Without any major wide releases this weekend, Hollywood just had the third-weakest Labor Day weekend since 2004. Whatever made up the top 10 last week week was pretty much here again this week, just with about two-thirds the revenue. In the meantime, most of America stayed away from the movies for one last summer vacation, fairs, BBQs, and – we assume – to save their money for the evil clown looking to break new records next weekend. For now, though, Angel Has Fallen can crow about being the top of a weak-ish crop for two weeks straight with a second-weekend haul of $14.8 million over four days.
Neither Olympus Has Fallen nor London Has Fallen spent a single week in the top spot at the box office. Now, Angel Has Fallen has done it for two straight weeks and joins 300 and this year’s How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World as the only films featuring Gerard Butler to spend two straight weeks at number 1. In fact, the first How To Train Your Dragon is the only other film featuring Butler to spend any week at number 1. Over the four-day Labor Day weekend, Angel grossed an estimated $14.8 million, a number that is neither high nor low when it comes to grossers over the holiday; it is 25th overall amongst premieres and holdovers. At an estimated $43.91 million after 10 days, the film remains right on par with Richard Donner’s Conspiracy Theory, which made a little more in its second weekend and finished with $75 million. It looks like Angel will come in a bit under that, but if its eventual international take comes in anywhere close to London’s $143 million, Lionsgate may be the first studio to take a second whack at this franchise.
Forrest Films released its debut, the motorbike and military drama Bennett’s War, into 970 theaters this weekend. The film about an injured war veteran trying to make a comeback on the motocross circuit has a solid Tomatometer at 60%, but that’s with just five reviews. The film grossed just $445,151 over the three-day weekend (Friday to Sunday) for a per-theater-average of $459. That is actually far from the lowest PTA of 2019 – John Travolta’s The Fanatic grossed $3,153 in 52 theaters for less than a $61 PTA – but it is the lowest of the year for an original wide release. The 20th anniversary showing of Cruel Intentions averaged $385 in 708 theaters; Keanu Reeves’ sci-fi film, Replicas, released this January, had a $1,020 PTA in 2,329 theaters.
Just for reference we looked at other August releases over time that opened in between 950 and 999 theaters and picked out a few highlights. In 2013 the Spanish language release, Instructions Not Included, with Eugenio Derbez, grossed $7.84 million in 978 theaters; in 2006, Idlewild made $5.74 million in 973 theaters; and in 1998, the Vince Vaughn/Joaquin Phoenix drama Return to Paradise opened to $2.46 million in 965 theaters.
Running down the rest of this weekend’s moneymakers, Universal should continue to be happy about the performance of Good Boys, which grossed $12.1 million over the four-day weekend and remains on course to gross around $75 million. Hobbs & Shaw has also maintained itself rather well and is headed for somewhere between $165 million and $175 million. The film is also approaching the $700 million mark worldwide, which is down from the previous two Furious movies but sees it outgrossing Fast Five – possibly even Fast & Furious 6 – and turning a decent profit.
Sony pulled an Endgame and put Spider-Man: Far From Home back into theaters with new footage for one last summer push, possibly in an attempt to push it over the $400 million line. That goal seems unlikely with $385.96 million to date, and it would need another $19 million to pass Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle for Sony’s highest-ever domestic release. That being said, the film is already the highest-grossing worldwide in the studio’s history with $1.122 billion, which is the 25th highest ever. Disney’s The Lion King is not going to become a top 10 all-time domestic grosser, but it is currently 13th all-time with over $523 million, and is chasing Rogue One ($532.1 million) and The Dark Knight ($535.2 million) to possibly finish 11th. Worldwide the film can now rest comfortably as the 7th highest-grossing film ever, having pushed past Furious 7 ($1.515 billion) and Marvel’s The Avengers ($1.518 billion) this weekend with a global total of $1.564 billion. Catching Jurassic World for 6th place ($1.671 billion) is not entirely out of the cards, but The Lion King will need its international fans to keep showing up. Disney owns six of the ten highest-grossing films of all-time.
