Weekend Box Office (September 6 - 8, 2013)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND The slowest box office session of the year was ruled by action star Vin Diesel whose latest testosterone sequel Riddick topped the charts opening to $19M according to final studio figures. Universal averaged a decent $6,125 from 3,107 locations and generated a debut that was not very muscular, but not lousy either. Considering the weak marketplace and the glut of action titles over the past couple of months, it was a respectable launch.

The weekend after the Labor Day holiday is generally one of the weakest of the entire year as kids go back to school, a new football season begins giving extra competition to male-skewing films, and studios generally avoid opening anything big. The Top 20 slumped to $76M this weekend - the worst tally of 2013.

The R-rated Riddick was the third film of the sci-fi franchise and followed the last installment after a prolonged nine-year gap. The Chronicles of Riddick opened to $24.3M in June 2004 which was considered underwhelming at the time and ended off with $57.6M. As expected, the new Riddick played to a heavily male crowd as studio research showed that guys were 59% of the audience. 53% were age 30 or older and 69% were non-white.

Reviews were mixed but fairly good for a Vin Diesel-led sci-fi threequel. Audiences were only somewhat pleased with their ticket purchase as the CinemaScore grade was a lackluster B. The domestic gross should, however, end up north of its production cost of $38M and international potential is solid given the popularity of the star and the genre.

Following a three-week run at number one, the hit White House drama The Butler settled for second place with $8.4M, off 44%. With a solid $91.4M after its fourth frame, The Weinstein Co. release should reach nine-digit territory next weekend.

Latino audiences powered the Spanish-language family comedy Instructions Not Included into third place with $8.1M in its second weekend rising two spots from last weekend's impressive debut. Lionsgate doubled the theater count going from 348 to 717 locations and saw the weekend gross inch up 4% while the average was a sturdy $11,366. With $20.4M in ten days, the PG-13 film should find its way to double that amount by the end of the run.

Off only 40% in its fifth weekend, the sleeper hit comedy We're the Millers grabbed another $7.7M pushing the cume up to a remarkable $123.6M. A final near the $145M area is likely. Disney's animated entry Planes followed in fifth with $4.1M, down 47%, for a $79.1M total.

Teen girls abandoned the boy band doc One Direction: This Is Us which suffered the third worst sophomore drop of 2013. The Sony release grossed $4M tumbling by a massive 74%. The only films this year to collapse worse in the second weekend were the fright films Texas Chainsaw 3D and The Purge which both fell by 76% after opening at number one. One Direction has banked $23.9M to date and should end up with about $30M. Global total to date is $50M.

Sony stablemate Elysium declined by 51% to $3.1M for $85.1M thus far with the worldwide take now up to $212M. Taking eighth place was the effects-driven actioner Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters with $2.4M, down 46%, and $59.8M overall for Fox.

Sony Classics followed as Woody Allen's leggy indie hit Blue Jasmine continued to score with upscale adults collecting $2.3M, down 41%. The pic is now the veteran filmmaker's second highest-grossing film from the past quarter-century behind Midnight in Paris. A final in the $30-35M range is possible which is terrific for a low-budget specialty pic. Rounding out the end of the top ten list was the British comedy The World's End with $2.3M, off 54%, and a cume of $21.8M for Focus.

Sony expanded its doomsday comedy hit This Is The End putting it back into wide release in 2,161 locations and collected an extra $1.9M. That boosted the cume to within striking distance of the century mark at $98.8M. End earned strong reviews and enjoyed good legs, but opened head-to-head against Man of Steel in June so some of the target audience of young men may have missed it the first time around. Another week would put it over the $100M mark - a milestone that is more just for film industry bragging rights these days.

With the summer movie season now over, here are the top ten domestic blockbusters and their current grosses: Iron Man 3 ($409M), Despicable Me 2 ($357.6M), Man of Steel ($290.9M), Monsters University ($265M), Fast & Furious 6 ($238.7M), Star Trek Into Darkness ($228.8M), World War Z ($201.4M), The Heat ($157.9M), The Great Gatsby ($144.8M), and The Conjuring ($135.2M).

The top ten films grossed an estimated $61.7M which was up 32% from last year when The Possession stayed at number one with $9.3M; and up 2% from 2011 when Contagion opened in the top spot with $22.4M.

Compared to projections, Riddick opened on target with my $19M forecast.

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Watch the NEW trailer for Gravity.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Insidious Chapter 2 and The Family both open.

# Title Sep 6 - 8 Aug 30 - Sep 1 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Riddick $ 19,030,375 3,107 1 $ 6,125 $ 19,030,375 Universal
2 The Butler 8,401,729 14,878,286 -43.5 3,330 4 2,523 91,403,106 Weinstein Co.
3 Instructions Not Included 8,149,289 7,846,426 3.9 717 2 11,366 20,360,893 Lionsgate
4 We're the Millers 7,695,027 12,715,243 -39.5 3,445 5 2,234 123,613,931 Warner Bros.
5 Planes 4,120,811 7,751,705 -46.8 3,033 5 1,359 79,124,995 Disney
6 One Direction: This Is Us 4,046,455 15,815,497 -74.4 2,735 2 1,480 23,936,965 Sony
7 Elysium 3,141,332 6,438,868 -51.2 2,241 5 1,402 85,118,599 Sony
8 Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters 2,425,539 4,481,327 -45.9 2,045 5 1,186 59,773,305 Fox
9 Blue Jasmine 2,347,694 3,986,568 -41.1 1,069 7 2,196 25,108,580 Sony Classics
10 The World's End 2,314,494 5,026,312 -54.0 1,520 3 1,523 21,784,111 Focus
11 The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones 2,207,000 5,475,416 -59.7 2,519 3 876 27,851,204 Sony
12 Getaway 2,191,484 4,503,892 -51.3 2,135 2 1,026 8,680,163 Warner Bros.
13 This Is The End 1,901,825 102,642 2,161 13 880 98,847,912 Sony
14 You're Next 1,584,541 4,091,822 -61.3 1,902 3 833 16,907,032 Lionsgate
15 Despicable Me 2 1,459,505 2,760,460 -47.1 1,050 10 1,390 357,558,315 Universal
16 2 Guns 1,409,635 2,638,570 -46.6 1,165 6 1,210 72,077,420 Universal
17 The Grandmaster 1,030,576 2,477,792 -58.4 804 3 1,282 4,959,006 Weinstein Co.
18 Closed Circuit 938,153 2,464,931 -61.9 870 2 1,078 5,023,667 Focus
19 The Smurfs 2 902,227 1,948,376 -53.7 949 6 951 68,177,426 Sony
20 The Wolverine 748,594 1,713,346 -56.3 698 7 1,072 129,411,133 Fox
Top 5 $ 51,443,686 $ 59,007,157 -12.8
Top 10 61,672,745 84,932,972 -27.4
Top 20 76,046,285 110,532,001 -31.2
Top 20 vs. 2012 76,046,285 60,379,645 25.9

Last Updated: September 10, 2013 at 4:40PM ET

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