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Weekend Wrap-Up: New Releases were Simply Resistible

September 9th, 2015

The Transporter Refueled

While first trying to come up with picture / title ideas for the weekend columns, I saw the image above and was reminded of "Simply Irresistible" by Robert Palmer. Ever since then, the song has been stuck in my head. It's been there for more than 48 hours now and I'm starting to think I will need medical help getting rid of it. The overall box office was more or less in line with Friday's expectations. A Walk in the Woods matched predictions (nearly) perfectly, while The Transporter Refueled was on the low end of expectations. Fortunately, War Room showed off strong legs leaping into first place. It was able to help the overall box office grow 3.5% to $90 million over the three-day weekend. This was 38% higher than the same weekend last year; however, this is due to a misalignment of holidays. Compared to last labor day, the box office was 18% lower. With that, the summer of 2015 is officially over and while records were broken, the overall box office was actually the second best on record, falling just short of 2013 at $4.48 billion to $4.75 billion. Year-to-date, 2015 has a 5.3% lead over 2014 at $7.53 billion to $7.15 billion.

War Room saw its theater count grow by nearly 400 during its second weekend of release and that helped it climb into first place with $9.48 million over the three-day weekend and $13.39 million, if you include Monday. After just 11 days of release, the film has pulled in $28.70 million, which might be enough to break even already.

Straight Outta Compton finally relinquished first place earning $8.65 million / $10.85 million over the three-day / four-day weekend. By the end of business on Monday, the film had pulled in $149.78 million and will get to the $150 million milestone early on Tuesday. It is yet another smash hit for Universal in a year that won't soon be forgotten.

A Walk in the Woods matched predictions so closely that there's not much more I need to add. It earned $8.25 million over three days and $10.91 million including Monday for a six-day opening of $12.81 million. This isn't a great opening, but it reportedly only cost $8 million to make, so this is an acceptable debut. Mixed reviews won't help its legs, but its target demographic isn't known to rush out to see a movie opening weekend, so it could finish its domestic run with about $30 million. That's likely more than it cost to make and advertise, meaning it would be on pace to break even sometime on the home market.

The Transporter Refueled opened in fourth place with $7.36 million / $9.01 million. It earned less in four days than The Transporter earned in three-days, and this movie has 13 years of ticket price inflation to boost sales. Even under the best of circumstances, rebooting this franchise was likely going to end in failure. Add in its reviews, which are only 16% positive, and there was almost no what it would be a hit. ... At least not domestically.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation rounded out the top five with $7.24 million / $9.43 million over the weekend for a total of $182.66 million after 39 days of release. The film will have no trouble getting to $190 million and the closer it gets to $200 million, the more likely Paramount will give it a push over the top.

Arguably, the most impressive new opening of the week was by Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos, which earned ninth place with $3.42 million over the three-day weekend for a four-day opening of $4.36 million. That's not a huge amount of money, but it was playing in under 400 theaters. Animated films rarely do well in limited release, but I guess the Hispanic market is underserved enough to compensate for this.

That brings us to the sophomore class. No Escape fell to sixth place with $5.47 million / $7.01 million. Its 13-day total is $20.01 million, which is sadly typical of a late August release. On the other hand, We Are Your Friends was anything but typical with $633,000 / $794,000 over the weekend. Its 11-day total is just $3.15 million. Had it earned that during its opening day, it will wouldn't have been enough to be considered a midlevel hit. As it is, this is a near-record bomb.

- Weekend Box Office Results

Filed under: Weekend Wrap-up, A Walk in the Woods, Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation, No Escape, Straight Outta Compton, The Transporter Refueled, We Are Your Friends, War Room, Un gallo con muchos huevos, Transporter