Box Office Wrap Up: Hollywood Suffers TKO.
One of the highest grossing items this week was a boxing match as the box office took a beating.
I’m not sure exactly how much credit I want to give Mayweather Vs. McGregor for beating up the box office, but this weekend was one of the worst for Hollywood in decades. The megafight was so heavily trafficked that it crashed pay-per-view services for some viewers. It ended up doing so well that theaters that chose to show it made it the ninth highest grossing screening in the nation. That’s all really impressive but I have to say that much like Mayweather himself, this fight was taking on an opponent who didn’t really have a chance.
Box Office History.
This week the total gross for all domestic theaters was 69 million dollars. This is the lowest August take since 1996, when The Island of Dr. Moreau was euthanizing the box office. It is the lowest earning week of the year so far. It was down 30% from last week’s totals, which was already a ruinous weekend. It is already down nearly 60% from last year when Suicide Squad was fooling people into thinking WB and DC could make a decent movie. For all intents and purposes, this was a terrible week for Hollywood…and it’s only going to get worse.
Up on the Downside.
August has been horrendous. The only bit of relief we have is that this month has five weeks in it instead of four. The cumulative take for August 2017 sits now at 272 million dollars. That is good enough for it to beat 1991, the year we had pegged as the low-water mark. Unfortunately, it’s not very much above 1991 (242 million), and even with one more week to go, we’re not going to crest the next rock waiting to rip the bottom out of the boat, 1992 (317 million.)
Next week has only one new film, Tulip Fever, which is a historical drama only opening in 600 theaters. This is not a genre that makes tons of money on opening weekend and Labor Day weekend is usually rat poison for theaters even in good years. This adds up to a week that is likely to do even worse. We’re going to have two record setting bad weeks in a row by all reasonable measures.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard repeated in first place with 10 million dollars. This film has been a modest success, already blowing past its budget of 39 million dollars. With one more week of lackluster opposition, the Ryan Reynolds/Samuel L. Jackson romp has a real chance to three peat.
Second place went to Annabelle Creation, another film that has flourished amidst the carnage. The sequel to the prequel of a spin-off (I never get tired of typing that) has racked up a hefty 78 million dollars total versus a 15 million dollar budget. If you’re ever wondering why you see so many horror movies, even during the summer months, it is because you can make those films with a social security benefits check and still turn around a million dollar profit.
The only new film to crack the top three was Leap!. The historical fantasy animated flick took in just under 5 million dollars. I wish I could spin that into a plucky victory…but the movie has a 30 million dollar budget. Then again, the movie has been out in foreign markets since last year, with a total of 78 million dollars under its belt. This won’t likely be a franchise that we see again in the states, but it does have a solid backing elsewhere.
At the bottom of the list we get Birth of the Dragon limping into 8th place. The film took in a paltry 2 million dollars. The kung fu genre is functionally deceased in theaters at this time. Some excellent films are still being made, especially by Donnie Yen and Jackie Chan, but those movies are no longer getting even limited releases. It may be fitting that a movie about the man who created the kung fu craze in America could be the last one to see a wide release.
The 9th spot went to Mayweather-McGregor, the pay-per-view fight that showed in several theater chains. As a fan of boxing, I have to say that I’m glad that interest in the sport was kindled enough to make this much money. As a fan of boxing, I also have to say that I’m sad this interest was generated by such a shameless circus farce. This wasn’t a boxing match. This was a novelty match, like when Rocky Balboa fought Thunder Lips, and we all remember how that ended up.
Top Ten Movies.
1. The Hitman’s Bodyguard (10.2)
2. Annabelle: Creation (7.6)
3. Leap! (4.7)
4. Wind River (4.6)
5. Logan Lucky (4.2)
6. Dunkirk (3.9)
7. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2.8)
8. Birth of the Dragon (2.7)
9. Mayweather vs. McGregor (2.6)
10. The Emoji Movie (2.5)