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Weekend Wrap-Up: Dog Days of Summer

August 27th, 2012

Ugh. That's really all I have to say. None of the new releases were able to make an impact at the box office; in fact, none of them even reached the top five. There was a new entrant in the top five, as The Dark Knight Rises rose to fifth place. That's how bad the box office was over the weekend. A film that's more than a month old returned to the top five. The best new release was Premium Rush, which only managed eighth place. Overall, the box office plummeted by 30% to just $97 million. Amazingly, this was still higher than the same weekend last year, albeit by just 4.6%. Year-to-date, 2012 maintains its lead over 2011. It is ahead of last year's pace by 4.2% at $7.43 billion to $7.13 billion.

The Expendables 2 benefited from terrible new releases and held on a little better than expected. It still fell more than 50% to $13.42 million over the weekend for a total of $52.24 million after two. It won't match the original, but if it can manage really strong international numbers, perhaps it will break even sooner rather than later.

The Bourne Legacy earned $9.34 million over the weekend lifting its running tally to $85.52 million. It should reach $100 million before long, even though its theater count will start to shrink rapidly.

ParaNorman was right behind with $8.64 million over the weekend for a total of $28.26 million after two. It held on well, down less than 40%, which shows its reviews are helping its legs. It could end up a midlevel hit, but it will need help to break even.

The Campaign remained in fourth place with $7.47 million over the weekend for a total of $64.58 million after three. This is more than it cost to make, but its international box office potential is much weaker, so it will need strong home market numbers to get by.

The Dark Knight Rises rose to fifth place with $7.22 million over the weekend for a total of $422.26 million after more than a month in theaters. The Dark Knight Rises is pretty much the last bright spot we've had at the box office this summer. Granted, The Bourne Legacy opened after this film did and it will reach $100 million, but that is still a disappointment.

We haven't even reached the first new release, so lets just keep going do the list until we get to them all. The Odd Life of Timothy Green rose to sixth place with $7.12 million. It dipped just 34%, which is a great hold for a sophomore release. However, its running tally is just $27.08 million, which is not a great total. It cost $40 million to make and it should match its production budget before its run is over, but it will need help internationally and on the home market to break even.

2016: Obama's America rose to seventh place with $6.51 million for a total of $9.35 million after a month and a half of release. This film is a political documentary co-directed by Dinesh D'Souza and partially based on his book. Many are comparing this film to the works of Michael Moore, but they usually do so in an insulting fashion. Sometimes they are insulting D'Souza for being a lesser talented version of Michael Moore. Sometimes they are insulting both men for being political hacks. I think calling D'Souza a political hack is a compliment. In 2010, he wrote an opinion piece for Forbes claiming Obama didn't understand the American Dream, in part because he wasn't born and raised on the American mainland. So apparently Hawaii is no longer part of "Real America". That goes beyond hack. On the other hand, it does have great timing, as the GOP national convention is this week and as the political season really heats up, the film could last in theaters a long time. It won't match Fahrenheit 9/11, but it could become one of the biggest political documentaries of all time.

The best new release of the week was Premium Rush, which only earned eighth place with $6.03 million over the weekend. This is especially disappointing, as it earned 74% positive reviews. This is incredibly strong for a late August release. Unfortunately, they won't matter much, as theater owners will look at the per theater average and drop the film quickly. Even worse, the film might be either completely forgotten by the time it reaches the home market, or have still have the scent of box office failure on it when it does. This should have been a surprise hit, not a bomb.

Hope Springs slipped a spot to ninth place with $5.73 million over the weekend for a total of $44.81 million after three. It should reach $50 million next weekend and become a midlevel hit. By the end of its theastrical run, it will likely cover its production budget, meaning it will just need to cover is P&A budget internationally and on the home market to break even.

Hit and Run earned better than expected reviews, but bombed even harder than most analysts thought. It only managed tenth place with $4.53 million over the weekend for a five-day opening of $5.72 million. Its per theater average over the three-day weekend was well below the Mendoza Line at just $1,577. This is bad enough that it should end careers and I would be amazed if someone paid Dax Sheppard to write and direct another movie.

Sparkle fell out of the top ten during its sophomore stint with just $3.98 million over the weekend for a total of $18.66 million after two. Its 66% drop-off is pretty strong evidence that a lot of people went to the film during the opening weekend because of Whitney Houston's untimely death.

The Apparition only managed 12th place with $2.84 million, which is terrible. On the other hand, it only opened in 810 theaters, so its per theater average was better that almost all of the films above it. Back to the original hand, it only has one positive reviews out of 37 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Given its reviews and its genre, it will likely collapse next weekend.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Apparition, The Dark Knight Rises, Premium Rush, Hope Springs, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, The Bourne Legacy, The Expendables 2, ParaNorman, The Campaign, Sparkle, Hit & Run, 2016: Obama’s America