The last time the number one movie at the box office earned less than $10 million was when the faith-based film War Room managed the top spot in its second weekend over the Labor Day weekend in 2015. Before that, it was The Possession over Labor Day weekend in 2012. This time, it is M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass, which mustered only $9.5 million this Super Bowl weekend. That’s an OK number for the film’s third weekend at the box office (dropping only 44 percent, and bringing its total to $88 million), but it’s a dismal number for a number one film at the box office (that said, it has risen to $110 million overseas).
The blame for that and the worst overall weekend at the box office since the weekend before Labor Day in 2017 can be pinned on a couple of factors. One reason is because it’s Super Bowl weekend, and moviegoers are less likely to turn out on Super Bowl Sunday, although that’s not always true. Taken opened on a Super Bowl weekend and earned $24 million. The Nicholas Sparks movie Dear John earned $27 million on Super Bowl weekend, and the movie that launched Michael B. Jordan’s feature-film career, Chronicle, opened with $22 million over Super Bowl weekend in 2012.
However, the bigger reason for the dismal box office this weekend was because the studios didn’t bother to field a major new release either this weekend or last. Last weekend, the only two new releases — The Kid Who Would Be King and Serenity — both struck out, so their second-weekend performances weren’t likely to provide much lift (in fact, Serenity has already fallen out of the top 10, earning only $1.7 million in its second weekend). This weekend, there was only one big new release, the Gina Rodriguez action pic Miss Bala. It fizzled, opening with a poor $6.7 million in 2200 theaters.
The movie, a remake of the 2011 Mexican thriller of the same name, wasn’t helped by harsh reviews (it scored a 28 percent on Rotten Tomatoes). Unfortunately, the fledgling star power of Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez couldn’t lift the movie to success, either, although I wouldn’t worry too much about Rodriguez. She’s been cast as the lead in Carmen Sandiego, which should boost her feature-film cred if two other films featuring her that arrive before Sandiego do not. Unfortunately, Miss Bala can’t be seen as anything other than a misfire, a movie that failed despite a well-defined target audience and very little competition.