What if they had a box office weekend and everyone just forgot? We're pretty close to that situation here as the fear of the end of summer leads studios to basically abandon the last week of August and Labor Day in a way that I've not seen since I've been covering box office. Hope you weren't saving up your moving going for this weekend!
Weekend Forecast for August 25-27, 2017
By Reagen Sulewski
August 25, 2017
The lead film, were one to really consider it such, is Leap!, an animated film from the Weinstein Company by way of a bunch of foreign production companies. Already released elsewhere under the super-generic title Ballerina (though Leap! isn't much better), it's the story of an orphan girl (voice of Elle Fanning) in 19th century France who dreams of becoming a Grand Opera dancer. Accidentally assuming the identity of a spoiled rich girl, through sheer force of will she becomes a top student, until the original girl returns and oooohhh does stuff go down. Meanwhile, in a barely related subplot that reads like rejected storyline from Hugo, Dane DeHaan voices her love interest, a jack-of-all-trades inventor hoping to create a flying machine.
Also starring Kate McKinnon, Carly Rae Jepsen and oh why not Mel Brooks, it's a sort of a medium-quality animated film with a fairly limited audience, rather alienating towards young boys, and with a very generic “try hard and everything works out” story. The bigger problem is the lack of support from a strong studio, and the general lack of venues. It's top of the pile for this week, but only at 2,500 or so, and there's been virtually no commercial push for this film. There's very little to point towards it breaking out even in a very weak weekend, and it should wind up with about $6 million for its debut.
Birth of the Dragon is a “wink and a nod” look at the early days of Bruce Lee before he rose to fame in kung fu movies, when he was just establishing his jeet kun do style in 1960s San Francisco. Challenged by the “authorities” of kung fu, one master, Wong Jack Man, came down from his shaolin temple in China in order to fight Lee and prove a thing or three. There is some variation of events that resembles what happened here, but as presented here, it's waaaaaaaaaa *breath* aaaaaay too stylized and scripted.
Produced by WWE films, it's an edited down version of a... shall we say controversial take that premiered at last year's Toronto Film Festival when a story about Bruce Lee somehow got dominated by a white character. There's some hope that the central sequence could attract aficionados but there's likely been better done fight scenes in better done movies. This looks headed for a modest $4 million opening weekend.
All Saints is a bit of a wild card, appealing to religious audiences, who can turn out in force, but with a 800 venue release, I don't expect a ton from this film. John Corbett stars as a salesman who gives up his career to become a pastor and defying... some religious body in some fashion by recruiting Burmese refugee parishioners who decide to farm the land for the church in order to save it from being sold. Personally, I like the old “hey, let's put on a show!” routine, but whatever floats your boat. It's a fairly inoffensive looking but bland offering, and should come in with about $3 million.
Another big wild card is a re-release, of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, on its super important 26th-ish anniversary. However, re-releases are kind of a dead category in this age of digital on demand so it's tough to see even this legendary action film, for which the effects still kind of hold up, make any impact. There's nothing added here, unlike a Titanic 3D re-release, so it's kind of hard to see the point. Maybe as much as the $5 million range? But likely much less.
Thus, The Hitman's Bodyguard, such as it is, will take the weekend again. The Ryan Reynolds/Sam Jackson buddy action comedy opened to a solid $21 million with middling to poor reviews. This is a pretty good testament to Reynolds' pull post-Deadpool. Word-of-mouth isn't going to be kind here, but even without that support, it should pull in about $12 million this weekend. It'll stay clear of the third weekend of Annabelle: Creation, which had the typical huge drop for horror of a little over half, and should fall to about $6 million this weekend. I'd like to say next weekend gets better, but... let's just say there's a certain Steven Seagal film from around 20 years ago that's chilling a bottle of champagne.