Everyone’s favorite Scotish thespian has another winning weekend.
This is a lull of sorts in the release schedule, with schools starting back up and — more importantly — Disney not having any recent releases. This gives a little bit of breathing room for others for a change and while this segment is sometimes seen as the dumping ground on the calendar if you put up a reason for audiences to turn out you can find some success.
For the month of August a number of writers have banded together — including our own Kira Davis — to celebrate the career and foibles of Gerard Butler. This has been leading up to the release of his latest title in the “Fallen” franchise, this weekend. To see our antics go check out the hashtag #ButlerFest on Twitter, and here is our podcast from this week where we cover the new release and the “Fallen” series. Immerse yourself in the majesty of Mike Bannon!
ANGEL HAS FALLEN – $21.25 Million
The third installment in this franchise is a bit of a departure. It does not concern a location but the titular seraph references that Gerard Butler’s Secret Service character who was the President’s guardian comes under suspicion and is on the lam from authorities. Other departures is that this third film sees its third different director, as well as its third distributor for the Millennium Films production. One other change: The previous two titles saw release dates in March. Lionsgate elected to go with this release in the soft part of the calendar after summer, and it seems to have worked. This return beats the projections expecting a struggle to reach $15 million, and places it almost equal to “London Has Fallen” while showing on 200 fewer screens. Here’s hoping this success leads to a fourth installment!
2. GOOD BOYS – $11.75m
Last week’s surprise hit about some bawdy preteen lads has a decent hold, falling only -45%. At this point it has taken in over $40 million which should already cover the budget and marketing, so anything going forward is pure profit for Universal.
3. OVERCOMER – $8.5m
Another faith-based release by Sony from the makers of “War Room”, which was a very surprising hit. Hollywood still has trouble getting a read on these smaller films targeting religious viewers. The early estimates were this would struggle to make $5-6 million, with doubters pegging it lower. Like many of these films the audience scores were in the “A+” range, indicating a healthy shelf life and since it was made for just $5 million the assured profits are going to arrive — it is simply a matter of how high it goes in a lengthy run.
4. THE LION KING – $8.15m
Disney’s behemoth is still felling box office prey. It has been out for six weeks now and is barely shedding screens. It is still showing in 3,300 theaters.
5. HOBBS & SHAW – $8.14m
This physics-defying action piece has been running strong on racing fuel and adrenaline. Out for a month now it is holding well, dipping only -44% this weekend as it inches closer to a $150 haul — and it is the expected hit overseas. It has more than doubled that return in foreign markets and is about to cross over $500 million globally to this point.
6. READY OR NOT – $7.55m
An arthouse horror/comedy offering that looks to have suffered from the Disney takeover of 20th Century Fox. This was a Fox Searchlight release and while it stands as that boutique studio’s widest release ever there was very light marketing behind its arrival. Not as much digital marketing took place and when TV ads arrived this week many were confused as to the premise. Critics favored this at over 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, so a marketing boost was needed to pull in crowds.
7. ANGRY BIRDS 2 – $6.36m
A surprisingly good hold with a drop of only -39%, but this is following a dismal opening of barely over $10 million, so there is nothing to crow about here. The first film earned over $100 million but this flightless effort is going to struggle to make one-third of that total.
8. SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK – $6.0m
A surprising performance by another title benefitting from the lull after summer, while few gave this one much thought prior it has now calmly worked its way to over $50 million.
9. DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD – $5.2m
This one stands as one of my biggest disappointing performances of the summer as Universal was expecting a much larger area to be explored by this title, leading to the launch of a franchise.
10. ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD – $
This solid hit for Quentin Tarantino has now moved on to become his second-biggest film ever, with one primary difference to his other hits. “Django Unchained”, and “Inglorious Basterds” did significantly stronger business overseas.
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