Last week’s two other openers benefited from a lackluster weekend. The faith-based Overcomer earned just shy of $8 million and is currently outpacing both of director Alex Kendrick’s other films, Courageous and Fireproof, which finished with $34.5 and $33.4 million, respectively. In its 13th day, the Certified Fresh horror-comedy Ready or Not passed $20 million and now resides between the grosses of Mystery Men and Sinister 2, suggesting a final gross in the $28 million range. (Not spectacular but not terrible either on a $6 million budget.) Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, on the other hand, is an unqualified success. The Guillermo del Toro-produced horror tale is very closely on par with the original Blade, which finished with just over $70 million. All horror is going to take a hit next week with the opening of It: Chapter Two, so it may come up a bit short of that but is nevertheless into profit.
Sony has the tale of two movies in Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood and The Angry Birds Movie 2. The former has grossed over $130 million and is not far behind the pace of where Robert Zemeckis’ What Lies Beneath was back in 2000, though a total of $150 million may be a reach in the U.S. after dropping out of the top 10 this week. The movie is over $283 million worldwide. As for the Angry Birds sequel, it is relying on its international dollars to save it because it is currently on an Underdog pace domestically – literally on pace with the movie Underdog – to hopefully make $43 million.
Finally, we get to some festival films. From Sundance we have this week’s Don’t Let Go (titled Relive at the festival), which made $3.04 million in its 922 theater launch.
The most interesting story, though, could be developing under not just our noses, but also Amazon’s. The studio’s Brittany Runs a Marathon expanded from five theaters into 49 this weekend; last weekend it made $180,711 and this week it earned $414,000 across the three-day weekend (and an estimated $539,000 for the four-day holiday). Last year’s The Old Man & The Gun, with Robert Redford, made the same leap, starting with $142,131 and then climbing up to $403,928 the second week. The Old Man & The Gun ended up making $11.2 million. Anything over $7.65 million would be Amazon’s second highest-grossing film to date.
Maybe they should be looking at what Roadside is achieving with The Peanut Butter Falcon. That film opened in 17 theaters and it grossed $204,793 for the 43rd best per-theater-average of the year. Brittany had the sixth best, then expanded to the same amount of theaters as Falcon in weekend two and outgrossed it $414,000 to $287,212. The Peanut Butter Falcon then expanded into 996 theaters last week and grossed $2.97 million. It jumped up to 1,249 theaters this weekend and made another $2.92 million (and an estimated $3.95 million over the four-day holiday). Its total now stands at $8.94 million and is the 11th-highest grossing film ever in Roadside’s indie history. The film was not even a high-profile Sundance premiere; it was first shown at SXSW in March.
Crazy Rich Asians won the box office for a third straight weekend as audiences flocked to their favorites again. That $28.5 million victory over the four-day holiday put the leader at $117 million as it prepared to eclipse the second-place finisher, The Meg, which was over $123 million. Mission: Impossible – Fallout was third and passed the $200 million mark. The week’s top newbie, Operation Finale, finished fourth with just $7.87 million and a lackluster six-day total of $9.61 million since opening on a Wednesday. Bursting into the top 10 was Sundance hit, Searching, which made $7.61 million in just 1,207 theaters for fifth place. All combined it was the best Labor Day weekend since 2013, as the top 10 grossed $96.29 million and averaged 68.2% on the Tomatometer. This year’s top 10 grossed an estimated $80.69 million for just the 16th-highest holiday weekend since 1990 and averaged 68.8% with critics.
Normally, the fall movie season begins with a flurry of films clamoring for awards attention, but this year it begins with what promises to be one of the most successful flicks of the year. The nearly three-hour conclusion of Stephen King’s story of the evil in Derry, It: Chapter Two, arrives in theaters with the adults now in the room to battle Pennywise. No other wide release even dares to challenge this monster, and why would they? The first film opened to over $123 million and concluded with over $327 million domestic and $700 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing horror film of all time (in 2017 dollars). Will the 2019 chapter introduce a new champion?
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]