August 26, 2017

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Hitman’s Bodyguard” Wipes Out “Leap” & “Birth Of The Dragon” On Zombie Weekend


The major studios are barely participating in late August distribution, and it was clear the box office would be dreadful this weekend even before calculating the effects of Hurricane Harvey and the expected massive pay-per-view gate for Saturday’s Mayweather vs. McGregor bout.  (Those events are likely to bring down weekend multiples even lower than they’d otherwise be.)  The truly scary part is that next weekend will probably be worse, with no wide openings at all on the schedule.

The DOA openings gave THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD (Millenium/Summit/Lionsgate) the gift of a 2d weekend at #1.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, Friday was at $3.1M, down 61% from last week, which should bring it to $9M for the weekend, on its way to a not-bad $60M US total.

ANNABELLE: CREATION (New Line/Warners) was similarly buoyed by the lack of competition, down 50% on its 3rd Friday to $2.5M, for a $7.5M weekend and a US total that could reach $95M, an impressive 15% bump over the original Annabelle‘s US total in a summer that’s seen many franchises crater.

The best any new opening could manage on Friday was $1.5M for the long-delayed animated LEAP (Weinstein), which may stumble to $4.5M for the weekend.  Costs were kept very low on both the acquisition and marketing ledgers, but there’s still no profit to be found here.

WIND RIVER (Weinstein) more than tripled its theatre count to 2095 theatres, but only increased its Friday-to-Friday number by 36% to $1.4M, which will give it a mediocre $4M weekend.  It could make its way to an OK $20M in the US.

The weak new field didn’t help LOGAN LUCKY (Fingerprint/Bleecker Street), down 56% from last Friday to $1.2M for a $3.5M weekend.  It faces an uphill climb to get past $25M in the US, and once again, while producer/auteur Steven Soderbergh kept production and marketing costs under control, they weren’t low enough to make the financial model work.  (However, it seems that the red ink will fall on distributor books rather than on Soderbergh’s, due to pre-sales of many rights.)

BIRTH OF THE DRAGON (WWE/Blumhouse/BH Tilt/Universal) opened in 1618 theatres, so thriftily that its studio announced it could find profit even with a $3.25M weekend opening.  It’s unlikely to get even that far after a $1M Friday that suggests a $2.5M weekend.

ALL SAINTS (Affirm/Columbia/Sony) aimed for Christian audiences at 846 theatres, but even at that metric it found few takers with an ungodly Friday that was below $550K, headed for a $1.5M weekend.

DUNKIRK (Warners) remained king of the long-running holdovers, down 46% from last Friday to $1.1M for a $3.5M weekend as it makes its way to $180M+ in the US, within range of Interstellar‘s $188M.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."