Weekend Wrap Up: The Autumn Doldrums Begin

Late summer/early autumn usually competes with early winter for the weakest, most boring month of the year at the box office. And this time of year usually usually wins. Rarely do any projects from September or late August break out. So it’s perhaps not surprising that not a single film earned over $20 million this weekend and the box office was led by a concert film whose demographic was almost exclusively young and teenage girls with bad taste in music.

Also, I should mention that though this is a four-day holiday holiday weekend, I’m reporting on just the three day weekend. The holiday is also a primary reason several movies had small drops.

One Direction: This is Us We

File:One Direction This is Us Theatrical Poster.jpg

The screaming fans of the latest boyband sensation drove the most recent entry in the often surprisingly lucrative concert film genre to a solid $17 million. That’s quite a bit below the likes of Hannah Montana ($31.3 million) and Justin Bieber ($29.5 million) but it’s noticeably more than The Jonas Brothers ($12.5 million). Concert films tend to be heavily front-loaded, and 1D might be especially bad in that department, given how rabid their fans seem to be. I’d be surprised if This is Us finished with more $50 million.

Two-time champ The Butler got bumped down to second, but continues to show great legs. It dropped just 11% to $14.7 million, and lifted its total to $74 million. With this kind of stamina, $100 million shouldn’t be much of an issue. Finishing around $115 million seems likely. Another leggy late summer flick, We’re the Millers, fell only 3%, which is astounding. The comedy hit pulled in $12.6 million for a total of $109.6 million. Against a budget of just $37 million, this might even be successful enough to warrant a sequel.

Planes actually moved up a spot in the top ten, which isn’t too surprising since holiday weekends are usually a great time for parents to take their kids to the movies. The horribly-reviewed picture fell 10% to $7.8 million. That puts the total at a solid $71.8 million.

And….this doesn’t happen too often. A film that I’ve absolutely never heard of, and have no clue about its plot or anything, somehow managed to open at number five. Occasionally a film can open toward the bottom of the top ten that I’ve never heard of, but rarely does such a film crack the top five. That said, Instructions Not Included somehow made $7.5 million from just 347 theatres for a huge venue average of $21,614 dollars, which for the sake of comparison is more than triple that of One Direction. So, yeah, if anyone has any idea what this film is, let me know.

Elysium dipped 9% to $6.3 million. That small drop is good news, but the Matt Damon film has already disappointed quite a bit. With $78.4 million in the bank, it won’t even approach its $115 million budget domestically. Dropping 44%, The Mortal Instruments made $5.2 million and brought its total to $22.7 million. On the bright side, that’s already three million more dollars than Beautiful Creatures.

The World’s End dropped to $4.8 million and was down 46%. $16.6 million so far against a budget of $20 million isn’t too bad. Both Shaun of the Dead and particularly Hot Fuzz did better overseas, so TWE should be fine. Debuting way down in ninth, Getaway managed just $4.5 million. I didn’t think it was possible, but the two percent this film has at Rotten Tomatoes is even worse than the 3% of Paranoia.

Finally, wrapping up the top ten, we have Percy Jackson, who dropped 16% to $4.4 million. A $55 million total is definitely disappointing. Also, I feel like I should mention Closed Circuit, which opened way down in 15th place and grossed just $2.5 million. If you thought this weekend was boring, things might get even worse, if Septembers past are any indication. That said, this September actually has some films with decent potential coming out. I’ll be sure to write up a full month’s preview in the coming days. Until we meet again.

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