August 30, 2014

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: The Annual Labor Day Weekend Yawn


Labor Day Weekend is the only holiday that doesn’t make people gravitate to the movies, and this year will be no exception.  Based on preliminary numbers at Deadline, the 5-week old GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (Marvel/Disney), newly anointed as America’s #1 film of 2014 at approximately $262M (although it will never catch up with Transformers: Age of Extinction worldwide, where that blockbuster is double Guardians‘ global total with $1.065B), easily took Friday with $3.7M (down just 23% from last Friday), and should earn $15M for the 3-day weekend and $18-19M for the 4-day holiday.

Newcomer AS ABOVE/SO BELOW (Universal) probably had its one and only day in 2d place with $3M.  Horror movies are frontloaded to begin with, and As Above is getting terrible notices in reviews (30% on Rotten Tomatoes) and exit polls, the likely result being $8M by Sunday and $10M by Monday.  The movie was low-budget, but with those numbers it may never emerge from the catacombs of its marketing campaign.

Holdovers TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (Nickelodeon/Paramount) and IF I STAY (Warners/MGM) were both at about $2.6M on Friday, respectively down 43% and 78% from last Friday (If I Stay was crushingly frontloaded, as movies aimed at teen girls often are, so the full weekend comparison should be a bit less sharp).  Turtles should have a 3-day weekend at $11M and 4-day at $15M, with Stay at $9M/11M.

The weekend’s other arrival, THE NOVEMBER MAN (Relativity) opened on Wednesday, and was hoping to find the older audience that showed up for The American, The Debt and Lawless on earlier Labor Day weekends.  It’s going to come in a cut below their $10-13M weekend level, with $8M for the 3-day weekend and $10M with the holiday added.

LET’S BE COPS (20th) continues to hold fairly well, down 40% from last Friday to $2M, with a weekend at $8M/10M ahead.  The faith-based audience gave WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL (Affirm/TriStar/Sony) a 50% Friday-to-Friday drop to $1.5M, on its way to a $6M/$7M weekend.  THE GIVER (Weinstein) fell just 35% from last Friday to $1.3M, with a $5M/6M weekend ahead.  THE HUNDREDFOOT JOURNEY (DreamWorks/Disney) was down 37% to $1M, looking toward a $4M/5M weekend.

SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR (Dimension/Weinstein) had a colossal 78% Friday-to-Friday drop to $575K, and will only have $2M/2.5M to add to its meager coffers.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."