If you didn’t catch yourself going to the movies this weekend you’re not alone.
Hollywood didn’t put out any new major releases this week, instead the box office was dependent on second and third week showings to lead the way.
The late summer months aren’t a traditionally strong week for movies, but this weekend’s barren slate was historically bad. Via the AP comes the news that it was Hollywood’s worst weekend in 16 years:
Hollywood effectively took the weekend off, resulting in one of the most dismal box-office results in 16 years.
An already slow August came to a screeching halt at the multiplex, where no major new releases were unveiled. That left the Samuel Jackson-Ryan Reynolds action-comedy “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” to top all films for the second week with an estimated $10.1 million in ticket sales.
But the entire slate of films grossed only about $65 million in North America and the top 12 films generated just $49.6 million. There have been similarly slow weekends in recent years, including early September in 2014 and in 2016. But not since September 2001 have the numbers been quite so dreadful.
Here’s my issue with all of this. If Hollywood wants to take a weekend off from releasing new movies, then that’s fine. But don’t do it the week before football season officially begins! (And no, I’m not counting college football week zero where the biggest game was Oregon State vs Colorado State.) This is the last weekend that we have to endure without football and to have something, anything new on the silver screen would have provided one more outlet for all of us. Sure we had the Mayweather-McGregor fight, but not everybody is dropping $100 to watch that fight at midnight eastern time.
Here’s the list of the Top 10 movies this weekend from Bloomberg. It features The Hitman’s Bodyguard at #1 and another one of those Annabelle movies at #2. The biggest debut was something called Leap! which was originally a French animated film released last year in Paris and has just a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. What may be most fascinating is that the Mayweather-McGregor fight actually ranked at 9th place in spite of being shown in just 481 theaters nationwide. At least it beat the Emoji Movie.
The top nine movies combined (not counting the Mayweather fight) for $42.8 million at the box office. To put in perspective how paltry that is, Beauty and the Beast had an opening weekend of $175 million by itself earlier this year.