Sunday 1 September 2013

U.S Box Office Report - 30th Aug - 1st Sept 2013

1. One Direction: This Is Us - $17M - $17M
2. The Butler - $14.7M -$74M
3. We're The Millers - $12.6M - $109.5M
4. Planes - $7.7M - $70.8M
5. Instructions Not Included- $7.5M - $7.5M
6. Elysium - $6.3M - $78.4M
7. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones - $5.2M - $22.6M
8. The World's End- $4.7M - $16.5M
9. Getaway - $4.5M - $4.5M
10. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters- $4.3M - $14.7M

A much shorter box office report this week. As August comes to a close, we have a somewhat quiet release frame before we gear up for the likes of Riddick, Prisoners and The Family in the coming weeks. But that doesn't mean no surprises - far from it in fact. The Butler and We're The Millers both continued to play strong, but it was a Spanish language comedy-drama that will be making the headlines over the coming days.

The biggest release of the weekend is the One Direction concert movie/fly on the wall documentary, This is Us. The picture was announced back in November 2012, with Supersize Me director Morgan Spurlock at the helm (Spurlock also produced along with X-Factor/music mogul Simon Cowell). As well as featuring footage from the band's O2 arena concert, it also tracks their rise to stardom, and the day to day happenings of being a One Direction band member. Concert movies tend to have a mixed time at the box office, with front loading being an obvious issue. The most successful in recent times is Never Say Never, the Justin Bieber doc that opened to $29M back in 2011. On the flip side, Kate Perry: Part of Me opened to $7M before heading to a final gross of $25M. This Is Us got off to a good start, making $2.7M on Thursday leading to an $8.9M Friday (which includes the aforementioned $2.7M). The big initial start meant the fans had turned out to see the picture as soon as they could. This led to a decline over the remainder of the weekend, leaving This is Us with a $17M opening total. Given that the picture cost only $10M to produce, this will be a very profitable release even if the decline continues at the present rate. And while it's unlikely to compete with Never Say Never ($73M finish) or Michael Jackson: This Is It ($72M), a $45M domestic haul is certainly in play, with similar or better abroad almost a certainty (it has already made $14.5M).

Lee Daniels' The Butler slips into second place, adding another $3.6M on Friday, which led to a weekend finish of $14.7M (an incredible fall of just 10% on its last frame). All up, the picture, which features Forest Whitaker as a long-serving White House butler has now made $74M. While it isn't playing as well as The Help did (especially during the weekdays), it is already close to tripling its production budget and should continue to pick up press (and box office) when award season comes around.

Late summer sleeper, We're The Millers managed to cross $100M on Friday, its 24 day on general release. It went on to score $12.6M this weekend, a minuscule drop of only 3.4%. The comedy, which features Jason Sudekis and Jennifer Aniston is already more successful than This Is The End and will have surpassed the $112M made by The Hangover Part 3 before next weekend. We're The Millers now has a cumulative gross of $109.5M.

Despite being the only family movie with a major location count, Planes is still struggling to make much headway. In this, its fourth weekend on general release, it made $7.7M, bringing its total to date to $70.8M. It should manage at least another couple of weekends in the top ten and end up at around $85M, which admittedly is a much better finish than was predicted from its lacklustre opening weekend.

The major surprise this weekend isn't One Direction or Getaway, but a Spanish language film entitled Instructions Not Included. The pictures follows a man who has made a new life for himself and his daughter (who was left on his doorstep a number of years earlier), having to come to terms with the return of the child's birth mother. The limited release didn't even have enough reviews at the time of writing to score a Rotten Tomatoes rating, but its A+ Cinemascore (a rarity) already speaks volumes. Out to a tiny 347 locations, the Lionsgate release made a stunning $7.5M. Expect wider expansion to follow as soon as is possible.

Elysium, the Matt Damon sci-fi thriller, scored $6.3M this weekend, to bring its overall total to $78.4M. Given its $115M production budget, and the huge success of Blomkamp's previous picture District 9, this has to rank as something of a disappointment for Sony. Overseas it is currently approaching $100M.

Twilight-wannabe The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones failed to make much impact outside of its literary fanbase last weekend. A week on the picture fell 54% on the previous Friday, making only $1.4M. It could add just $3.8M more over Saturday and Sunday, for a weekend figure of $5.2M. After 12 days on general release, City of Bones has made $22.6M, and all but doomed any chance of a sequel.

The final part of Edgar Wright's Cornetto trilogy, At World's End, opened to $8.8M last frame, but tumbled a harsh 61% on its second Friday, making $1.3M. The film, which stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, grossed $3.4M over the weekend proper, to bring its total to $4.7M. After ten days on general release, The World's End has made $16.5M and may yet struggle to outgross Hot Fuzz, which earnt $23M back in 2007.

The other major release this weekend is Getaway, a high speed thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez. When his wife is kidnapped, former race driver Brent Magna (Hawke) goes back behind the wheel in order to do the bidding of a mysterious man. Aided by computer hacker, The Kid (Gomez) he finds himself in a race against time to save the one dearest to him. Getaway was shot in two parts in May and September of 2012, with the first trailer debuting in early summer. While Hawke saw financial and critical success with two earlier 2013 releases (The Purge and Before Midnight), he couldn't make anything out of Getaway. Critics slammed the picture, and it received only a 2% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes. It opened in a weak seventh place on Friday, making $1.4M. By the end of play Sunday it was sitting on a $4.5M total, and is already done, even at this early stage.

Rounding out the top ten is Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, which made $4.4M this weekend, bringing its overall total to $54.9M (with a further $82M abroad).

The only other somewhat major release this week was the Eric Bana starrer, Closed Circuit. The film, which follows the investigation, conspiracy and aftermath of a terrorist attack in London, was put out to 870 locations on Wednesday. It has since made $3M, and due partly to its low screen count, couldn't manage to crack the top ten (thought that excuse doesn't seem to have applied to Instructions Not Included).

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