August 2017 Box Office Recap
By Steven Slater
September 7, 2017
6) Girls Trip
Monthly Total: $42.1 million
The outlier success among R-rated comedies this summer is Universal’s Girl’s Trip, the raunchy complement to other summer classics like Bridesmaids and The Hangover. Girl’s Trip opened with Dunkirk back in July, and counter-programmed beautifully, hauling over $110 million domestic so far. A rumored sequel is in the works, and movies like this and Hidden Figures show how lucrative high quality films can be for African-American audiences. This is also another feather in Universal’s cap for the year, and is by far director Malcolm D. Lee’s biggest movie after The Best Man Holiday.
7) Spider-man: Homecoming
Monthly Total: $40.4 million
Another big summer success story is the seventh highest earner for the month, as the web slinger has finally come back into the public’s good graces by teaming up with none other than Iron Man and friends. Homecoming’s box office may not be blowing records up like previous entries, but it steadies the ship, earning a powerful $325 million domestic and more than that abroad. The endless grasp of the MCU continues to broaden, and Disney and Sony can both claim some sort of win (will a Spider-Man ride show up at Disney World now instead of residing at Universal?).
8) Atomic Blonde
Monthly Total: $29.4 million
Charlize Theron’s kick-ass genre fest has managed some decent numbers in August, considering some thought its opening weekend was a bit disappointing. Comparing it to the original John Wick, sharing co-director David Leitch, it actually has outgrossed it slightly both domestic and abroad, although it cost slightly more. Tally a win up overall, and Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves help carry the mantle of the older action hero now that Liam Neeson is probably a bit too old. Or maybe he just wants you to think that so you’ll let your guard down.
Opening Weekend: $10 million
Monthly Total: $27.7 million
Didn’t I see this movie a few years back? Halle Barry stars in this thriller that makes me sense déjà vu for The Call from 2013. This one opened relatively low but has managed to surpass it’s $21 million budget, so call it another low key success for August. Maybe for David Leitch’s next movie, Halle Barry should sign up?
10) Despicable Me: 3
Monthly Total: $24.2 million
The final top ten earner for August is a film that came out way back in the land of June. Despicable Me 3 has probably done better than it normally would due to the lack of competition with regards to children’s fare, and therefore it actually has now surpassed the gross of the original Despicable Me, accruing $258 million and counting. In fact, it is still in the top ten up until this weekend.
For a list of the top ten movies that actually opened in August, add the Nut Job 2, Logan Lucky, Detroit, The Glass Castle, Wind River, and Leap! What that shows is a few things. First of all, given the big top ten list above, you might think, “Wow, this is a pretty decent slate of films.” But then look how many films had to be added just to make a top ten for August openers. Over half of the money earned in August was by movies that opened in July, which is not normal (in June over 80% was earned by June openers). That is why numbers were down across the board, because no matter how big movies open in July, by August they can only be earning a percentage of their opening weekend. You need constant new product entering, because most people do not feel that urge where they have to go to a theater and see something no matter what (me!). That’s why August 2017 looks to be down about 26% by my count from last year, contributing to a summer that is down almost 15% from last year! Variety just said this was the worst summer for movies in a decade, and that’s without adjusting for inflation.
Luckily, the last four months have some big hitters. But then again, so did this summer. It’s the middle class that counts in many ways…