Historically awful weekend where nothing of interest happens upholds that fine tradition, and Other Box Office News.
To be honest, I have no idea why I report on the Labor Day weekend box office. It is a well-known fact that nobody goes to the cinema during Labor Day weekend – although I don’t know why, cos as far as I can tell the alternative is spending time with your family and that whole concept just caused me to throw up in my mouth a little – one that movie studios cottoned onto fast, leading to a weekend where the films that aren’t good enough to be Summer movies and definitely aren’t good enough to be Awards Season movies get sent to die against an indifferent public. That said, this Labor Day weekend did have one interesting tidbit of news and that’s the fact that Don’t Breathe managed to repeat at the top spot, with $15.7 million, becoming the first Horror movie to pull that off since Ouija back in November of 2014. …fucking Ouija? Really? Well, whatever.
As for those films that were forced to walk the green mile, the one that managed to actually crack the Top 10 was Derek “Blue Valentine” Cianfrance’s new feature, The Light Between Oceans. Surprisingly, DreamWorks’ unconventional marketing strategy of not-doing-shit-to-advertise-it backfired spectacularly and, even with modest expectations and an opening on just 1,500 screens, the film came in just under $5 million for sixth place. That, however, is Postcode Lottery Jackpot Money compared to Luke Scott’s debut, Morgan. Despite endless goddamn marketing everywhere for the thing, Fox failed to take notice of one small fact: audiences didn’t want to see Species knock-offs when they were called Splice, so why would they want to see a poor-man’s version of the criminally-underrated Splice? Despite an $8 million price-tag, Morgan bombed hard, managing just $1,960,000, the 7th worst opening for a film on more than 2,000 screens of all-time, just behind last year’s We Are Your Friends, so at least it’s in good company.
Elsewhere, and finishing on the outskirts of the Top 10, No Manches Frida raked in $3,650,000 from 362 screens, which is another strong result for Lionsgate’s Spanish-language arm, almost like catering to underserved markets in usually-dead spots on the release schedule is a good idea or something. Hell or High Water added another 394 screens to its expansion and finally broke into the Top 10 in the process, Bad Moms crossed the $100 million domestic mark, Disney threw Finding Dory back into the Box Office sea for a weekend and hooked another $1,927,000 from 2,075 screens to continue extending its box office middle finger to the rest of 2016, and that nationwide expansion of Hands of Stone went exactly as you were probably expecting it to given its performance last week with it getting knocked the f out on 2,011 screens and a total of $1,306,000 for the weekend.
And that’s about it. Like I said, I don’t know why I bother to write-up Labor Day weekend, cos nothing comes out and less-than-nothing happens. All that’s really left to do now is to just arbitrarily fill up the word count and waste a bunch of time until we can hit the Full List. You may wonder why I don’t just go straight to the Full List and save everybody a few precious minutes of the day by keeping them from having to read more of my inane pointless claptrap, except that this time I’m openly acknowledging that the excessively long pre-amble I’m forcing everybody to wade through to get to the statisticals is inane pointless claptrap and therefore it’s supposed to be mistaken as tolerable because being meta is totally not played-out by this point? Well, to you folks I say…
Oh, look! It’s time for the Full List!
US Box Office Results: Friday 2nd September 2016 – Sunday 4th September 2016
1] Don’t Breathe
$15,700,000 / $51,123,952
So, since this is a full-on bona fide hit with just a 40% drop between weekends, it’s time to start Sequel Speculating! What kind of demonised-disability-sufferer is Jane Levy going to have to avoid the wrath of next? A deaf old man who compensates by having x-ray vision somehow? A crippled old man in a wheelchair who compensates for not being able to conventionally climb stairs by his wheelchair also being part-jetpack? An old man… err… lacking the sensation of touch but who makes up for it by… um… being otherwise perfectly capable? Screen Gems, get in touch with me! I may not have seen, or likely will ever see, Don’t Breathe, but I am still as equally qualified to write a Needless Horror Sequel as actual Needless Horror Sequel writers and I’ll do it for a fraction of the price!
2] Suicide Squad
$10,005,000 / $297,422,209
Not only is this crossing $300 million by the end of today, but I had a peak at the list of 2016’s biggest domestic earners so far, and there’s a near-$150 million gap between it and the next entry on that list, almost-ditto for the Worldwide list. This is miserable for two reasons. For one, it throws into sharper relief just how terrible this year so far has been on basically all accounts. And for two, it proves that Suicide Squad is basically a full-on unqualified success, ditto Batman v. Superman, and before anybody tries to yell “But Marvel clears $1 billion basically all the time now!” try not to have your monocle explode when Doctor Strange does great-but-not-amazing come November, eh?
3] Pete’s Dragon
$6,471,000 / $64,222,939
You know, this kind of strong-hold performance would be pretty amazing had the film actually opened to any money in the first goddamn place. Ditto our next film.
4] Kubo and the Two Strings
$6,467,000 / $34,328,436
Out on Friday. Bring it.
5] Sausage Party
$5,300,000 / $88,446,124
Saw this on Saturday, a review will be up on Wednesday. I know that I’ve been really slacking when it comes to writing and articles on this here site in recent weeks, and I’m sorry. Furthermore, after this one promise, I’m not even going to promise you any further articles in advance of them being finished. New articles will just pop up whenever about whatever. That way, I can stop disappointing the two of you who actually expect anything from me! Everybody wins!
6] The Light Between Oceans
$4,984,000 / NEW
Not out here in the UK until November, which may explain why I’ve heard nothing about this thing until now, and is also kind of worrying given that it’s Derek Cianfrance. Ah, well, I don’t get paid enough to do any more work than is necessary, so let’s just move on with our lives.
7] Bad Moms
$4,740,000 / $102,527,194
Not many other people are going to do so, but give it up for Bad Moms crossing the $100 mil domestic mark! In today’s box office world that’s near-exclusively focussed on opening weekends and nothing else, where a film that fails to perform gangbusters out of the gate is written off as a total failure or a footnote barely worth talking about – a culture which I, admittedly, am guilty of perpetuating from time to time – films like Bad Moms, that open solidly if unspectacularly yet hold so well on a week-to-week basis that they become full-on hits thanks to said holds and mid-to-low budgets, get rather lost in the shuffle, not to mention the gender bias that can hit coverage of a film like this, intentional or otherwise. So raise a glass to Bad Moms! Good work!
I mean, this doesn’t change the fact that the film is still total garbage for the most part and that I’d much rather this happened to a good Popstar-shaped comedy, but an achievement is still an achievement.
8] War Dogs
$4,705,000 / $35,217,809
Good to see that most of us found our Wolf of Wall Street Blu-Rays in storage and just watched those again instead.
9] Hell or High Water
$4,500,000 / $14,651,633
Really happy to see this one ever so slowly breaking through into a mild-crossover hit. It’s out here on Friday, and I am hyped as all hell for it! The director of Starred Up! The writer of Sicario! In my eyeballs now, please!
10] Mechanic: Resurrection
$4,276,000 / $14,418,786
Have you watched Crank 2 again recently? You should watch Crank 2 again. It’s still Cinema’s absolute peak, and I’m only being slightly hyperbolic and ironic when I say that.
Dropped Out: Jason Bourne, Ben-Hur