Box Office Wrap Up: Kingsman Golden, IT Breaks Horror Record.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle improved upon the first film and stole first place from IT…
…However, the Box Office is not out of the woods quite yet.
After a brutal summer slump, movie prognosticators are furiously reading any tea leaf to see if Hollywood is on the verge of a revival, or headed into a protracted period of financial pain. To that end, September has been a tough nut to crack: IT has made phenomenal money, but there has only been a modest benefit to other films because of that movie’s notoriety. Last week we saw a modest bump for new films and holdovers, but IT was still the big winner. This week, Kingsman 2 managed to unseat the incumbent while making more money than the first film in the franchise, but it is far from certain that it spells a resurgence at the box office.
This Week in Box Office History.
The weekend box office was up 7% over last week and about 30% from last year. September is a weird month that has only recently become a destination for successful films. Much like February, which has been transformed by Marvel films and hits like John Wick, September is becoming a landing pad for movies that want to skip the “summer blockbuster” season. Increasingly, that is because summer cannot support even blockbusters, let alone niche films and studio gambles.
The last two years have had really strong earnings for September, but those years have spread the love around to many films. The big winners, Sully and Hotel Transylvania 2, only captured 24% of the box office. This means there was enough of the pie to go around. This year, IT has grabbed 65% of the box office. While Kingsman 2 did better than most sequels, we still have a month dominated by only one stand-out film. At 406 million dollars, this September has yet to prove itself. If Kingsman 2 and IT stay strong and next week’s wide releases do OK, the boot may come off Hollywood’s neck.
Top Three Films.
Things are looking good for Kingsman: The Golden Circle as it took the top spot with 39 million dollars. While that is not eye-popping numbers, it is an improvement over Kingsman: The Secret Service, which was a bit of a sleeper hit with 36 million. Both totals are good for the genre, as I can attest from the deep dive I took into espionage films recently, but they’re not exactly blockbusters. The first movie gained steam as it went along based on positive word of mouth. The sequel needs to keep that pace up to rival the first outing.
*Record Breaker, Incoming!*
IT slipped on down the drains to second place. The horror phenom took in 30 million dollars in its third week, dropping 50% from last week. That is not notable, since it held so strong in its second week. At some point the damn was going to break, given four new movies going against it. The overall total for the film is 266 million dollars…WHICH MAKES IT THE HIGHEST GROSSING HORROR MOVIE OF ALL TIME!
Sorry, needed to shout a little there.
IT is now the winner for R-rated horror and all horror films of any rating. Adjusting for inflation would probably make this race still competitive, but IT has also made 266 million dollar abroad. So, yeah, Jaws is probably closer to 366 in today’s money…but it only made 10 million overseas. I think inflation can’t trump how big IT has become.
Third place went to another new film, The LEGO Ninjago movie. At 20 million dollars, Ninjago is a disappointment in every way you can measure it. It made less than 1/3rd of the openings for The LEGO Movie and LEGO Batman, so it way under-performed the franchise. It also had a 70 million dollar budget, so it wasn’t a calculated risk that was expected to fail; this movie was expected to do about as well as the other entries in the series.
One part of me wants to crow: I dislike the LEGO movies and want to see less crap like this. The other part of me is sad: this movie was not a cynical cash grab based on bankable characters, but an actual development of an original IP. If I had to wish ill to any film of the series, it would have been the noxious Batman movie, instead of the Ninjago film that tried to adapt a lesser known toy franchise.
Another glimmer of light for Hollywood this week is that the top ten has four new movies in it. The downside is that most of those fell into the bottom half of the list. Teen horror flick Friend Request got blocked by most viewers, only making 2 million against a 10 million dollar budget. Given the fickle nature of the genre and the abundance of horror options, I think this film is sunk.
Stronger, a dramatic story about a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing, landed too late and too quietly. I had no idea it was even out. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, this film would probably have done well a year ago when more movies on the topic were around. Now, it slipped below the radar, whatever its merit.
Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! looks destined to wind up a mild flop. It has only made 13 million against a 30 million dollar budget. While it has made a decent 12 million abroad, it is fading fast after a notoriously bad Rotten Tomatoes and CinemaScore raing. It will probably make back its budget, but based on marketing it won’t be considered a triumph by anyone, cementing Aronofsky as a director who may too high-minded for his own good.
Top Ten Movies.
1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (39.0)
2. IT (29.7)
3. The LEGO Ninjago Movie (20.4)
4. American Assassin (6.2)
5. Mother! (3.2)
6. Home Again (3.2)
7. Friend Request (2.0)
8. Stronger (1.6)
9. The Hitman’s Bodyguard (1.6)
10. Wind River (1.2)