Blair Witch unspools, Bridget Jones is left all by herself, Snowden fails to generate sustained public interest (just like the real Snowden), audiences don’t Let Hope Rise or take Mr. to Church, and Other Box Office News.
…don’t look at me like that. Last weekend was a Free Weekend for Overwatch, and I have really been wanting to try Overwatch but was previously unable to due to videogames being EXPENSIVE and my being poor, so I downloaded the Free Weekend version on the Saturday afternoon, and then Overwatch happened because Overwatch is as amazing as everybody said it would be, and now I just want to buy Overwatch but can’t because I have zero monies, and that’s why you didn’t get your Box Office Report last week, OK? …stop judging me! You know that you understand! Hell, you’re probably playing Overwatch in between reading each of these paragraphs! …SHUT UP! DO YOU WANT YOUR STUPID BOX OFFICE REPORT OR NOT?!
Unsurprisingly, since it’s a Clint Eastwood film about American heroes who are just like your average blue-collar White guy and it’s not like the audiences for those are as fickle as those goddamn Millennials ruining the film industry and everything, Sully followed-up its record-breaking September opening by repeating at the top spot with $22 million and a phenomenal 37% drop. This at least answers where Bridget Jones’s Baby’s audience ended up for the weekend. Despite opening on more screens than either of its two predecessors, and having the benefit of nostalgia over the still-pretty-good original (that is now old enough to buy a ticket to this film), the Baby was left crying by itself as America collectively stepped out to buy some cigarettes and only $8.2 million worth of people came back, the worst opening weekend of the series so far. Now, of course, nobody really cares about how a new Bridget Jones does in America, and in Britain it did quite superbly earning $11.3 million (the biggest September opening ever there), but this is called the US Box Office Report, not the UK Box Office Report so, therefore, who cares. NEXT!
Those Millennials I mentioned earlier, meanwhile, doomed Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s Blair Witch to a very quick demise. In what should have been a sure-fire smash success, it appears that everybody involved severely overestimated the public’s goodwill towards The Blair Witch Project as the new film couldn’t even cross $10 mil for its opening weekend. This isn’t even a case of the film being sunk by awful word-of-mouth, although there was also that with an atrocious D+ Cinemascore, as it barely broke $4 mil on its opening day. It would appear that, much like trying to hunt the actual Blair Witch, everyone involved was doomed to a swift (Box Office) death as soon as they started on this project. Speaking of pointless, futile ventures, Oliver Stone’s Snowden also got off to a poor start with $8 million for fourth place, presumably because everybody realised they could just watch Citizenfour to get the exact same story sans Nicholas Cage and Joseph Gordon-Levitt doing yet another stupid voice, like Adam Sandler but for serious biopics.
In moderate releases, and the only real winner of the weekend, Ron Howard’s Beatles documentary, Eight Days A Week, received a limited cinema engagement before schlebbing off to live in the Purgatorial Hulu lands for all eternity and, wouldn’t you just know it, turns out that the people really like themselves some of The Beatles! From 85 screens, the film took $615,632 for a $7,243 per-screen average, the best of any film playing this weekend. It’s also another example of The Beatles being bigger than God as Christian music documentary Hillsong – Let Hope Rise got thoroughly creamed, making just $1.3 million on almost 10x as many screens (816) for a per-screen average of $1,593, suffering from a near-literal example of preaching to the choir. Meanwhile, Eddie Murphy tried a genuinely dramatic lead role for once in the otherwise apparently-garbage Mr. Church which could only salvage $407,151 from 354 screens for a woeful $1,150 per-screen average. Somebody should have probably given the filmmakers the memo that nobody wants “Serval Black Man helps White Family” movies anymore.
Put that Full List back where it came from, or so help me! (Bom, bom, bom.) So help me! So help me! And cut!
US Box Office Results: Friday 16th September 2016 – Sunday 18th September 2016
$22,000,000 / $70,541,351
This ain’t out here in the UK until late November, as is befitting an Awards Season contender, but I’m hopeful, especially after hearing good things from most outlets. More than that, though, I’m hopeful because Tom Hanks, who I really like and who has been killing it these last few years and I want to see star in a great film because his other film this year is Inferno, a third goddamn Da Vinci Code movie WHY IS THERE A THIRD GODDAMN DA VINCI CODE MOVIE?!
