Weekend Wrap-Up

Cruise v Pennywise v Kingsman at the Box Office: September Slumps

By John Hamann

October 1, 2017

He's baaaack. At least for today.

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New release Flatliners is just that, despite a talented cast that includes Ellen Page, Diego Luna, and Kiefer Sutherland, in a return role from the 1990 original. You know you’re not doing well when the 1990 original opened to $10 million, and the sequel – almost 30 years later – opens well below. Flatliners flatlined with an opening weekend take of only $6.7 million, as studio confidence wasn’t there, given the venue count of only 2,552. At Rotten Tomatoes, Flatliners is still seeking a positive review after 35 swings and misses, giving it that awesome rating of 0%. Surprisingly, the Cinemascore wasn’t completely hateful at B-, but I don’t think people will be chatting this one up at work on Monday. The only good news for Sony is that they only spent $19 million on this dreck, and given that the marketing was invisible, not much there either.

Fox Searchlight’s Battle of the Sexes moved from 21 theatres last weekend to 1,213 this weekend, and saw the jump they were looking for. The Steve Carell/Emma Stone flick rose 560% to $3.4 million, giving the sports drama hope going forward. The 85% fresh film has earned $4.1 million at the domestic box office, and still has room to grow. It hasn’t hit overseas theaters yet, but could do well over there where tennis is a more popular sport.

I’ll save you the pain of hearing about films that earned between $1.5 and $3 million, and move on to our third new release. Til Death Do Us Part fumbled in its debut, as Novus Entertainment distributed its first film. The thriller, starring Taye Diggs, could only muster $1.6 million from 562 screens, but at least lands in the top 10. Our fourth opener, the religious flick A Question of Faith, did worse on more screens (661), earning $1.1 million.


In limited release, Victoria and Abdul, with Judy Dench, Ali Fazal and Eddie Izzard, got off to a grand start on only 77 screens. It managed to pick up $1 million, and garnered a venue average of $13,390. People like seeing Dench as Queen Victoria I guess. Damn groupies.

Overall this weekend, the box office takes a pretty extreme step backward versus last year, when Ms. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Deepwater Horizon opened to $29 and $20 million respectively. Those two films led that top 12 to $105.7 million, well ahead of this year. The top 12 this weekend picked up only $83.6 million, leaving the door wide open for Blade Runner 2049 next weekend. My question: will enough people come out to see a sequel to a film whose original came out in 1982? Had the reviews been mixed, I would have stayed away, not wanting the original marked in any way. Now, with some calling it a masterwork, I’ll be there opening weekend. After reading Variety’s review, I watched Dennis Villeneuve’s The Arrival again on Netflix, and wish I could jump ahead in time to Friday, and be watching the Blade Runner sequel (with Amy Adams naturally).

Top Ten for Weekend of September 29 - October 1, 2017
Estimated Gross (millions)
Weekly Change
Running Total (millions)
1 It Warner Bros. 17.3 -42% 291.2
2 American Made Universal 17.01 New 17.01
3 Kingsman: The Golden Circle 20th Century Fox 17.0 -56% 66.7
4 The LEGO Ninjago Movie Warner Bros. 12.0 -41% 35.6
5 Flatliners Sony 6.7 New 6.7
6 Battle of the Sexes Fox Searchlight 3.4 +560% 4.1
7 American Assassin Lionsgate 3.3 -47% 31.9
8 Home Again Open Road 1.8 -46% 25.2
9 Til Death Do Us Part Novus 1.6 New 1.6
10 Mother! Paramount 1.5 -56% 16.3
11 A Question of Faith Pure Flix 1.1 New 1.1
12 Victoria and Abdul Focus 1.0 +549% 1.3

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