Surprising strength with a weak field closes a decent month
Doldrums normally rule through this portion of the calendar but for the second straight year September has shown to be surprisingly robust. This weekend closes out the month as second best September in total, lagging only last year which was floated by the monstrous performance of “It”.
There was a wide array of debuts this weekend that produced more of a shrug before the weekend but still managed to do respectable business. The coming weeks will see more of an interest as a combination of awards-caliber titles and seasonal hits will start to seep out.
One aside: Michael Moore’s disappointing documentary “Fahrenheit 11/9” fell over 60% in its second week and disappeared from the list.
NIGHT SCHOOL – $28.0 Million
The Kevin Hart/Tiffany Haddish romp has been heavily promoted and there was a vacillating projection, with guesses ranging from the mid 20s to the low 30s, and it landing squarely in that average range. While possibly looked at as disappointing this is actually rather good when considered how poorly adult comedies have been performing for years now, displayed by the fact this good-not-great performance stands as the best comedy debut of 2017. Haddish is proving to be a draw, as she broke out last year in the hit “Girls Trip”.
2. SMALLFOOT – $23.02m
While lightly regarded initially this animated tale of Yetis and humans is performing well enough to be be slightly impressive. The Saturday crowds arrived and delivered a slightly better than anticipated return. While not reaching the heights of Warners LEGO movies this was a better open than the recent “Storks”, so a similar multiple might see it reach $80 million.
3. THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS – $12.51m
A dip of -55% is a decent hold, made more impressive by the fact there was a strong family animated release up against it. The film is going to need to linger for a while in order to hit profitability.
4. A SIMPLE FAVOR – $ 6.6m
The female-driven thriller is doing steady if not strong business. Still showing on over 3,000 screens is an indication there is interest, and given there is only a romantic comedy to draw the lady ticket buyers it makes sense.
5. THE NUN – $5.43m
This has become the biggest performer from the universe of “The Conjuring”. It has now cleared over $100 million stateside, add in a wealthy take of over $200 million overseas and the global tally sits at $330 million, for a film with a budget of $22 million.
6. HELL FEST – $5.07m
A rather cheap horror entry from Lionsgate came in generally at expectations. Normally these trend stronger with a male crowd, however this audience skewed slightly more with females, a possible indicator the marketing was not entirely on point.
7. CRAZY RICH ASIANS – $4.15m
The smash romance still sits in over 2,300 screens as it has earned $165 million. It has been a massive surprise for Warner Brothers.
8. THE PREDATOR – $3.7m
The reboot for Fox has been a complete mess. After 3 weeks you can get a true read on things. It drops another -60% and has yet to cross over $50 million. The telling stat is at this quick threshold it was dropped from 1,144 screens.
9. WHITE BOY RICK – $2.38m
Quietly drawing a modest return, but looking to be far too quiet. It has only earned $21 million to now against its $23 million budget.
10. PEPPERMINT – $1.77m
Languishing and not lighting up the screens. The upstart distributor STX is still looking for that breakout hit, as it still has not had a title earn more than $50 million. Amy Schumer’s “I Feel Pretty” from this spring is their biggest release, at $48 million.