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Weekend Wrap-Up

Ugly Fails to Describe the Post-Labor Day Box Office

By John Hamann

September 7, 2014

The raccoon is right.

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Let’s Be Cops actually rises a spot from last weekend’s number five finish to number four this weekend – giving it its fourth weekend as a top five film. The Luke Greenfield film earned another $5.4 million this weekend, off 35% from the $8.3 million Labor day take. This one cost Fox and partners only $17 million to make and has grossed $66.6 million stateside, and another $10 million overseas.

Our number five film this weekend is The November Man, the Pierce Brosnan release that has him returning to Bond territory, without the magnetic name. After debuting to $7.9 million last weekend, The November Man tumbled like the rest, earning $4.2 million and falling 47%. This is another cheaply made late August/early September release, with a budget of $15 million. Relativity picked up the North American rights for $3 million, so it should do okay, given that it has a domestic gross so far of $17.9 million. The November Man has a cast that should play overseas (Brosnan, Olga Kurylenko) this one should make out okay for the seven companies associated with making it.

Sixth is last weekend’s new horror release As Above, So Below, which debuted to a muted $8.6 million over three days. This weekend, the expected happened. The box office numbers plunged, with the Universal release earning only $3.7 million in weekend two. That gives As Above So Below a second weekend drop of 56%, fairly normal for a horror title. This was an extremely low risk release for the partnership between Legendary and Universal, as it cost only $5 million (or less) to produce. As Above has a domestic total of $15.6 million and has earned $2 million in the United Kingdom and France.

Seventh is When the Game Stands Tall, the faith-based football movie that doubled the score of the faith-based The Identical, despite being in its third weekend. When the Game Stands Tall earned $3.7 million and dropped 39%. The $15 million Affirm release (Sony) has now earned $23.5 million.

The Giver is eighth in its fourth weekend of release. Another young adult book adaptation, The Giver earned $3.6 million this weekend but has turned a low, $12.3 million opening into success. This one cost $25 million to make and has pulled in $37.8 million domestically, along with another $6 million overseas.




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Low gross success is also apparent in The Hundred Foot Journey, as it spends its third consecutive weekend in ninth spot. The Helen Mirren release earned another $3.2 million to bring its domestic total up to $45.7 million. The Hundred Foot Journey was made for $22 million and will also find success overseas, so the Oprah Winfrey/Steven Spielberg production should see a healthy profit.

Lucy is tenth this weekend, earning $2 million. Its $121.2 million domestic total is certainly impressive, but this one has wowed overseas. Lucy has pulled in $35 million from France alone, and had a $151.6 million overseas total heading into the weekend. That equals a worldwide gross of almost $275 million, all against a budget of only $40 million.

Finishing outside of the top ten is The Identical, this weekend’s failure at the box office. Faith-based and looking like it has something to do with Elvis, The Identical earned only $1.9 million from 1,956 venues, giving it an average of $977. Given the number of venues this film received, this is one of the bigger flops of all time. Still, the pain will be subdued, as it cost only $15 million to make.

Overall, the box office is simply ghastly. The top 12 films this weekend earned only $51.9 million, which puts the weekend near the bottom of the last decade. The post-Labor Day weekend is the armpit of the moviegoing year, and it joins other post-Labor Days as one of the worst ever. In 2012, the post-Labor Day top 12 earned $51.9 million; in 2008, $50.3 million; in 2006, $54 million; and in 2003, $50.5 million. The lowest top 12 was not a post-Labor Day frame; it came in the wake of 9/11, when the top 12 earned $43.5 million on the September 21st - 23rd weekend.

The good news is that the pain of moving from the summer season to the fall season is almost complete. Next week brings two new releases – Dolphin Tale 2 and No Good Deed – so while Guardians of the Galaxy's reign will be over, we will at least be able to push some stale product out of the top ten. The following weekend brings four new wide releases, so this will all be a bad memory in a couple of weeks.


Top Weekend Box Office for 9/5/14-9/7/14 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Guardians of the Galaxy Disney $10,160,000 - 41% $294,567,000
2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Paramount $6,500,000 - 45% $174,647,000
3 If I Stay Summit Entertainment $5,750,000 - 38% $39,663,000
4 Let's Be Cops Fox $5,400,000 - 35% $66,598,100
5 The November Man Relativity $4,200,000 - 47% $17,870,339
6 As Above/So Below Universal $3,723,250 - 57% $15,575,995
7 When the Game Stands Tall Sony $3,700,000 - 38% $23,490,000
8 The Giver Weinstein Co. $3,591,000 - 35% $37,834,995
9 The Hundred-Foot Journey Disney $3,200,000 - 33% $45,669,000
10 Lucy $1,949,715 - 29% $121,207,100
11 The Identical Freestyle $1,900,000 New $1,900,000
12 The Expendables 3 Lionsgate $1,830,000 - 49% $36,727,819
  Also Opening/Notables
  Forrest Gump (imax) Paramount $405,000 New $405,000
  Innocence Jsc Entertainment $250,000 New $250,000
  Last Days In Vietnam American Experience/pbs Films $30,450 New $30,450
  God Help the Girl Amplify $12,800 New $12,800
  Cantinflas Lionsgate $1,030,000 - 61% $4,756,845
  Ghostbusters (re-release) Sony $600,000 - 66% $3,250,000
  The Last of Robin Hood Samuel Goldwyn $130,900 + 407% $174,573
  Starred Up Tribeca Film $13,290 + 28% $34,145
  Sin City: a Dame To Kill For Weinstein Co. $689,000 - 69% $12,905,887
  Love Is Strange Sony Classics $284,605 + 12% $840,310
  Into the Storm WARNER BROS. $1,455,000 - 43% $44,557,000
  Magic In the Moonlight Sony Classics $720,499 - 16% $9,271,946
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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