Let the early fall box office doldrums begin! This weekend has seen one of the worst theatrical performances in quite a while from the top ten as only one film managed to pass into eight-figure territory. Those honors go to The Expendables 2 with $13.5 million. The movie easily beat out other returning offerings that include The Bourne Legacy, ParaNorman, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, The Campaign, and The Dark Knight Rises.
Shockingly, Hollywood’s openers performed below all those titles as audiences did not seem to care for Premium Rush or Hit and Run which banked $6.3 million and $4.7 million respectively. The first one, a David Koepp-directed action thriller about NYC bicycle messengers, cost $35 million to make, creating a cause for concern in that even the low-budget stabs at the genre seem destined to lose money at the moment. Also, there is apparently no John Blake bump from The Dark Knight Rises which many expected. Perhaps Gordon-Levitt should not have been so coy with the ‘Robin spin-off’ questions when promoting Rush. A bit more association (and free press) would have helped.
For those of you curious how The Dark Knight Rises is doing overall, after over a month in release the film has finally pushed pass $900 million globally. This is still about $90 million short of The Dark Knight four years ago, but expect foreign strength to allow the latest Batman movie to breach 10-figures by time it is all said and done.
Winning the award for surprise of the week is the documentary 2016: Obama’s America with $6.2 million from its first weekend in a wider release (over 1000 theaters.) While still relatively unpopular, this is a low-budget doc that cost next to no money to make resulting in a huge profit for anyone involved. Television marketing for the film was relegated to MSNBC, Fox News, and History.
Hopefully for Hollywood’s sake this is not a growing trend that will mirror last fall’s soft output. Next up on the calendar is the Lionsgate horror film The Possession and John Hillcoat’s Lawless with Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, and Jessica Chastain. The latter is a period feature set against the backdrop of Prohibition-era Virginia that tells the true story of the Bondurant family’s run-in with the feds. Analysts predict that each of these offerings will bring in more than $10 million next weekend.