By Todd Allen
August was a pretty weak month at the Box Office. September isn’t starting out any better. How bad was it? For this weekend, the box office was the worst since 2008. As good as the early summer was, only two films debuting after Dark Knight Rises: the latest Ice Age and Bourne Legacy. Which is also to say, this week’s new release were not hotly received. At all.
Here’s the top 10 films per Box Office Mojo:
1 The Possession $9,500,000
2 Lawless $6,002,000
3 The Words $5,000,000
4 The Expendables 2 $4,750,000
5 The Bourne Legacy $4,000,000
6 ParaNorman $3,830,000
7 The Odd Life of Timothy Green $3,650,000
8 The Campaign $3,530,000
9 The Dark Knight Rises $3,285,000
10 2016 Obama’s America $3,281,000
The Possession and Lawless keep their positions from last week, albeit with less revenue. The third slot is the lackluster debut of The Words, which managed a meager $1,785 per screen. That’s actually a borderline good average for this slow week, but absolutely not what you want for opening week. That’s a lot better than The Cold Light of Day’s opening average of $1,191 per screen. Granted, it was barely a wide release with 1,511 screen, but $1.8M is a bit less than you expect from a Bruce Willis film.
The Dark Knight Rises is still hanging around the top 10 at #9 with the second highest percentage drop of the top 10 this week. Then again, the $1,653 per screen average was pretty good in the current context. This is week 8 for the billion dollar film.
The Avengers picked up another $795K, but the $658 per screen average suggests that extremely long run is just about over.
The Amazing Spider-Man, while still in a few theaters, did not show up on the weekend estimates. It should be own tomorrow’s actual numbers, but that means it’s going to be up to the overseas markets to see if Spidey makes it all the way to $750M global. Really, it’s the foreign market’s that drove Sony to greenlight the sequel. We’ll see how high the approved budget is, though.
Will next week be a more interesting week at the box office? Well, it does get a little geekier, which seemed to be a theme of the early summer business success. Finding Nemo (3D) is the widest release of the week with 2,900 screens. Will a retread beat out The Possession? Quite possibly, especially with the extra price tag for 3D movies. The other wide release is Resident Evil: Retribution with 2,850 screens. A possible winner? Compared to The Words, it probably will be.
Two weeks until we find out how the general public reacts to a new Judge Dredd movie.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.