Expectations for this weekend were really low. They were so low that when I saw The Hitman’s Bodyguard had earned $2.43 million on Friday, I was pleasantly surprised. That’s only 20% lower than last Friday and the holiday should boost its three-day legs, helping it earn just over $9 million. It’s on pace for $12 million over four days for a running tally of over $55 million. That’s enough for Lionsgate’s share to cover its entire $30 million production budget.
As bad as July was, August actually managed to be worse. 2017 was over $300 million behind 2016’s pace during August alone. That’s worse than the rest of the summer combined. The only film that was an unqualified hit was Annabelle: Creation, although there were a couple of other films that are doing well enough to be considered financial hits. There’s some good news and some bad news for this September. The month gets off to a slow start with no wide releases the first weekend, but there are three films opening during the rest of the month that are expected to top $100 million and all three should be better than the best August had to offer. It is expected to be the biggest hit of the month and is tracking to break the record for the biggest September weekend. Both Kingsman: The Golden Circle and The Lego Ninjago Movie are expected to cross $100 million, although they are opening the same weekend, so that could hurt both of their chances. Meanwhile last September, Sully was the biggest release of the month earning $125.07 million. It should top that, while Kingsman: The Golden Circle and The Lego Ninjago Movie won’t be too far behind. 2017 should cut the gap with 2016, but sadly only by a little bit.
Not only will this weekend likely be the worst weekend of the year, there’s a very high likelihood it will be the worst weekend in over a decade. It arguably could be the worst weekend of all time. There are no wide releases, or even semi-wide releases. The widest “new” release of the week is the 40th Anniversary re-release for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but last week’s 3D re-release for Terminator 2: Judgment Day suggests it won't come close to the top ten. Tulip Fever is a long-delayed Weinstein Co. release and just avoiding the Mendoza Line would be a reason to celebrate. Up next in terms of theater counts is Hazlo Como Hombre. It is a Chilean film and films aimed at Hispanics have had success in recent years. They only need to earn just over $2 million during the three-day weekend to reach the top ten, so one of them could get there, but that’s not a sure thing. This leaves The Hitman’s Bodyguard with an easy path to first place. This weekend last year, the biggest new release was The Light Between Oceans, which earned just under $5 million. Sadly, this might be more than all three new releases earn this year. Last year the overall box office finished just under $100 million.
Our DVD and Blu-ray sales estimates are based on weekly retail surveys, which we use to build a weekly market share estimate for each title we are tracking. The market share is converted into a weekly sales estimate based on industry reports on the overall size of the market, including reports published in Home Media Magazine.
For example, if our weekly retail survey estimates that a particular title sold 1% of all units that week, and the industry reports sales of 1,500,000 units in total, we will estimate 15,000 units were sold of that title. The consumer spending estimate is based on the average sales price for the title in the retailers we survey.
We refine our estimates from week to week as more data becomes available. In particular, we adjust weekly sales figures for the quarter once the total market estimates are published by the Digital Entertainment Group. Figures will therefore fluctuate each week, and totals for individual titles can go up or down as we update our estimates.
Because sales figures are estimated based on sampling, they will be more accurate for higher-selling titles.