Box Office Wrap Up: Blade Runner 2049 Falls Short.
Hollywood finds itself back on shaky ground after Blade Runner and others fail to live up to expectations.
We’re not out of the woods yet, it appears when it comes to the fortunes of the North American box office. September set records, but relied entirely on the strength of one movie to push those boundaries. As other films passed IT at the box office, we saw the box office start to lurch back towards the sluggish totals of the summer season. As a litmus test, the first week of October is a mixed bag. The box office did improve over last week, but it fell short of previous years. It also saw many of the projections for newcomers like Blade Runner 2049 and My Little Pony fade into dust. The first and potentially last blockbuster of October has come and gone, and now we’re faced with much smaller releases until November’s release of Thor: Ragnarok.
This Week in Box Office History.
The box office managed a slight rally after the final week of September, adding 20% to last week’s totals. While that helped to allay fears that October’s success was totally due to IT (fun fact: it was) and add fuel to the growing hopes of audiences starting to come back to the theaters, it was not all sunny notes. Compared to the same frame last year, the box office was down. While this week of the year is not a powerhouse that you’d stake your studio’s reputation on, it is a month with some trends that point to trouble.
Second, most of the movies slated to go up against it were counter-programming picks aimed at kids and women. They also under performed. My Little Pony made much less than similar animated flicks in a year when we really haven’t had an animated hit to date. The Mountain Between Us also performed on the low end of expectations for its genre. All told, we got a week where nobody really lived up to the hype.
Top Three Films.
First place went to Blade Runner 2049 with 32 million dollars. That is well shy of the 40-50 million dollar take it was expected to make after a solid Thursday release, and well below other recent films in the same genre. While it did better business than director Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, it was under almost other big ticket sci-fi blockbusters of the recent era. It even managed to come in under another troubling sequel, Alien Covenant. Despite having solid word of mouth and a nice critical reception, it couldn’t clone the success of similar movies.
Second place went to The Mountain Between Us. This survival story starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet managed to make 10 million dollars, also missing the mark of other recent films in the genre like The Finest Hours and In the Heart of the Sea. It has a troublesome budget at 35 million, making the long term prospects shaky without any real foreign box office draw.
The third spot went to IT, which has notched at total of 605 million dollars from all markets. It is the undisputed domestic champ for horror films, and will likely wind up holding the title for total earnings.
Fourth place saw My Little Pony limp into position. There is no budget data for this film, but the first week take of 8.8 million has got to disappoint. It has a middling earnings compared to other animated films this year, but it has been soundly thrashed by other toy based movies such as the LEGO series, Trolls, and even The Smurfs. I guess magic of friendship has worn off.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle fell mightily from first place to fifth in its second week.
The big success story of the week was Victoria and Abdul, which expanded into wide release and jumped from out of the top ten to the eighth spot with 4 million dollars in sales.
Top Ten Movies.
Blade Runner 2049 (32.7)
The Mountain Between Us (10.5)
My Little Pony: The Movie (8.8)
American Made (8.4)
The LEGO Ninjago Movie (7.0)
Victoria and Abdul (4.1)
Battle of the Sexes (2.5)