The public checks back into Hotel Transylvania, The Intern gets paid (unlike actual interns), Stonewall crumbled, The Green Inferno immolated, and Other Box Office News.
by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)
Much like the first film before it, Hotel Transylvania 2 is officially your new Best September Opening Weekend Ever. Yes, despite the first film exiting all of our collective memories almost as soon as it entered them – and it really pains me to say that because I love Genndy Tartakovsky so very, very much – it turns out that the Hotel Transylvania brand is strong with the audience that matters: kids and, even more importantly than that, the desperate parents who just want them to be quiet for 90 goddamn minutes. They both helped power Transylvania 2 to an excellent $47.5 million haul, a good $5 mil more than the first one made… three years ago?! Oh, GOD, time won’t stop getting away from me!
Kids weren’t the only underserved market being thrown a (possibly juicy it’s kinda hard to tell until I can see these films) bone this weekend, though, as Nancy Meyers finally returned from exile to provide yet another film that ITV2 can add to their schedules whenever they need to fill a spot and the Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift file is too worn out. This one, The Intern, did the usual Nancy Meyers business, slotting comfortably into second place with $18 million, although that is a step down from what It’s Complicated made 6 years ago ($22 million). Also returning from exile was Eli Roth with his evil-savage-cannibal-tribe movie The Green Inferno, but nobody gives a sh*t about Eli Roth so it barely made $3.4 million from 1,540 theatres for ninth place.
Meanwhile, the world of Limited Releases was just bursting with activity this week. To start with, Sicario went up to 53 screens ahead of its nationwide expansion next weekend and managed to crack the Top 10 with an astonishing $30,000 per-screen average. In terms of the weekend’s actual openers, though, the biggest success came from Lost In Hong Kong, the second feature from Xu Zheng and a massive hit in its native China, which rode a 28 screen opening to a very strong $558,900 and a per-screen average of $19,961. Next up was Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes, a film that features Michael Shannon yelling so I’m sold, which did a very strong $32,807 from 2 screens and a per-screen average of you can figure that out. And, finally, Half Nelson writer-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck returned with Mississippi Grind which opened on just the one screen but managed a very respectable $14,335 nonetheless.
Bountiful weekend for the Limited Releases then! Well, unless you’re Stonewall. Yeah, Roland Emmerich’s apparently-thoroughly-misguided passion project crashed and burned on the 129 screens it opened on, taking an absolutely pitiful $112,414 for a per-screen average of $871. Just goes to show: trying to turn one of the most important and diverse moments in LGBT history into a whitewashed Wizard of Oz-ification about a generic bland White guy because stories about events like these can’t just be for LGBT audiences, oh no, they must also provide easy “ins” for White straight audience members too, will just get you a tsunami of backlash, scathing reviews, and nobody will see your ‘accessible’ movie in the first place. This almost feels like justice, it really does.
Oh, it’s been one hell of a week for me, so let’s crack on with this Full List.
Box Office Results: Friday 25th September 2015 – Sunday 27th September 2015
1] Hotel Transylvania 2
$47,500,000 / NEW
OK, Sony Animation. Now, maybe, pretty please, can you let Genndy just make whatever he goddamn wants? He’s given you two solid hits whilst tethered to the sinking Sandler brand, can you just let him off the leash and make his own damn films now? Please? I’m still bitter that you shoved that brilliant-looking Popeye movie he was developing back into the basement for this.
2] The Intern
$18,225,000 / NEW
This looks like hot garbage. That said, I haven’t actually seen any Nancy Meyers films yet, although I want to try and find the time to get at least one watched before I sit down on Saturday and spend… 121 minutes?! …how?
3] Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
$14,000,000 / $51,685,672
For those who missed it a couple of weeks back, here’s my review. Still waiting for a point to appear in this franchise, some reason as to why I am spending this much time with these non-characters, but I will say that I would take this series over the Divergent films any day of the week. For one, despite them having nothing going on so far, at least Maze Runner isn’t drop dead boring like Divergent is. And for two, unlike Divergent, there are only going to be three of these things instead of four. Hopefully. Please.
$13,090,000 / $23,129,805
Oh, yeah, this one went to actual cinemas this week. Think we can see that this genius release strategy hasn’t really worked at all. Just because something worked for a Mission: Impossible movie, doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for your film as well. Your film doesn’t feature Tom Cruise, after all.
5] Black Mass
$11,510,000 / $42,608,179
A lot of my university friends are really, really excited about this one, for some reason. In fact, if it weren’t for them, it’d probably have flown under my radar near-totally. The fact that it’s not coming out in the UK until mid-November for some bizarre reason might have something to do with that. Plus, I’m mega-excited for The Peanuts Movie whilst those heathens couldn’t give two sh*ts, so…
I don’t actually have a punchline for this entry, so we should probably just move on.
6] The Visit
$6,750,000 / $52,260,580
OK, I’m hearing from a lot of people that this is actually alright and that is very disconcerting to me. Because, well, it sounds awful and it’s Shyamalan. But it’s apparently alright? I dunno, this sounds wrong to me. Or, you know, maybe I’m just worried that it being OK and doing decent business will lead to him trying to make a second Avatar movie. I know that that series will never hit cinema screens again, but he’s already ruined it once and I don’t much like going through the rest of my life being terrified that he may try again.
7] The Perfect Guy
$4,750,000 / $48,871,135
I got nothing. In fact, to tell you the truth, I completely forgot this thing existed until I just typed in the words for this entry. Remember when this was number 1 two weeks back?
8] War Room
$4,275,000 / $55,999,681
Oh, please, October. Please hurry up and eject nonsense like this from the chart. God, September is the worst.
9] The Green Inferno
$3,494,000 / NEW
Right, this won’t be sticking around next week so let me get both of my commentaries for this film out of the way in one go. 1] This film stars Sky Ferreira, who is primarily a pop singer and should be way bigger than she is (due to lots of bad luck, mainly). If you haven’t listened to her 2013 debut Night Time, My Time, go do so. 2] American movie goers, it worryingly sounds like critics are going to give a passing grade to Knock Knock in a few weeks when that finally drops on your side of the pond. Do not believe them, stay away from it.
$1,770,000 / $2,350,594
Got to see this one early on Wednesday as part of an Unlimited Screening. My review’s not up cos I can’t crack it – left it too long for various personal issues you don’t care about – although I may try it again after I see the film again when it properly comes out, but for now… oh, you need to see Sicario. You need to book your tickets in preparation for Sicario right now. Right. Now.
Dropped Out: A Walk in the Woods, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Straight Outta Compton, Grandma
Callum Petch can’t feel his face when he’s with you. He now writes for his own site (callumpetch.com). Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!