Weekend Wrap-Up

Labor Day box office heads One Direction

By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis

September 1, 2013

Make it stop.

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Those fears were allayed two years later with the release of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. Part biopic and part concert performance, the Bieber movie nearly matched Best of Both Worlds, grossing $29.5 million on opening weekend. Oddly, Katy Perry’s similar biopic/concert performance, Part of Me, became the least popular of the five major concert movies of the past five years. It grossed only $10.2 million over its first four days in theaters. Coincidence or not, there is a Star Trek movie phenomenon occurring wherein every other concert movie is a blockbuster while the next one is a bomb. Please note that Michael Jackson: This Is It was not included in this discussion because the posthumous aspect alters the dynamic for its performance. His potential movie-going audience existed far beyond the teen girl demographic, as well.

One Direction: This Is Us does have an additional enticement over the other four movies discussed. The band’s international appeal, particularly in Europe, should lead it to better overseas box office revenue. While One Direction’s four-day total as well as its final domestic take will be quite a bit less than Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber managed, it still has a chance to become the number one movie in terms of global revenue. The band already claims number one single, album and DVD totals in over 25 countries. Thanks in part to its $10 million budget, This Is Us has a chance to be one of the ten most profitable movies of 2013 relative to return on investment.

Second place goes to the top film from the last two weekends, Lee Daniels' The Butler. The well-received Forest Whitaker feature added $14.7 million to its total, meaning that it declined only 11% from last weekend. With outstanding word of mouth and decent reviews, this is the kind of film that can capture a few Oscar nominations, including potentially Best Picture depending on the competitiveness of the field. Thus far, The Butler has earned $74 million in North America, and has yet to report international box office.


We're the Millers is having a really nice little late-summer run. It falls one position to #3 with a Friday-to-Sunday take of $12.6 million, down a fantastic 3% from last weekend. The Jason Sudeikis/Jennifer Aniston comedy has quietly earned $109.5 million, meaning that it's been a very profitable venture for Warner Bros. compared to its budget of $37 million. We're the Millers also adds another $40 million from international venues.

Fourth place goes to Disney's Planes, and you know that if a three-week-old movie that didn't really start off that great in the first place is still hanging around this high in the top 10, it's not the best week for box office. The Pixar spin-off in everything but studio name managed another $7.8 million this weekend, down just 10% from last weekend thanks to Sunday being holiday-inflated. Although it's not going to come anywhere near the heights accomplished by every Pixar film, Planes has held its own, earning $70.8 domestically and $31 million from international venues. With a budget of just $50 million, it's profitable before any ancillary revenue (read: toys) is factored in.

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