Follow us on

Weekend Estimates: Industry Suffering Worst Slump in at Least 30 Years

August 27th, 2017

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Things are so bad at the box office this weekend that it’s hard to figure out just how bad. We’ve been tracking box office since 1997, and have researched weekend reports back to the beginning of the 1980s, and a diligent search of our database doesn’t offer a weekend that’s clearly been worse than this one. Based on current ticket sales, it’s the 9th-worst in terms of consumer spending since 2000, with $66.6 million reported so far. That number will go up a bit when numbers are announced for all movies on Monday, but most likely only fractionally (I think we have numbers for everything that made over $500,000). But that figure doesn’t account for ticket price inflation. If we do so, things look even more dire…

This weekend’s one possible saving grace is that the weekend of September 5, 2014 only delivered $65.7 million at the box office, which amounts to roughly 7.9 million tickets sold. The current number for this weekend is 7.4 million tickets, so there’s a chance we might top that weekend. If we don’t, then we have to look back to a dismal period at the box office back in 1985 when things were about this bad, according to the numbers we have. The weekend I would peg as the worst one before now is October 25, 1985, when Jagged Edge topped the chart with $3.2 million in its fourth weekend. With numbers on 33 films that weekend, we estimate about 7.1 million tickets were sold. There were undoubtedly more films playing that weren’t reporting box office at the time, so it’s possible that total ticket sales were a bit higher, but probably not enough to top this weekend’s final total.

The really bad news is that we don’t have a single new wide release next weekend, so ticket sales will probably be even worse. If we can’t top 7 million tickets sold, I’ll have to start doing trigonometry to figure out if there’s been a worse weekend in the last hundred years.

Given these awful numbers, it’s not surprising that we have a holdover at the top of the chart this weekend. The Hitman’s Bodyguard will lose a little over half its box office from last weekend and still earn twice as much as the best new release, with $10.05 million in its second weekend, for $39.6 million to date. Annabelle: Creation is also off a little over 50% this weekend for $7.35 million, and $77.9 million in total.

The best new release is Leap!, which Weinstein has pegged at about $5.015 million over three days, just ahead of the same distributor’s Wind River, which expanded to 2,095 theaters this weekend and will earn around $4.4 million.

Birth of the Dragon will land in 8th place for the weekend with $2.5 million from 1,618 theaters. Just behind it, the live in-theater broadcast of the Mayweather/McGregor fight earned about $2.4 million from 485 locations. That’s enough for a rare top 10 entry for a one-time special engagement, which incidentally had the best theater average in the top 20, even though it only had one showing.

The other wide-ish release this weekend was All Saints, which is sadly DOA with just $1.55 million from 846 theaters.

In limited release, Beach Rats is the one piece of good news at the box office this weekend. Neon is predicting $45,008 for the weekend from just three locations. The distributor’s expansion of Ingrid Goes West isn’t fairing so well, with about $781,750 expected from 647 theaters.

- Weekend estimates
- Worst overall weekend for all movies

- All-time highest-grossing films worldwide

- The Hitman’s Bodyguard comparison chart
- Leap! Comparisons
- Birth of the Dragon Comparisons
- All Saints Comparisons
- Annabelle: Creation comparison chart
- Logan Lucky comparison chart
- Dunkirk comparison chart
- The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature comparison chart
- The Emoji Movie comparison chart
- Spider-Man: Homecoming comparison chart

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Birth of the Dragon, Annabelle: Creation, Ballerina, Wind River, All Saints, Ingrid Goes West, Beach Rats, Mayweather vs. McGregor