While the summer movie season started with a bang with the sharp claws of a mutant super hero, it ended quietly over the four-day Labor Day holiday session with the 3D horror sequel
The Final Destination topping the lowest-grossing weekend of 2009. None of the three new releases managed to unseat last weekend’s box office winner and the Top 20 sunk to just $116M over four days and $91M over three days — the worst such tally of the year.
With moviegoers not showing much excitement for the weekend’s new releases, The Final Destination remained at number one by default grossing an estimated $15.4M in its second round over the four-day holiday session. The Warner Bros. thriller witnessed a drop of 55% across the three-day period which was normal for fright films. After 11 days of play, the fourth installment in the successful franchise has scared up a sturdy $50.7M. A $70M final seems likely for Final which will be the best gross of the series. This weekend’s three-day take of $12.3M was the lowest for any number one film since Bangkok Dangerous bowed on top to $7.8M this weekend one year ago.
Brad Pitt’s supporting role in Inglourious Basterds led to an estimated $15M in ticket sales over four days in the third weekend putting it close behind in second. The Weinstein Co. release dropped moderately and raised its 18-day cume to a solid $95.2M. Overseas, Universal has grossed an additional $83.3M putting the global tally at $178.5M for the $70M-budgeted Nazi drama.
Opening in third place was the critically-panned romantic comedy
All About Steve with an estimated $13.9M over four days. Fox’s PG-13 film averaged a healthy $6,175 from 2,251 theaters. The turnout was larger than expected as the film took advantage of the good will generated this summer for stars Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper after their runaway comedy hits The Proposal and The Hangover, respectively. Plus with so many violent and male-skewing movies dominating the multiplexes over the last few weeks, Steve played as nice counter-programming to women looking for something light and funny. Critics showered the pic with some of the worst reviews of the year however, making it an early contender for Razzie nominations.
Gerard Butler didn’t flex too much muscle with his new action offering
Gamer which debuted in fourth place with an estimated $11.2M. The R-rated pic about a gaming system where players control real people and weapons averaged a lackluster $4,476 from 2,502 locations for Lionsgate over the Friday-to-Monday period. Competition for young men was intense between all the other violent R pics in release as well as from college and pro football games over the weekend.
Sony’s District 9 has become that rare sci-fi movie with legs and broke the $100M mark this weekend. The alien flick dipped to an estimated $9M boosting the total to $103.3M and counting. It is the 20th release of 2009 to join the century club. Following in sixth was the horror sequel Halloween II which collapsed in its second weekend tumbling to an estimated $7.1M for an 11-day tally of $27.1M. This latest reboot of the Michael Myers franchise could be dead, that is until it gets a new lease on life years from now.
Two films with just over $5M in four days rounded out the top ten. The Time Traveler’s Wife dropped to an estimated $5.5M and has taken in $55.8M thus far for Warner Bros. Miramax debuted the Mike Judge-directed comedy Extract to a weak response with audiences spending an estimated $5.3M for an average of just $3,298 over the long weekend from 1,611 locations. Reviews were mixed for the R-rated title.
With the summer now almost in the books, the latest cumulative grosses for the top ten movies of the season included $400.7M for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, $297.6M for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, $290.9M for Up, $272.2M for The Hangover, $257.2M for Star Trek, $194.2M for Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, $179.9M for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, $176.8M for Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, $161.1M for The Proposal, and $141M for G.I. Joe.
Opening to solid numbers in platform release was National Geographic’s Amreeka with an estimated $70,000 from only four theaters for a $17,500 average over the long holiday weekend. Reviews were generally good for the PG-13 pic about a single mom from the West Bank that moves to the U.S. It will expand to more cities on September 18.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $96.1M over four days which was up 12% from last year’s Labor Day holiday session when Tropic Thunder held the top spot with $14.6M; but down 16% from 2007’s holiday when Halloween opened at number one with $30.6M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office