Labour Day weekend is, in principle, still a part of the summer season at the movies most years, but, in practice, it kinda ushers in the traditionally slow month of September. The month's two early highlights held strong up top, fending off weak competition from newcomers.
1. Guardians of the Galaxy ($17,082,262)
A tremendous hold on last weekend, dropping just 0.7%. With a marvellous opening, and excellent staying power based on great word-of-mouth and enthusiasm, Guardians is on track for a total domestic gross of over $300 million, something which just about no-one had expected prior to release.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ($11,918,029)
3. If I Stay ($9,310,848)
4. As Above / So Below ($8,632,820)
A lukewarm start for horror maestro studio Universal's film. Despite being, as many similar movies are, a cheap property that's obviously going to turn a profit, this remains a disappointing tally. This ought to be forgotten quickly.
5. Let's Be Cops ($8,292,004)
6. The November Man ($7,911,597)
R-rated, modest action thrillers like The November Man tend to play off good reviews, which this has not been receiving, by and large. Labour Day starts for films like this are common, but may soon cease to be with results like this.
7. When the Game Stands Tall ($6,012,231)
8. The Giver ($5,254,809)
9. The Hundred-Foot Journey ($4,802,802)
10. The Expendables 3 ($3,558,114)
Not a patch on last year's Hispanic-targeted Instructions Not Included, but not an embarrassing start for that same film's studio Lionsgate (the Pantelion division).
15. Ghostbusters (re-release) ($1,756,513)
A fine haul for the 30th anniversary re-release of Sony's '80s comedy classic. This won't go down in the history books as far as IMAX re-releases go, though.
39. Kundo: Age of the Rampant ($120,857)
43. Life of Crime ($104,300)
For once, a Jennifer Aniston film that gets some decent reviews from critics. But, with a VOD release, it only just cracked $100k in cinemas, and on a paltry per-theatre average too.
47. Raja Natwarlal ($83,669)
53. The Congress ($28,640)
It's a tough sell, sure, but Ari Folman's brilliant sci-fi deserves way better than 53rd place on Labour Day weekend. Shame.
56. The Last of Robin Hood ($25,821)
You can imagine why films like The Last of Robin Hood get made very easily, and then understand why they don't exactly light up the arthouse box office in the same thought.
65. Starred Up ($10,358)
No amount of critical acclaim seems to have been able to stoke up even a respectable level of arthouse interest Stateside for David MacKenzie's gritty British prison drama.
67. Through a Lens Darkly ($9,456)
76. The Notebook ($3,127)
Janos Szasz' Holocaust film might have been able to have found an audience were it given the right kind of release. Alas, it hasn't.
78. Last Weekend ($2,661)
81. The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears ($1,535)
I read an article recently that stated that it wasn't out of the realm of possibility that Belgium might submit Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani's wondrous neo-Giallo film as their official choice for Best Foreign Language Film consideration at the Oscars this year. That's the same Belgium that will almost certainly submit the Dardenne brothers' Two Days, One Night. After this opening, it's safe to say that said realm of possibility has moved on... I expect a healthy proportion of this film's first (and likely only) weekend take in the US was from people who followed my barrage of ebullience for the horror film last year.
The Identical is the only nationwide release arriving in theatres next weekend, and even it's not even getting into 2,000 screens. And it's gonna make pittance too. Expect a very, very bad set of B.O. results in a week's time...