Weekend Box Office (September 4 - 7, 2015)
THIS WEEKEND Audiences yawned at Hollywood's offerings and avoided North American multiplexes driving the box office to the worst Labor Day weekend performance in 15 years. The Top 20 films sold just $103M worth of tickets over the long Friday-to-Monday holiday frame. Though typically a slow summer-ending weekend, the Labor Day frame is usually good for $120-140M for the Top 20 over four days. No film managed to break double digit millions this weekend over the standard three-day span.
Holdovers led as the low-budget faith-based hit War Room rose from second to first place thanks in part to a 34% boost in screens. The Sony title grossed an estimated $12.6M over four days and raised its total to $27.9M. Thanks to no work or school on Monday, and a loyal churchgoing audience, Sunday grosses rose higher than Saturday's. It only cost $3.5M to produce but may reach near $50M by the end of its run.
After three weeks at number one, Straight Outta Compton slipped down to the runner-up spot for the four-day holiday session. The Universal sensation is still playing well with an estimated $11.2M for the holiday weekend. The cume rose to $150.2M - something nobody expected at the start of the summer movie season.
The Robert Redford-Nick Nolte outdoors film A Walk in the Woods debuted to solid results in third place exceeding expectations. The Broad Green release bowed to an estimated $10.5M over four days for a $5,357 average and has grossed $12.6M since its Wednesday launch. Rated R, Woods earned mixed reviews and a B CinemaScore grade.
One of the year's most popular action films Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation followed in fourth with an estimated $9.3M for a robust $182.5M to date. The Paramount hit joined Jurassic World as the only movies this summer to spend six weekends in the top five. The global cume crossed the half-billion mark with $513M and China opens this Tuesday which is sure to send the total well past $600M this month.
Actions fans did not feel the need to come out for The Transporter Refueled which opened very wide with 3,434 locations but debuted to just $9M over four days, according to estimates, for a poor $2,621 average. The EuropaCorp release saw bad reviews and the lack of Jason Statham - who anchored the first three films in the franchise - certainly diluted interest. Studios have long relied on young males to power them at the box office, especially in the summertime. But among the two new wide releases, the older-skewing Woods opened better despite having almost half the screens. Demos for Transporter were 60% male and 60% between ages 18 and 34 and international markets are where this one will see the bulk of its revenue potential.
The Weinstein Co. saw its Owen Wilson film No Escape drop to an estimated $7M pushing the modest sum to $20M. Disney and Pixar were next with the expanding Inside Out which jumped back into the top ten with an estimated $4.5M pushing the cume to $349.6M domestic and $736M worldwide with China, Germany, and Italy yet to open. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. grossed an estimated $4.4M and has banked $40.4M for Warner Bros.
Lionsgate scored big with Latino family audiences as its new animated rooster comedy Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos debuted to strong numbers grossing an estimated $4.4M from only 395 locations for a terrific $11,190 four-day average. The PG-13 toon was slotted into this school holiday frame and connected with its target audience. Falling to tenth place was the horror sequel Sinister 2 with an estimated $4.3M and $24.6M overall for Focus.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $77.3M over the Friday-to-Monday holiday weekend which was down 28% from last year's Labor Day when Guardians of the Galaxy held number one with $22.9M; and down 30% from 2013's holiday when The Butler stayed in the top spot with $20.2M.
Compared to four-day projections, A Walk in the Woods powered ahead of my $6M forecast while The Transporter Refueled was on target with my $9M prediction.
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Be sure to check back on Tuesday for final studio figures and again on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when The Perfect Guy, 90 Minutes in Heaven, and The Visit all open.
|#||Title||Sep 4 - 7||Aug 28 - 30||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor||Sep 4 - 6|
|1||War Room||$ 12,550,000||$ 11,351,389||10.6||1,526||2||$ 8,224||$ 27,860,000||Sony||$ 9,450,000|
|2||Straight Outta Compton||11,230,000||13,133,560||-14.5||3,094||4||3,630||150,170,000||Universal||8,850,000|
|3||A Walk in the Woods||10,500,000||1,960||1||5,357||12,600,000||Broad Green||8,200,000|
|4||Mission: Impossible - RN||9,300,000||8,155,581||14.0||2,849||6||3,264||182,537,000||Paramount||7,180,000|
|5||The Transporter Refueled||9,000,000||3,434||1||2,621||9,000,000||EuropaCorp||7,220,000|
|6||No Escape||7,032,000||8,111,264||-13.3||3,415||2||2,059||20,033,000||Weinstein Co.||5,448,000|
|8||The Man From U.N.C.L.E.||4,445,000||4,431,136||0.3||2,102||4||2,115||40,379,000||Warner Bros.||3,445,000|
|9||Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos||4,420,000||395||1||11,190||4,420,000||Lionsgate||3,421,000|
|Top 5||$ 52,580,000||$ 45,417,135||15.8|
|Top 10 vs. Labor Day 2014||77,273,000||107,180,238||-27.9|
|Top 10 vs. Labor Day 2013||77,273,000||110,020,537||-29.8|
|Below the Top 10:|
|Hitman: Agent 47||2,800,000||4,224,446||-33.7||2,191||3||1,278||20,349,000||Fox||2,185,000|
|Shaun the Sheep||1,250,000||1,092,821||14.4||1,134||5||1,102||18,040,000||Lionsgate||894,000|
|We Are Your Friends||811,000||1,767,308||-54.1||2,333||2||348||3,331,000||Warner Bros.||636,000|
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: September 7, 2015 at 3:00PM ET
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