Here are your three-day box office returns (new releases bolded):
1. One Direction: This Is Us - $16.9 million
2. Lee Daniels' The Butler - $14.8 million
3. We're the Millers - $12.7 million
4. Planes - $7.7 million
5. Instructions Not Included - $7.5 million
6. Elysium - $6.3 million
7. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones - $5.6 million
8. The World's End - $5.1 million
9. Getaway - $4.5 million
10. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters - $4.4 million
The Big Stories
Here's a question for you: Did you go see a new movie this weekend? If you did, here's another for you: Why? There are still reasons to go. Maybe you couldn't get out of town for the holiday. Maybe you heard how great The World's End was and wanted to support its awesomeness. Maybe you had not seen Lee Daniels' The Butler yet and needed to get out there before Harvey Weinstein cuts out 20 minutes and adds title cards to each appearing president. ("Richard Nixon - He met Elvis who was trained by Mike Stone who trained under Bruce Lee.") Otherwise, unless you had an adolescent daughter there was really no reason to go to the cinema.
The Direction We Are Headed
They have a grand total of two albums and now the third-rate boy band from a fourth-rate American Idol show have a number-one film at the box office. From the dangers of binging on McDonalds to finding Osama bin Laden to Hollywood product placement, no horrors could prepare director Morgan Spurlock for the vocal stylings of Harry, Louis, Liam, Niall and Zayn. Or that Martin Scorsese would show up at one of their shows. Just when it seemed that these stale, bubblegum concert films were on the way out, along comes an estimated $20 million in ticket sales through the Labor Day holiday.
Not quite as big as Miley Cyrus' $31.1 million or Justin Bieber's $29.5 million (both in three days, not four), nor even Michael Jackson's postmortem This Is It and his $26.1 million (in four days), but Sony has to be very happy with numbers that look better on the book after a summer of After Earth, White House Down, Elysium and The Mortal Instruments. Katy Perry's concert/breakup film only grossed $25.3 million last summer and how bad do the Jonas Brothers feel with their total of $19.1 million at the box office; barely enough to keep their fans covered in white foam. Guess it really is the little things that provide those teenage kicks.
Something for Teenage Boys?
If they are hoping to get their kicks with Selena Gomez this week, might I recommend Spring Breakers instead. Heck, they may even be more prone to Monte Carlo, depending on where their hormonal interests currently lie. No male, young or old, should take much interest in Getaway and, judging from its totals this holiday, the point was taken. The single worst reviewed major release of the summer (garnering a 2% at Rotten Tomatoes) had one of the worst four-day starts this year for a 2,000-plus theater count.
Paranoia ($3.52), Getaway ($4.5), Bullet to the Head ($4.54), Peeples ($4.61), Movie 43 ($4.80), Dead Man Down ($5.34), Admission ($6.15), The Last Stand ($6.28), Jobs ($6.71), Parker ($7.00), You're Next ($7.02)
More critics liked Movie 43 than Getaway too. Don't worry, Jonas Brothers, even you had more critical support too. On the other hand, critics virtually ignored Eugenio Derbez' Instructions Not Included. Only four reviews at Rotten Tomatoes to date - mostly because it was not screened nor were screeners available - and yet it outgrossed every other release this week, limited or wide. On only 347 screens, the film grossed $7.5 million compared to Focus' Closed Circuit ($3 million on 870 screens - since Wednesday) and the Harvey Weinstein Scissorhands cut of Wong Kar-Wai's The Grandmaster ($2.4 million on 749 screens).
Tales of the Top Ten (and Beyond)
Lee Daniels' The Butler shows no signs of slowing down and will likely retain the number-two slot next week and should be in the top 10 at least until October 3 when it should be well past hitting the $100 million mark. The World's End is going to make just under $7 million for the holiday, putting its total at around $16 million. With only Riddick opening next week it should still have enough juice in it to surpass Hot Fuzz' $23.6 million but maybe not enough to beat Scott Pilgrim's $31.5 million, which is a real shame. Especially considering how Identity Thief, Grown Ups 2 and The Hangover Part III all grossed $112 million or more.
We're the Millers hit $100 million on Friday and may still have another $25 million in it. That makes it the fifth comedy of the year to reach nine figures domestically. (This Is the End grossed $96.7 million.) Pacific Rim reached $100 million in the U.S. in the quietest manner possible. Now over $400 million worldwide it is the 10th highest grossing film of 2013 and yet still considered a disappointment because of its nearly $200 million budget. Such is the game of box office.
Erik Childress can be seen each Thursday morning on WCIU-TV's First Business breaking down the box office on the Movies & Money segment.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]
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