Remember how we said last weekend was the worst weekend ever at the American box office? Well, this week told them to hold their beer and boy did thinks sink even lower, somehow. This was a very weird week for film releases, as it was the first time in 25 years that distributors didn’t open any wide releases (meaning anything above 1000 cinemas). The Labour Day weekend stretch is a notoriously tricky one for Hollywood, but even by their lowered standards, this was a dark time.
How dark? Well, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is still number one, taking in another $12m or so, and that makes it, according to Deadline, ‘the only pic to hold the top spot for three weekends in a row this summer.’ The top 10 itself didn’t change much at all, thanks to the sheer lack of competition: Annabelle: Creation is still number 2, Wind River holds strong at number 3 after its wider release, and that coupled with number 4 Leap! gives The Weinstein Company some breathing room. None of this week’s new releases cracked the top 10. None of them managed to make more than Despicable Me 3, a film that’s been out for 10 weeks.
That didn’t bode well for Marvel’s latest experiment, the IMAX premiere of its latest ABC series Inhumans. Who would have imagined that people wouldn’t want to spend $15+ on a ticket to see something on IMAX that they can watch for free if they wait two weeks? It didn’t help that early word was damning and even hardcore Marvel geeks struggled to muster enthusiasm for something directed by the guy behind The Scorpion King 3. While increased IMAX prices probably helped, opening in 393 locations and taking in less than $2m is not what Marvel had in mind when they planned on making their mixed TV division more cinematic in scope. Steven Spielberg’s classic sci-fi film Close Encounters of the Third Kind received a 40th anniversary re-release, but that took in just under $2m, lower than industry estimates.
And then there’s Tulip Fever. Oh, Tulip Fever. How entertained you have made me with your delayed releases, desperate marketing and ability to turn Harvey Weinstein into Gil from The Simpsons. Yes, the film does indeed exist - so I’ve been told - and it sank with a paltry $1.55m over the four day period from 765 theatres. Weinstein scrambled hard in the week leading to its release, desperate to drum up some sort of interest in the movie - hey, Alicia Vikander’s mum’s friend liked the film! It’s a little sad that the film wasn’t even bad enough to warrant the mystique it garnered through The Weinstein Company’s inability to release the damn thing.
Hopefully, the Fall season will revive the fortunes of the movie biz. This week, there’s some horror film about a creepy clown coming out that apparently people are interested in.
You can check out the entire top 10 here.
What film did you watch this week? Would you ever pay IMAX ticket money to see two episodes of an ABC series? Reynolds or Gosling? Are you still stunned that a movie expects us to believe Dane DeHaan is the sexpot option over Christoph Waltz? Answers in the comments.