‘Underwhelming’ is not even a strong enough word to describe this weekend’s box office numbers: while the end of August traditionally sees a sharp dip in numbers, this weekend was unusually light, with all three of the weekend’s major releases turning in incredibly weak numbers that barely cracked the top ten.
The top four films of last weekend held onto their positions this weekend, led by ‘The Expendables 2′, which remained in first place with $13.5 million, a 53% drop from opening weekend. Over a ten-day period, the movie is tailing its predecessor by nearly $13 million, and word of mouth doesn’t seem to be favoring an extended run at the theatre.
‘The Bourne Legacy’ remained in second place with $9.3 million, posting a 46% drop on its third weekend. So far the numbers indicate this film is still the weakest in the franchise and it’s beginning to appear it might not be able to reach the $120 million mark (‘The Bourne Identity’ is currently the lowest-grossing film of the franchise, with a total domestic gross of just over $121 million).
In third place, ‘ParaNorman’ dropped 39% to $8.5 million. That’s not bad for a quirky film in an oddball sub-genre, but it isn’t exactly strong, either. Meanwhile, ‘The Campaign’ finished fourth with $7.4 million, a 43% drop on its third weekend out.
The surprise of the top five this week was ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, which actually rose from sixth place last week into fifth, replacing ‘Sparkle’. ‘TDKR’ pulled in $7.15 million and has now totaled over $422 million at the domestic box office. ‘Sparkle’, meanwhile, suffered a 64% plummet down to eleventh place, pulling in only $4.2 million on its second weekend.
If you thought the top five looked bad, the rest of the box office was nothing to brag about, either. ‘Premium Rush’ squeaked into seventh place with a mere $6.3 million; the movie was pushed back from a January release date, no doubt to capitalize on Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s turn in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’; but the movie has received such a lackluster promotional push that it looks like it’s going to flounder quietly into the DVD bin.
Adding to the embarrassment is that ‘Premium Rush’ barely beat out the eighth-place entry, ‘2016 Obama’s America’, an uber-conservative documentary that jumped a whopping 401%–yes, you read that right—as it expanded from a two-month limited-release run. ‘2016’ jumped from thirteen to eight on the chart and grossed $6.238 million over the weekend, and it’s on track to rise in the ranks.
Dax Shepard’s new comedy ‘Hit and Run’ could barely make it into tenth place, with a mere $4.7 million weekend. Yes, the film had a $2 million budget, but it’s also playing in wide release, which means those numbers should have been higher. Still, it’s marginally better than Ashley Greene’s new horror flick, ‘The Apparition’, which hobbled into twelfth place with $3 million against a $17 million budget.
And down in fourteenth place—so low it’s nearly ready to drop off the chart altogether–‘Total Recall’ posted another steep drop to pull in just $1.85 million over the weekend. Despite boasting big names and expensive CGI, the sci-fi remake has managed to gross only $55 million over a four-week run against its $125 million budget, which puts it about on par with other CGI-fueled action flops of 2012 like ‘John Carter’ and ‘Battleship’. Hollywood, there’s a lesson to be learned here!