2] Blair Witch
$9,650,000 / NEW
Oh, dear. You know what? Rather than continue to bathe in this complete failure, let me instead point you all in the direction of Wingard and Barrett’s infinitely better and criminally underseen The Guest for watching today, tomorrow, tonight, whenever! Just get it watched, it’s a brilliantly fun thriller throwback that more people need to view!
3] Bridget Jones’s Baby
$8,240,715 / NEW
Darcy and Jack are both in love with each other, and I cannot be convinced otherwise. Watch the movie – although you shouldn’t actually do that, because it’s not very good – and you’ll see that they’re more in love with each other than the awful, irresponsible, unreliable mother of their child (Bridget is really bad in this film). They have macho feeling-out sessions, both strive to wear the pants in the relationship, they both exchange longing looks at one another, they end the film on good terms… Seriously, change a few shots and minor plot elements, and switch out Patrick Dempsey for somebody who can act in a rom-com, and you now have the epic love story of Mark Darcy and Jack Qwant, lovable sensitive macho boys for life!
I spent rather a long time on Saturday evening between films figuring out exactly how this works in my head because I am trash.
$8,023,329 / NEW
This, weirdly, does not have a UK release date yet. You would’ve thought that somebody had snapped this one up by now, but I guess we Brits are sick enough of late-period Oliver Stone at this point that nobody thought to bother. Oh, well.
5] Don’t Breathe
$5,600,000 / $75,328,781
This being the actually good Horror movie out right now may be another reason why Blair Witch failed to break out in any way. Goddamn, Millennials! How dare they not spend all of that money they don’t have seeing both the good and terrible Horror movies! So selfish, killing the film industry like that!
6] When the Bough Breaks
$5,525,000 / $22,697,732
Speaking of erotic thrillers… is it just me, or am I sensing some actual honest-to-god self-awareness in this Fifty Shades Darker trailer? I mean, the finished film almost definitely won’t be in any way self-aware, and will almost definitely hammer down on the “BITCHES BE CRAZY” button that almost all erotic thrillers do, but even so that trailer seemed to be weirdly acknowledging of just how creepy, abusive, and unromantic that central relationship was in the first film, which was also trying so hard to be self-aware until E. L. James battered it into submission of her vision regardless of its consent. Colour me a shade intrigued, fnar, fnar.
7] Suicide Squad
$4,710,000 / $313,782,332
Oh, Christ, you’re still here?! Why haven’t you gone and gotten a job and become a useful member of society, you goddamn deadbeat teenager!?
8] The Wild Life
$2,650,000 / $6,664,269
Holy shit, this is that Robinson Crusoe movie that came out over here back in April and was called Robinson Crusoe instead of whatever the frak that is! What, did Market Research not find enough recognition amongst potential viewers of the Robinson Crusoe brand and decided instead to give it the most laughably generic title possible to compensate? Ha! HA, I say! Ah. Film is complete flaming garbage under either name, by the way.
9] Kubo and the Two Strings
$2,509,000 / $44,240,974
My top three films of the year so far are now all animated features. This one is the real deal, I’m talking near-ParaNorman levels of phenomenal, proof that, excepting Disney, no other animation studio is operating anywhere near Laika’s level at the moment, and I am incredibly pissed that none of you assholes saw it. “But I’ll catch it on home me-“ NO NO NO NO NO NO! WRONG! You should have caught it in cinemas! And you’re gonna kick yourself when you do see it at home, cos you’re gonna look at that animation and go, “My God, this would have looked amazing on a cinema screen!” No, you’ve let me down, you’ve let Laika down, you’ve let Animation down, and, most importantly, you’ve let yourselves down.
10] Pete’s Dragon
$2,041,000 / $72,805,525
Hey! This finally made its production budget back domestically ($65 million)! I’m sure that overseas takings will have pushed it into a decent profit by now! (*checks foreign box office*) Yeesh! …well, err, I mean, it’s not like Disney NEEDS all the money now, is it? And shouldn’t moviemaking be less concerned with profit margins anyway? Heh… heh… siiiiigh.
Dropped Out: Bad Moms, Hell or High Water, Sausage Party (and here’s that review I promised)
Callum Petch knows you’re the one to call when the girls get ugly at the back of the wall. Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!