Labor Day Weekend Ends a Terrible Summer at an All-Time Low

the box office-2

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard

$6.8 million

Annabelle: Creation

 $5 million

Leap!

$4 million

Hazlo Como Hombre

$3.7 million

Wind River

$3.5 million

(Note: The above numbers are for the four-day holiday weekend.)

After one of the worst weekends at the box office in 16 years, we head into a four-day holiday weekend where things might be even worse, if that’s even possible to believe. it’s not a great way to end one of the worst summers at the box office in over ten years.

Most people have a four-day weekend ahead and for some, it will be the last long holiday weekend until Thanksgiving, and there aren’t many better new choices than we got last weekend. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Top 12 movies make less over the four-day weekend then the Top 12 movies did in three days last weekend.

This shouldn’t come as a shock considering that last Labor Day, the top new movie (The Light Between Oceans) opened in sixth place and the widest new release (Fox’s Morgan) tanked with just $2.5 million, opening in 18th (!) place. But the third new release over the Labor Day weekend last year, Pantelion Films’ No Manches Frida, is the one to bear in mind going into this weekend.

Hazlocomohombrebo
Pantelion Films

Due to the lack of weaker new movie, Lionsgate’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard and New Line’s Annabelle: Creation should retain first and second place for a third weekend in a row, which is fairly unheard of on both counts. Leap! should also remain in third place but that’s where things get interesting because the one new movie that stands a chance at breaking into the Top 5 is Pantelion Films’ Spanish language film Hazlo Como Hombre, which is translated as Do It Like An Hombre. (Man, what a great title!)

It’s the latest comedy from Chilean filmmaker Nicolas López, who some Americans might remember from his 2012 disaster flick Aftershock, produced by Eli Roth. It’s already grossed $7.3 million since opening in Mexico on August 11.

It combines a cast of Mexican and Chilean actors for a comedy about a man who comes out as gay to his two male best friends. You might think this sort of story might be problematic among the more macho Latinos, but in fact, there’s many who might actually embrace this sort of low-brow and actually kind of homophobic humor in a similar way as Adam Sandler’s I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Because of that, it’s likely to play well among a wide array of Latino audiences in America, whether they’re men, women or gay.

As mentioned above, Pantelion’s No Manches Frida opened over Labor Day last year and grossed $4.6 million in 362 theaters, which wasn’t enough to even get it into the Top 10. That type of showing this year would almost guarantee a Top 3 placement. Pantelion’s last film How to Be A Latin Lover opened well in April with $12.2 million before grossing $32 million, but that movie was mostly in English and opened in three times as many theaters as Hombre, which is opening in less than 400 theaters. Still, expect it to bring in close to $4 million over the four-day weekend, placing well enough to force other studios to start looking into possibly doing Spanish-language films. (Disney and Pixar are already going to be targeting that audience with their upcoming Coco over Thanksgiving.)

If that comes in fourth (or third, if it makes a push against Leap!) then it will be followed by a lot of returning movies: Wind River, Dunkirk, Logan Lucky, Spider-Man: Homecoming – all well-reviewed movies that have been performing better than usual due to the slower box office.

(Note: BoxOfficePro didn’t report Twitter activity for this week.)

Opening Weekend Current Gross Total Facebook Likes Twitter Activity (Past Week) 
The Hitman’s Bodyguard $21.4m $27.9m 131,096  N/A
Annabelle: Creation  $35m $69.3m 19,184  N/A
Leap! $4.7m N/A 18,971  N/A
Hazlo Como Hombre N/A N/A 107,343  N/A
Wind River $161,558 $11.4m 23,192  N/A

TulipFeverReview3The Weinstein Company

Also on Friday, The Weinstein Company is finally releasing the long-delayed Dutch drama Tulip Fever, starring Alicia Vikander, Christoph Waltz and Dane DeHaan. It will be in around 650 theaters, but honestly I don’t see there being much interest for the movie, not due to the cast or for the subject matter. In fact, I would be surprised if this one makes $1.5 million over the four-day weekend, and it’s likely to be another 2017 write-off for the Weinsteins who at least are having success with Wind River. (You can read my negative review of the movie Friday afternoon, because that’s when the Weinsteins have embargoed all reviews until, after cancelling their other press screenings.)

Like last weekend’s 3D rerelease of James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, this week sees one of Steven Spielberg’s early movies getting new attention as TriStar releases the 40th Anniversary edition of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Repetition films are hot these days, and there’s probably a younger audience that might want to see this on the big screen for the first time, so expect it to bring in around $2 million in the 700 or so theaters in which it’ll be released. That might be good enough to sneak into the Top 10.

Almost a month before the show premieres on ABC, Marvel Television is teaming with IMAX to release Marvel’s The Inhumans onto over 400 IMAX screens starting Thursday night. This should be an interesting test to see how television content might fare as a movie-going experience.

Frankly, the trailers for the show haven’t looked great, not nearly on par with Marvel Studios’ movies or the shows Marvel is doing with Netflix. With so little else to see in theaters over the long weekend, this one could make between $1.5 and $2 million thanks to the price of IMAX ticket, which should be enough to break into the low end of the Top 10.

     
Rotten Tomatoes IMDb Metacritic
Critics Users Stars  
The Hitman’s Bodyguard 39 73  7.1 50
Annabelle: Creation 68 73 7.2  62
Leap! 39 67 6.8 48
Hazlo Como Hombre N/A N/A N/A N/A
Wind River 86 93 8.0 73

That brings us to the limited releases, which is basically a number of movies being dumped before the fall movie season and the stuff that will be featured in festivals beginning with the Venice and Telluride Film Festivals this week.

goondsequelboxoffice

A few years back, Jay Baruchel teamed with Evan Goldberg to write the hockey comedy Goon, starring Seann William Scott, and it found quite a large cult following, mostly in Canada. That’s probably why its sequel Goon: Last of the Enforcers – this one directed by Baruchel – was released in Canada months before Momentum is releasing it in the States in scattered theaters with most of its focus on VOD. You can read Drew’s review here.

Similarly, actress Lake Bell got a lot of attention for her directorial debut In a World… and I wish I could say I loved her sophomore feature, the romantic comedy I Do… Until I Don’t co-starring Ed Helms, just as much … but I didn’t. It’s being released in select cities on Friday by the Film Arcade.

I know next to nothing about the William H. Macy comedy The Layover, starring Kate Upton and Alexandra Daddario (Baywatch) as two friends who go on a road trip. It co-stars Rob Corddry, Molly Shannon and Kal Penn, who are better known for comedy that the two leads, and it’s been playing on DirecTV for a month before Vertical releases it Friday.

Other films being dumped this weekend include Michael Apted’s Unlocked starring Noomi Rapace and Orlando Bloom – a Lionsgate Premiere mostly VOD special — the James Franco thriller The Vault from Filmrise (same), and IFC Films’ India-based period drama Viceroy’s House, starring Gillian Anderson, Hugh Bonneville and Michael Gambon. The latter is directed by Gurinder Chada – remember her?

If you’ve read the last four paragraphs, it’s probably the first time you’ve heard about many of the movies mentioned.

That’s it for this week, but check back Saturday morning for a weekend update and Monday for the four-day box office report based on estimates.

(Sources: boxofficemojo.com, rottentomatoes.com, imdb.com, metacritic.com. Figures represent numbers at time of writing, and may have changed. Tracking Board does not report Rotten Tomatoes user ratings for movies that have not yet seen wide release.)

  | East Coast Editor
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Still quiet here.sas

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