulled in 7.2 million. With a total of about 96 million now, it’s still a little ahead of where The Bourne Identity wasat the same point, but its total will fall short nonetheless, making the Jeremy Renner film the lowest grossing in the franchise. Also holding well is ParaNorman, which fell 24% to 6.5 million. Its 38 million total isn’t bad, but I think more was expected here.
Showing the best hold in the top twelve is The Odd Life of Timothy Green, which slipped just 15% down to 6.1 million. After its soft debut, the family flick has made a respectable 36 million. The Dark Knight Rises fell 19% to 5.9 million, lifting its sum to a shade over 431 million. Though it’s going to be on its last legs soon, I hope the Batman film can manage another twelve million and pass out Shrek 2 for the number seven spot on the all time domestic blockbusters list.
Falling 27% to 5.5 million is The Campaign. A total of 73 million so far is very respectable, especially for a movie like this that can’t have had too large of a budget. Following that, we have the other politically themed film in the top twelve (not to say the other movies don’t have political themes, particularly The Dark Knight Rises, but they’re more subtle), 2016 Obama’s America. It fell 22% to 5.1 million, despite adding nearly 700 theatres. Still, an 18 million total isn’t too shabby.
Hope Springs has quietly turned into a decent little hit. It fell just 18% to 4.7 million and has grossed 52 million so far, way more than I would’ve predicted. Premium Rush spent only week in the top ten, falling 35% to 3.9 million and eleventh place. Its 12.6 million total so far is… bad, to put it mildly. Finally, in twelfth, we have Hit and Run, which falls 42% even in light of the holiday. 2.6 million gives it a very weak 10 million, though on the plus side, its budget was much lower than Premium Rush.
And, finally, let’s all have a moment of silence for the record-breaking performance of Oogiloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure. It set records for all the wrong reasons and will go down in box office infamy. It beat out Delgo for the title of worst opening ever for a film debuting in more than 2000 theatres. Pulling in an atrocious $448,000, its debut was so bad that instead of being forgotten as a failure, it will be remembered just being such a spectacular failure.
Next weekend isn’t likely to shake the box office of its unimpressive performances as of late and it might not be until October that things pick back up. It’s incredible that Sweet Home Alabama, of all movies, holds the record for biggest September debut, and it’s held that for ten whole years. Anyway, here’s what’s up to bat next weekend.
The Words: Bradley Cooper stars as a struggling writer who discovers a new drug that enhances his IQ–no, wait a minute, wrong movie. Bradley Cooper does indeed star as a struggling writer just like Limitless, but The Words looks decidedly more serious. Bradley Cooper is gorgeous, very charismatic and Zoe Saldana isn’t half bad to look at either. Still, I’d be surprised if this broke out.
The Cold Light of Day: It’s hard to go wrong with Bruce Willis in an action movie, but it seems like he might be playing second fiddle to rising star Henry Cavill, and there’s no way he can carry a movie yet, especially since most people have no idea who he is. That’ll all change next summer, though, when he plays Superman in the Man of Steel reboot. Cavill will have to wait for his time to come because The Cold Light of Day is also unlikely to be a major success.