US Box Office Report: 30/09/16 – 02/10/16

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Box Office Takings, Deepwater Horizon springs a money leak, Masterminds are inept, everybody wanted a taste of American Honey, and Other Box Office News.

Since we are currently in the midst of another 2014, where most every new film is disappointing in some way shape or form because not every $100 mil+ big screen extravaganza can rake in $50 mil+ opening weekend, we have a bunch of films that one could try and say are qualifiable successes due to the fact that they matched everyone’s middling expectations, despite the fact that they cost enough money to keep PBS running for a year and are now relying heavily on overseas money to push them into profitability.  I recognise that that’s not the kind of intro you were expecting or maybe even wanting, given that there’s a new Tim Burton film out to which the only proper response is to make a bunch of tired and played out Tim Burton jokes, but I find Tim Burton jokes to be just as tired and played out as Tim Burton films by this point, so I’ll just say that Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children topped the chart with a so-so $28.5 million and then move on.

Besides, you know what isn’t totally played out and disrespectful to the environmental destruction the event ended up causing?  BP and Deepwater Horizon jokes!  Rather than hand this material to the safer, more-capable, and tailor-made hands of Paul Greengrass – who would have been excellent for this material, admit it – the safety-averse money-crunchers at Lionsgate instead handed it to Battleship’s Peter Berg, as well as short-sightedly funnelling $110 million into the damn thing.  Unsurprisingly, and also given that Sully is barely a month old, this all exploded in everybody’s faces and Deepwater Horizon could only manage $20 million for second place.  Presumably, Lionsgate will be going around to investors repeating about how deeply sorry they are for leaking their precious potential profits into the ocean that is public indifference.  Seems that even Mark Wahlberg couldn’t stop this disaster from happening.  BAD JOKES!!

Elsewhere, Jared Hess’ terminally beleaguered Masterminds finally managed to escape Release Limbo Purgatory this week, almost 18 months after it was first scheduled to be released.  In theory, that should have been a net positive, since a little movie called Ghostbusters dropped during Relativity’s financial dithering and now the film had two new stars (Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones) plus a revitalised Kristen Wiig to market itself with, rather than just as a Zach Galifianakis vehicle four years after everybody stopped giving a shit about him.  Unfortunately, not only did Ghostbusters completely and totally bomb (something I am never going to forgive you assholes for), but Masterminds is a Jared Hess movie and, since everybody remembered that Napoleon Dynamite really was nowhere near as good as we all foolishly believed it was back in ’04, it received both a critical paddling and a box office ignoring, finishing the weekend with just $6.6 million for 6th place.  Fitting end, really, but disappointing outcome all around, nonetheless.

In Limited Release news, actual goddamn Limited Release news for a change, we have two genuine success stories!  First up, and the better performing of the two, is Denial, a biopic about Deborah Lipstadt’s attempt to prove that The Holocaust happened when she is sued for libel by Timothy Spall after accusing him of being a Holocaust denier.  That previous sentence was dry-as-hell, but do you really want me trying to make Holocaust jokes?  Or, the other alternative, sputtering wildly at how this case was a real thing that happened, because I have no time for Holocaust deniers and am at a loss as to how this whole thing came about?  Yeah, I thought you’d prefer neither, so instead I’ll mention that the film banked an excellent $102,101 from 5 screens for a per-screen average of $20,420.  The other success story was Andrea Arnold’s long-awaited follow-up to Fish Tank and her adaptation of Wuthering Heights, American Honey, which longed for success and got it with a long $75,370 from 4 long screens for a per-screen average of $18,843.  Long.

The movie is really long, that’s the joke here.


Let’s get this Full List over with.

US Box Office Results: Friday 30th September 2016 – Sunday 2nd October 2016

1] Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

$28,500,000 / NEW

I… did not see this one this past weekend.  Or, in fact, any films.  I was planning to today, but then I realised that I need to make sure I have enough money to get me through the next fortnight in London, so I can’t waste any money travelling to the cinema before then, and also I kinda just don’t care about any of the films currently out enough to bother to sit through them.  So… yeah.

