A bit of a surprise hit as summer winds down.

Hollywood is entering a torpid segment of the release calendar. The post-summer lull is coming upon theaters and this becomes a bit of a dumping ground for the next few weeks as we are likely to see projects studios were unsure what to do with or have given up on entirely.

There was a batch of new titles released this weekend as schools have begun to draw the attention once again of the primary ticket buyers, with only one doing anything approaching impressive business. So here are some of the toss-away titles released on their own recognizance while the studios are busy counting up their haul from the blockbuster season.

1. GOOD BOYS – $20.9 Million
This was a surprise for a number of reasons, the first being it is a straight-forward and R-rated comedy. A ribald tale of preteen youths having a bawdy adventure with girls on the brain this was projected to earn in the neighborhood of $12 million, but it managed to connect with the young male target audience. Critics also helped by giving this an approval of roughly 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. The feeling of a “Superbad”-type romp is valid, given this is from the mind of Seth Rogan. This makes for Universal having its sixth title to open at #1, with only Disney having more.

2. HOBBS & SHAW – $14.14m
The brain-free action epic continues to run on its momentum, dropping only -44% on its way to $130 million to this point. Globally is has already drawn $400 million, and should see Universal easily turning a profit on this extension of the “Fast & The Furious” franchise.

3. LION KING – $11.9m
The King of Hollywood has ruled over the box office for years and this release only helps it spread its kingdom further. This will take its tally stateside to just about $500 million, and globally it will be hitting $1.5 billion soon enough. Just ridiculous type of figures we have not seen in theaters…since about four months ago — but still, damned impressive.

4. ANGRY BIRDS 2 – $10.5m
The previous film was a moderate hit that did really well in foreign markets, so a sequel was inevitable. However after seven years there was little in the way of demand for this follow up, so Sony will be REALLY banking on that international interest to see this one get into profitability. The original was one of the very few video game adaptations to make it to the $100 million mark. This one will be severely challenged to earn one-third of that total, as this franchise appears to be crashing like the buildings in the game itself.

5. SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK – $9.7m
Showing some decent strength for a horror option as it drops -52% in week 2, a not bad figure for the genre. Factor in the top movie was aimed at a similar demographic then this is looking even a little bit better.

6. 47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED – $9.0m
2 years ago the original became a small surprise hit for the micro-distributor Entertainment Studios. Made for only $5 million it grossed over $40 million as the shark tale kept drawing interest during an extended run. This time around they more than doubled the budget ($12 million) and got less of a return — the first opened to over $11 million. There is still upside here however as ES already has the costs covered by selling the foreign rights, so there is almost no risk at all..

7. DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD – $10.5m
While it is a respectable hold of nearly -50% that performance is off of a disappointing opening, so it is not really much to cheer about. Paramount needs a long run with solid interest to get this up to a profit line, and that seems to be a tougher search than the titular character is having on screen.

8. ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD – $7.6m
Soon this will move up to become Quentin Taraantino’s second-most successful release, passing “Inglourious Basterds, but will fall well shy of what “Django Unchained” earned.

9. BLINDED BY THE LIGHT – $4.45m
A Sundance FF pick up for Warner Brothers the question here is why did it fail when a very similarly-themed British pop culture ode – “Yesterday” – has been a surprise hit? Actually, that may be the reason. This time a character has his life centered around the music of Bruce Springsteen (rather than the Beatles) and the older art house crowd may have a feeling of “seen that”.

10. THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN – $4.4m
A respectable drop of -45% in week two, but the soft opening means that there is still time needed for this to see a decent enough return for Fox.

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