The fall season started off about as well as expected, with the quietest weekend of the year. The Top 12 films earned $66,071,229 in the 36th weekend of the year and first weekend of the fall season, which was still up 27 percent from last year when the Top 12 could only muster $51,858,635.
Universal’s Riddick got off to a good start, earning $19,030,375, which was more than enough to take the #1 spot. The $38 million sci-fi fantasy, the third in the Pitch Black franchise, starring Vin Diesel, was released on around 4,400 screens at 3,107 theaters. It averaged a good $6,125 per theater, or $4,325 per screen. Worldwide total is $26,430,375.
The Weinstein Company’s The Butler, starring Forest Whitaker and directed by Lee Daniels (Precious), dropped to #2 after ranking #1 for three weeks. It earned $8,401,729 in its fourth weekend, dropping a reasonable 44 percent from last weekend. The total gross of the $30 million dollar drama is now a solid $91,403,106, after 24 days. Butler is playing on 3,500 screens at 3,330 theaters, averaging $2,523 per theater, or $2,400 per screen.
At #3, Lionsgate’s Spanish-language family comedy Instructions Not Included, starring Eugenio Derbez, had another great weekend. After opening to over $10 million over 4-days from just 348 theaters (and averaging almost $30,000), the film more than doubled its theater count, moving up to 800 screens at 717 theaters. It made $8,149,289 in its second weekend, increasing 4 percent over last weekend. It averaged a still strong $11,366 per theater, or $10,187 per screen. The total for the $5 million film is now a commendable $20,360,893 after only 10 days.
The Warner Brothers comedy film We’re the Millers, starring Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story), had yet another solid hold, dropping only 39 percent from last weekend, and earning $7,695,027 in its fifth weekend. Millers averaged $2,234 from 3,445 theaters or $2,199 from 3,500 screens, and brought its gross to a strong $123,613,931 after 31 days. The budget was only $37 million. Worldwide total is $178,713,931.
Rounding out the Top 5 was Disney’s Planes which brought in $4,120,811 in its fifth weekend, dropping 47 percent from last weekend. It averaged $1,359 from 3,033 theaters, or $1,145 from 3,600 screens. The total for the $50 million Cars spinoff, which was originally intended to go direct-to-video, is now a better than expected $79,124,995 after 31 days. Worldwide total is $121,024,995.
TriStar’s concert film One Direction: This is Us, featuring the British boy band and directed by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) and produced by Spurlock and Simon Cowell, plummeted 74 percent from last weekend and dropped to sixth place, making $4,046,455 in its second weekend while still playing on 4,900 screens at 2,735 theaters. Expect a huge drop in venues and screens next weekend, as the film only averaged $1,480 per theater. Its per screen average was even worse at a mere $826. Regardless, it has now earned $23,936,965, which is a good result for a film that only cost $10 million to produce and was likely very cheap to market. Worldwide total is $49,936,965.
Elysium, starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster and directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9), ranked in seventh place dropping 51 percent, earning $3,141,332 in its fifth weekend from 2,300 screens at 2,241 theaters. TriStar’s $115 million sci-fi film averaged $1,402 per theater, or $1,366 per screen, and brought its domestic total to a disappointing $85,118,599 after 31 days. It has made up for it somewhat with its international grosses, as the worldwide total is now $212,218,599.
In eighth place was Fox’s fantasy sequel Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, which dropped 46 percent and brought in $2,425,539 in its fifth weekend, from 2,400 screens at 2,045 theaters. It averaged $1,186 per theater, or $1,011 per screen. The domestic cume is now $59,773,505 after 33 days, a disappointing result for a film that cost $90 million to make. However, like Elysium, Percy Jackson 2 is making up for its domestic shortcomings internationally, as the worldwide total is now $152,306,305.
The Sony Classics comedy release Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen’s latest directorial effort, and starring Alec Baldwin and Cate Blanchett, ranked in ninth place, dropping 41 percent and earning $2,347,694 in its third weekend of wide release, from 1,100 screens at 1,069 theaters. Averaging $2,196 per theater, or $2,134 per screen, the film has now made $25,108,580 after 45 days.
British sci-fi comedy The World’s End, the third collaboration between director Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, rounded out the Top 10. The Focus Features release earned $2,314,494 in its third weekend from 1,520 single-screen theaters, averaging $1,523 per theaters. The cume for the $20 million film stands at a decent $21,784,111 domestically after 17 days. Worldwide total is now $38,684,111.
Two films fell out of the Top 10 this weekend.
The fantasy drama The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones dropped to eleventh place, falling 60 percent, bringing in $2,207,000 from 2,519 single-screen theaters in its third weekend, and averaged only $876 per theater. The Screen Gems release has made just $27,851,204 after 19 days, a terrible result for a film that cost $60 million to produce. Worldwide total is $36,951,204.
The Warner Bros thriller Getaway, starring Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez and Jon Voight, dropped 51 percent, falling to #12 and made only $2,191,484 in its second weekend from 2,135 single-screen theaters, for an average of just $1,026. The cume for the $18 million release after 10 days, stands at a dismal $8,680,163.
Expect a huge drop in theaters for both films next weekend.
And finally, the sci-fi comedy This is the End, one of Summer 2013’s biggest surprise hits, was brought back into wide release but found few takers. The $32 million Columbia Pictures release managed another $1,901,825 from 2,200 screens at 2,161 theaters in its thirteenth weekend, for an average of $880 per theater, or $864 per screen. Not a good result, but it did push its total to a solid $98,847,912 after 89 days. This leaves the film just $1,152,088 away from the $100 million mark domestically. Worldwide total is $116,795,144.