Just when people were suggesting Hollywood was dead, they find a way to recover flamboyantly. After an embarrassing summer the turnaround for studios has been stark and impressive. This week it became official as the sales numbers led to the culmination of the most successful September ever.
A number of new releases were going up against a few strong hold over titles this weekend and it was a razor tight battle between three titles for the top slot. A Tom Cruise thriller, stylized British spy caper, and murderous clown all tangled for a softer weekend than in previous weeks. The results are so close we may need to see the Monday actuals to know the true ranking.
Meanwhile one remake was carted off to the morgue immediately.
So here are the results for this battal banal, in theaters this weekend.
1. IT – $17.31Million
Returning to the top spot in an extremely tight weekend race shows the power this tittle has developed. Approaching $300million domestic, and already crossing $500million globally are numbers very few anticipated for this horror offering. The ceiling has yet to be determined.
2. KINGSMEN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE – $17.1m
A not unexpected drop of -56% against strong contenders means this is holding up as well as expected. The hyper-stylized spy romp is actually an international franchise and the overall global numbers at the end will determine how successful this becomes.
3. AMERICAN MADE – $17.0m
As Tom Cruise titles go this was a poor performance, even at the top of this list. The film has received strong reviews, but the true-life story line of an unlikely drug cartel participant has not found the wider audience. It is Cruise’s lowest open since “Jack Reacher” five years ago, another respected title of his that received a sequel. (Maybe he should have embraced the false-bottom controversy for free publicity???) Part of the challenge is a younger audience being held at bay, both by the R-rating, and by the 1980s setting. If this manages to get an audience foothold it may reach into the $70million level.
4. THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE — $11.5m
Sporting a softer than expected opening last week this is actually a respectable m-41% hold in the sophomore session. The challenge here is the content is geared to the younger ages so there is not much in the crossover, aside from the parents bringing them in.
5. FLATLINERS – $6.7m
Kind of a baffling remake in that there is not a huge cult following to the original, and the success of that film was largely due to the A-list cast, not its content. The biggest name here is Ellen Page, with Keifer Sutherland lending a cameo nod from the first iteration. The studio did not offer screenings for critics, and the promotional campaign was minimal. This is the kind of bad performance that leads to bad writing from reviewers: “Flatliners is dead on arrival!”, etc.
6. BATTLE OF THE SEXES – $3.4m
The telling of the famous tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King played in limited release (just over 1,200 screens) and delivers a decent screen average that would place it . This will be positioned as an Oscar-bait enterprise.
7. AMERICAN ASSASSIN – $3.32m
The attempt to launch a franchise based on Vince Flynn’s book series with his Mitch Rapp character is not looking strong enough to proceed with a sequel.
8. HOME AGAIN – $1.75m
Hey did you guys remember that Reese Witherspoon had a rom-com out in theaters? Yea, nobody else did either.
9. TILL DEATH DO US PART – $1.56m
This urban-targeted thriller was in very limited release on just over 500 screens, but performed admirably enough to be ranked. The per-screen average would actually place it #6 on the chart.
10. mother! – $1.46m
This reviled and mocked title saw a drop in screens as audiences have failed to arrive. It is performing so poorly it finished under a movie showing in 30% as many theaters.