September 2, 2017



All this summer’s box office needed for burial was a shovel, and Hollywood provided that with a Labor Day line-up devoid of any genuinely wide new releases.  The result is going to be ugly, except for a few hardy holdovers.

The widest release of the weekend isn’t new at all:  it’s the one-week 901-theatre 40th anniversary re-release of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (Columbia/Sony), which according to preliminary numbers at Deadline earned $500K on Friday, and might reach $1.5M for the 3-day weekend and another few hundred thousand including Monday.  This re-release is just marketing for Sony’s new Close Encounters homevideo that goes on sale next week, so expectations were low.

The experiment of releasing the pilot for INHUMANS (ABC/Marvel/Disney) in 393 IMAX theatres a month prior to its TV premiere stirred no interest.  (And the “movie” is so terrible that it might even hurt the eventual TV ratings.)  Despite the inflated IMAX ticket prices, opening day was a barren $360K, and the 3-day weekend might get to $1.2M, with Monday bringing the total to $1.5M.

TULIP FEVER (Weinstein) spent years on its studio’s shelf and finally escaped into a 765-theatre release.  Weinstein took the unusual step of not allowing reviews to appear until the film was actually in theatres on Friday, and they knew what they were doing, since it currently has a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  (While far from good, the film actually isn’t as dreadful as that sounds.)  Nobody showed up at theatres, with $350K on opening day, and $1.2M through Sunday, perhaps $1.5M including Monday.

I DO… UNTIL I DON’T (Film Arcade) was also shunned by critics (31% on Rotten Tomatoes), and its opening day at 250 theatres was a horrible $75K, with weekend numbers that are unlikely to get past $250K/300K.

The empty multiplex shelves were good news for THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD (Millenium/Summit/Lionsgate), which will take the weekend for the 3rd (and final) time.  It declined 20% from last Friday to $2.5M, and should reach $10M through Sunday and $12M with Monday.  It now looks as though it will get to $75M in the US, making for a tidy return if it does well overseas.

ANNABELLE: CREATION (New Line/Warners) was down 27% from last Friday to $1.8M, heading for a $7M/8M weekend, which puts it on track to go over $100M in the US, significantly better than the first Annabelle‘s $84.3M.

WIND RIVER (Weinstein) added 500 theatres to its run, and its Friday-to-Friday number increased by 5% to $1.5M for a $6M/7M weekend, which may put it on its way for a $30M US total.

With no family competition, LEAP (Weinstein) held well in its 2d weekend, down 30% from last Friday to $1.1M, and on its way to a $4M/6M weekend, although that still means it won’t get much past $20M in the US.

LOGAN LUCKY (Fingerprint/Bleecker Street) is at a low level, but showing some staying power, with a 22% decline on its 3rd Friday to $1M, for a $4M/5M weekend that will have it knocking at $30M in the US, probably not enough for any profit.

The summer longtimers continued to do well.  DUNKIRK (Warners) earned just under $1M on Friday for a 19% drop from last week, and with a $4M/5M weekend, it could challenge Interstellar‘s $188M US total.  SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (Marvel/Columbia/Sony) slipped just 8% from last Friday to $750K for a $3M/4M weekend, but it will need a final push to touch the lowest of the Sam Raimi entries in the franchise, Spider-Man 3‘s $336.5M.

Last weekend’s flops stayed that way.  ALL SAINTS (Affirm/Columbia/Sony) dropped 31% from last Friday to $400K, for a $1.5M/2M weekend, unlikely to hit $10M in the US.  BIRTH OF THE DRAGON (WWE/Blumhouse/BH Tilt/Universal) was worse, down 66% to $400K on Friday for a $1.5/2M weekend and perhaps a $8M US total.

The eyes of the industry will be looking to next week’s IT (New Line/Warners) to lead it out of the wilderness.


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."