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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Showing that niche targeting works when done well, Instructions Not Included finds itself with a spot in the top five and easily the best per location average of all films in release. Aimed at the Latino demographic, Instructions Not Included was distributed by Pantelion Films, which has had some small-scale successes (including the little seen Will Ferrell film Casa de mi Padre, but nothing quite like this. The film earned $7.5 million from just 347 venues, which means that it had an average take of $21,614 in each of those theaters. This is a remarkable accomplishment and a bright spot in an otherwise lackluster weekend.

The bottom of the top ten is a complete horror show. Welcome to September and October at the box office. The sixth place film is Elysium, which is hanging around solely because competition from new releases has been so pathetic over the past couple of weekends. The Matt Damon sci-fi film earned another $6.3 million, down just 9% from last weekend. Nonetheless, the film has been a domestic disappointment. So far, it has earned just $78.4 million in North America, but is doing better internationally with almost $100 million.

Seventh and eighth place go to a couple of films that were released last weekend but failed to impress. The first of them is The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, a Twilight wannabe that is fizzling. In its second weekend, City of Bones declined 44% to $5.2 million, bringing its domestic total to $22.7 million. Overseas venues only add about $10 million more so far, so it's got a long way to go before it's anywhere close to being profitable. It's shocking that a sequel was already in the works before this one even hit theaters. The other sophomore release is The World's End, the well-received Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Edgar Wright film that did more or less what the other films in the Cornetto Trilogy have. They appeal to a very loyal but niche audience. This weekend, The World's End fell 46% from last weekend to $4.8 million. Its current domestic total of $16.6 million matches the amount it has brought in internationally, and the film is already a money maker.

A new release finishes in ninth place, as Getaway grabs just $4.5 million. Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez weren't big enough names to draw people to theaters, and the 2% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes wasn't helping matters, either. Playing in 2,130 locations, Getaway was able to snag a venue average of just $2,113. Fortunately for Warner Bros., the budget on this one was just $18 million. It's probably not even going to get that back.


Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters takes the #10 position. The Harry Potter knockoff earned $4.4 million in its final weekend in the top 10, down 16%. Overall, the fantasy flick has earned $55 million in North America, while overseas venues add in another $82 million. The budget is listed at $90 million, so while it will be remembered as a failure relative to the original film, it's not a disaster by any stretch of the imagination.

Finishing outside of the top 10 was Closed Circuit, which was released into only 870 venues. The Eric Bana film earned $2.5 million over the Friday-to-Sunday portion of the weekend, and has a total of $3 million since debuting on Wednesday. The studio obviously wasn't supporting this one, and will be hoping that it finds an audience on home video.

Overall, the top 12 movies at the box office earned $92.8 million, up 8.5% from last year's Labor Day Weekend number of $85.5 million. So while we've been feeling like we're in the doldrums, last year was actually worse. Next weekend brings the release of Riddick, the third film in the franchise that started more than 13 years ago with Pitch Black.

Top Weekend Box Office for 8/30/13-9/1/13 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 One Direction: This Is Us SONY $17,000,000 New $17,000,000
2 Lee Daniels' the Butler Weinstein Co. $14,742,000 - 11% $74,007,106
3 We're the Millers New Line Cinema $12,610,000 - 3% $109,565,000
4 Planes DISNEY $7,756,000 - 10% $70,800,000
5 Instructions Not Included Lionsgate $7,500,000 New $7,500,000
6 Elysium Sony/Columbia $6,300,000 - 9% $78,120,000
7 The Mortal Instruments SONY $5,200,000 - 44% $22,654,000
8 The World's End Focus Features $4,759,494 - 46% $16,568,009
9 Getaway WARNER BROS. $4,505,000 New $4,505,000
10 Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Fox $4,425,000 - 16% $55,000,000
11 Blue Jasmine Sony Classics $4,020,738 + 1% $20,487,206
12 You're Next Lionsgate $4,000,000 - 43% $13,339,708
  Also Opening/Notables
  Closed Circuit Focus Features $2,543,484 New $3,055,077
  Passion Eone $33,757 New $33,757
  Afternoon Delight Film Arcade $28,088 New $28,088
  The Grandmaster Weinstein Co. $2,446,000 + 1744% $2,642,044
  Therese Mpi Pictures $20,005 + 0% $51,359
  Kick0ass 2 UNIVERSAL $1,892,900 - 57% $26,421,945
  Jobs Open Road $1,221,000 - 57% $14,485,000
  Austenland Sony Classics $215,312 + 93% $444,679
  In a World… Roadside Attractions $325,000 + 14% $1,175,000
  2 Guns Universal $2,624,460 - 22% $69,334,365
  The Spectacular Now A24 $1,044,630 + 69% $3,386,909
  Despicable Me 2 UNIVERSAL $2,696,400 + 4% $354,635,190
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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