Fall is starting off with a whimper at the box office, as the combined domestic box office failed to reach $100 million for the fifth weekend in a row this weekend. Antoine Fuqua‘s middling-reviewed The Magnificent Seven remake landed at number one with $35 million, beating out fellow new wide release Storks, an animated film from Warner Bros., which managed just $21.8 million for the weekend, which was down 25% from the same weekend last year. This time last year, the top two films were Hotel Transylvania 2 and The Intern. See, you want to blame bad box office results on mediocre movies, but then the big money earners are always just as mediocre.
Magnificent Seven scored an A- from audiences on Cinemascore and a 62% recommended rating among critics at Rotten Tomatoes on the way to its top finish. Which is good but not great for the $90 million budgeted (before marketing) superhero-style Western (though it does count as a top five or six-ever opening for the month of September). Still, most analysts are expecting it to top out in the low $100 million range, which would be good, but not spectacular.
Storks, meanwhile, played far below expectations at $21 million on a $70 million budget. It also earned an A- Cinemascore (an A+ from those under 25, for whatever that’s worth) and a 64% RottenTomatoes score. The response seems to suggest “not as dumb as it sounds!” which is rarely a good omen for a film’s box office chances. It might play longer based on word of mouth, but word of mouth isn’t that strong. Adding to its chances is the fact that the next major animated movie, Trolls, doesn’t open until November. Ugh, Trolls. That movie is like the Power Rangers movie, if “Power Ranger” had spent the last 15 years becoming a euphemism for cyber bullying.
Last week’s releases (which all opened weak) mostly held fairly well, with Bridget Jones’ Baby easing 47% and Snowden easing 48%, to $4.5 and $4.1 million, respectively. Of course, Bridget Jones is doing a lot better, thanks to a worldwide take of $83 million thus far (Snowden hasn’t opened overseas yet). Sully, the dad rock of movies, has grossed $92 million so far.
Meanwhile, the other of last week’s new releases, Blair Witch, fell a steep 59%, adding $3.95 million for a total of $16 million so far. Hey, that’s still more than three times the production budget ($5 million). That one received a D+ Cinemascore, which, as I noted in last week’s round-up, is the worst Cinemascore I’ve seen since I started writing this column. This week, Box Office Mojo points out that other movies to have received a D+ Cinemascore include King Kong Lives (1986), The New World, and Punch-Drunk Love. Aw, man, I like Punch-Drunk Love. You think people went expecting The Wedding Singer? Cinemascore is weird. Also, people are mind-blowingly dumb.
Next week brings us Queen of Katwe expanding wide (A+ Cinemascore, 90% RottenTomatoes), Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, which sounds like a sketch making fun of Tim Burton, Mark Wahlberg trying to plug holes in Peter Berg’s Deepwater Horizon, and the long-delayed Jared Hess comedy, Masterminds.
|1||The Magnificent Seven||$35,000,000||$9,526||$35,000,000|
|4||Bridget Jones’s Baby||$4,520,000 (-47.3)||$1,543||$16,457,000|
|6||Blair Witch||$3,950,000 (-58.8)||$1,266||$16,128,000|
|7||Don’t Breathe||$3,800,000 (-32.6)||$1,559||$81,110,000|
|8||Suicide Squad||$3,110,000 (-33.9)||$1,432||$318,133,000|
|9||When the Bough Breaks||$2,500,000 (-54.4)||$1,731||$26,613,000|
|10||Kubo and the Two Strings||$1,103,000 (-56.6)||$912||$45,954,000|
[chart via ScreenCrush]