2] Deepwater Horizon

$20,600,000 / NEW

By all accounts, this is actually alright, but I do take issue with how it appears to merely be just another “Heroic White Working-Class Dudes in Peril, Based on a True Story” movie.  There are a tonne of things you could use the Deepwater Horizon crisis to explore – capitalism, profiteering, the energy crisis, environmentalism – that going for the default politically unbiased story of manly dudes JUST LIKE YOU rising to the occasion to minimise disaster like THE GODDAMN PATRIOTIC AMERICANS THEY ARE just feels like a waste to me.  Also, and as I am pretty sure I’ve mentioned before, I’m just sick of White Guy stories anyway.

3] The Magnificent Seven

$15,700,000 / $61,605,901

NO!  CHRIS!  STOP!  What are you doing?!  Somebody please educate that boy post-haste about his little cock-up so he can go back to being adorable and crushable!  Maybe also try and get him to stop hunting, whilst we’re at it.

4] Storks

$13,800,000 / $38,811,274

Since there are no other animated films in this Full List (*eye twitches furiously over Kubo’s failure*), I’ll just drop this here: Finding Dory is gearing up to cross the $1 billion worldwide mark, becoming the fifth animated film ever to do so.  Give Pixar a round of applause for that, then start commiserating them over the fact that it won’t come anywhere close to toppling Minions’ worldwide total, for what the Box Office giveth, it also taketh away, or… something, it’s Monday morning leave me alone.

5] Sully

$8,400,000 / $105,387,463

I got nothing for this now until I get to see it.  Some films are just like that, sorry to disappoint.  That was a joke; I am incapable of disappointing you because you have no expectations of me for me to disappoint.

6] Masterminds

$6,600,000 / NEW

I was harsh on this up top, but that’s only because I’m genuinely bummed by the outcome of this whole fiasco.  I know that not every heavily-delayed film can be a Margaret or some such, but the premise was a collection of stuff I really like and the cast is stacked full of comic talents who deserve quality material.  It’s just a shame that the whole “being a Jared Hess movie” thing was as insurmountable an obstacle as it usually is.  But, hey!  Maybe all of the critics and also basic pattern recognition are wrong in this instance, and I’ll dig it anyway!  It’d be nice to find out for myself through, say, a UK release of some description…

7] Queen of Katwe

$2,608,000 / $3,011,009

Called it.  Told you all that this weird release roll-out was a bad idea that, coupled with non-existent marketing, would doom this film to failure, and the totally-expected ended up happening.  I’m a regular Nostradamus.

8] Don’t Breathe

$2,375,000 / $84,734,937

Nothing to do with this, but I would like to ask all Americans to vote for Hillary Clinton this coming election.  Not for her policies or personalities or keeping humanity’s collective embodiment of “I’m not [x offensive behaviour], but…” far away from that Oval Office or anything like that, you understand.  No, I’d like for you to vote for Hillary purely so I can keep getting more of Kate McKinnon’s Invader Zim take on her for the next however many years.  You know, important altruistic reasons.

9] Bridget Jones’s Baby

$2,330,000 / $20,981,735

Now, this looks bad, I know, but I would like to point you to the $99 million and counting foreign gross, with the particularly smorgasbord performance being put in at the British box office.  Yeah, somehow, I think Bridget Jones and Working Title are gonna be alright.

10] Snowden

$2,029,390 / $18,729,637

Now, I could go and watch this at the London Film Festival, especially since it still doesn’t have a UK release date yet.  Or, and hear me out with this, I could not go and watch a late-period Oliver Stone movie at the London Film Festival and instead use that time to watch literally anything else.  Hmm, it’s quite a conundrum…

Dropped Out: Suicide Squad, When the Bough Breaks, Kubo and the Two Strings

Quick bit of housekeeping before we wrap: for the next fortnight, I am going to be down in London, attending the London Film Festival as a member of the press for The Hullfire (as previously detailed here).  This means that this here site is going to look a bit bare for that fortnight on purpose (for a change) because each of my correspondences will be going over to The Hullfire first, plus I simply won’t have time to bring you your Box Office Reports.  When I get back, I’ll fill in the backlog here on the site, but until then, bookmark The Hullfire [FUTURE EDIT: so, err, The Hullfire site no longer seems to exist, but all the relevant articles are on here anyway], check back there every day from Friday onwards for my various dispatches, and I’ll see you back here in just over a fortnight!

Callie Petch can’t tell you the way he feels cos the way he feels is oh so new to them.

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