Predictions for the long Labor Day weekend at the US box office were dire, but things weren’t quite as bad as expected … though it was still bad. The forecast had the weekend coming in at the worst in 17 years, but some stronger than expected performances made in only the worst weekend in 12 years — every Top Ten film grew from the previous weekend — with the top twelve films grossing about $54 million dollars.
Previous weekends’ Numbers 1 and 2, The Hitman’s Bodyguard and Annabelle: Creation, held tight again this week earning $13.2 million (+29%) and $9.1 million (+20%) respectively. But the end of summer gave families one last chance to catch up on a collection of animated films before kids dove back into their school work.
Despicable Me 3 was the clear winner of the weekend Top Ten, seeing an 86% boost from last weekend, moving back onto the chart at Number 9 (from 13) with $3.2 million. Its domestic total now stands at $258.7 million, and globally it’s less than $3 million away from crossing the $1 billion mark. Leap! had a 32.5% increase in its second week, but still dropped one spot to Number 4 with $6.2 million. The Emoji Movie also saw an increase of 30%, helping it move up two spots to Number 8 with $3.2 million, crossing the $80 million mark. Not bad for a movie with such dismal reviews. Just outside the Top Ten, The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature got a 21% boost from the holiday, moving up one spot to Number 11 with $2.7 million, and Cars 3 saw whopping 1,351% increase by adding 2,231 screens, racing up the chart from Number 30 to Number 13 with $2.3 million.
In the Top Ten, Wind River pushed Leap! out of the Number 3 spot, adding 507 screens and seeing a 71% gain, earning $7.8 million. Spider-Man: Homecoming also got a nice boost of 67%, helping it hold on to the Number 7 spot with $4.7 million. The film now has a $747.2 million global total, slowly creeping up on Wonder Woman‘s $813.2 million to date. Dunkirk saw just a modest 10% gain, but it was good enough to move up to fifth place with $4.3 million, giving it a global total of $461.5 million. Girls Trip also re-entered the chart, getting a 20% boost, moving up one spot to Number 10 with $2.8 million.
There weren’t any real major releases over the holiday weekend — the first in years that there wasn’t a wide release of more than 1,000 screens — but two films did attempt to make an impression. The 40th anniversary re-release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind opened on 901 screens, earning $1.7 million at Number 14. The limited IMAX release of Marvel’s Inhumans (an edited version of the first two episodes of the new series which debuts on ABC September 29 with about 10 minutes of additional footage) came in at Number 18 with $1.5 million. But on just 393 screens and a per screen average of $3,817, the movie actually topped the average of The Hitman’s Bodyguard at $3,126 per screen.
The fall movie season will begin ramping up the weekend of September 8 with the highly anticipated It reboot on more than 4,000 screens, expected to hit the $80 million mark its opening weekend, and the new Reese Witherspoon rom-com-dram Home Again also opening nationwide. The coming weeks will also have some big hitters with American Assassin, mother!, Kingsman: The Golden Circle and Flatliners all coming in September.
Below are the Top Ten grosses for the four-day weekend of September 1.
4.  –2– Leap! – $6,266,182 [$12,760,985]
[#] Last week’s position. [N] New in theaters. – # – Weeks in theaters. ★ HOTCHKA review | Source: Box Office Mojo