As we head deeper into September, two things have become pretty clear about 2017 box office numbers: one, Hollywood desperately needs to bounce back a little bit from the doldrums of August, and two, whoever decided to hedge their studio’s bets with a September release date for a movie about a killer clown is looking like a [profanity] genius right about now. We’ll get to all of that in a moment, but first, here are the box office numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
Despite the fact that Creed 2 remains very early in the pre-production process, Sylvester Stallone hasn’t shied away from providing fans with regular updates on his screenwriting process. That’s included photos of his handwritten Creed 2 script as well as a promise that his character would face off against Dolph Lundgren’s Ivan Drago in the much-anticipated sequel. And while star and studio have avoided giving us a firm timeline for the sequel’s release — I mean, other than a rumored 2017 release date that they, uh, are clearly going to miss — it sounds like Stallone is making a lot of progress on he film.
In a weekend where no new releases cracked the Top 10 and six movies maintained their exact spot in the rankings, you’d think there would be less news worth sharing. That isn’t quite the case. Sure, as sites like Box Office Mojo have noted, this is a historically bad Labor Day Weekend for movies in theaters, but it’s also a uniquely static weekend for releases, one that even required me to create a second chart just to capture all the data points. Let’s start as we always do, with the box office grosses as of Sunday afternoon:
One of the underrated elements of the horror community is how many of them have the opportunity to meet their heroes. When famous actors and filmmakers die, they tend to be remembered at a distance on the quality of their work; when horror icons like George Romero or Wes Craven pass, however, people have first-hand accounts of meeting them at festivals and conventions. So as word spreads today about the death of legendary Texas Chainsaw Massacre director Tobe Hooper, you’ll hear more than a few first-hand accounts of what it was like to talk about the genre with Hooper. That’s the power of the horror community.
We’ve reached the doldrums of August, where studios release the titles not marketable enough for the summer movie season and not quality enough for serious award consideration. That means an odd mixture of horror films, formerly prestigious movies that have lost a little bit of their luster, and absolute junk just looking for a few screens to dominate for a couple of weeks. Oh, and what do you know? That perfectly describes this weekend’s new releases! Gee!
With two new releases and a third movie switching from a limited to a wide release, this was a weekend of big changes at the box office. Gone are familiar stalwarts like Wonder Woman and Baby Driver, and in its place are (with respect) the also-rans of summer, a few genre-driven films looking to carve out a name for themselves in a time of year devoid of major blockbuster releases. Here are the numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
Be honest with me: did you really want to see a picture of The Emoji Movie at the top of this article? You had to be hoping that Atomic Blonde or Dunkirk would hang strong enough to keep The Emoji Movie from finishing in the top spot of its opening weekend, right? Well, good news for you: it’s not the highest-grossing movie in America this weekend! Has there ever in the history of Hollywood been a box office one-two as disparate as Dunkirk and The Emoji Movie? Actually, don’t answer that, I don’t want to know. Here’s the projected grosses as of Sunday afternoon:
Say what you will about Warner Bros., but they’ve always saved some of their best Justice League footage for Comic-Con. Last year we were treated to our first extended look at the DCEU entry; this year the studio has raised the stakes, giving us some actual footage of the Justice League villain in action. Oh, and this trailer also seems to emphasize the heck out of the world of Wonder Woman - including a scene set entirely in Themyscira - indicating that they know exactly who their most popular superhero is going forward. It’s probably not a coincidence that there’s more Gal Gadot in this trailer than anyone else.
Who would you rather fight, a million spider-sized ape or one ape-sized spider? It’s a question that’s been haunting my mind since, oh, about an hour ago when I started to look up the box office numbers for this past weekend. And while I might not be any closer to solving my riddle, I can at least say this: when it comes to week-old spiders versus brand new primates, the primates are destined to win. Here’s the box office numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
Let me make this perfectly clear: I’m less of a Top Gun fan and more of a fan of putting Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in more blockbuster movies, but the end result is pretty much the same: I am ready for a little Top Gun 2 action. The long-rumored film — or perhaps just long-desired film — was finally confirmed by Cruise earlier this year, and now Paramount Pictures is cranking up the movie-making machine to deliver on the promise of more midair dogfights and subtle homoeroticism. With Cruise back, and Kilmer hopefully soon to follow, this could be the perfect throwback to the heydays of studio filmmaking of the late ’80s and early ’90s.
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