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'Riddick' Ends 'Butler''s Reign on Strong Post-Labor Day Weekend

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood September 8, 2013 at 1:38PM

This post-Labor Day weekend, normally a graveyard for box office, with rare major new films opening among late-August holdovers, Vin Diesel's "Riddick" posted a much bigger-than-usual gross. The top 10 took in around $63 million, low for most of the year but high for this weekend. Last year's total was only $46 million.
1
"Planes"
"Planes"

What comes next: This will be the first Weinstein film since "Inglourious Basterds" to reach $100 million to be released before the late-year Oscar parallel period, but looks to be a major contender despite that.

3. We're the Millers (Warner Bros.) Week 5 - Last weekend: #2

$7,925,000 (-38%) in theaters (unchanged); PSA: $2,300; Cumulative: $123,844,000

An excellent post-holiday hold for this comedy which keeps drawing crowds in its second month of release.

What comes next: This looks like it's heading for $150 million.

4. Instructions Not Included (Lionsgate) Week 2 - Last weekend: #5

$8,100,000 (+3) in 717 theaters (+369); PSA: $11,297; Cumulative: $20,312,000

Lionsgate doubled the theaters for this coproduction with Pantelion with the results still impressive (a great PSA) and already at a gross that suggests it has a chance to be the biggest-grossing Mexican film ever. Still concentrating on theaters in Latino areas, the high PSA suggests continued strong audience reaction (the top grossing theaters are in their second week) and the potential for this to stick around for a while

What comes next: Few successes this year will have as much of an impact as this, which will lead to an aggressive pursuit of Mexican talent to make films aimed at the Spanish-speaking market by companies other than Lionsgate.

5. Planes (Buena Vista) Week 5 - Last weekend: #4

$4,274,000 (-45%) in 3,033 theaters (-226); PSA: $; Cumulative: $79,279,000

Continuing its successful run, this lower budget Disney animated feature still has a shot at $100 million domestic and in its early stages overseas looks like it could equal that.

What comes next: The Disney name and similarity to "Cars" boosted this film's credibility; studios will look at this as a model for animated success at a lower cost.

6. One Direction - This Is Us (Sony) Week 2 - Last weekend: #2

$4,100,000 (-74%) in theaters (unchanged); PSA: $1,499; Cumulative: $23,991,000

As expected, the action for this concert film was concentrated in its first weekend, with just late stragglers coming along at this point. Still, this will be a worldwide moneymaker for all involved.

What comes next: Good enough to encourage other groups to think about trying this.

7. Elysium (Sony) Week 5 - Last weekend: #6

$3,100,000 (-52%) in 2,241 theaters (-298); PSA: $1,383; Cumulative: $85,077,000

Taking a normal post-holiday drop, this continues to play well enough (including abroad) to have successfully overcome initial thoughts that this might not have a chance at profit. Though an expensive ($115 million) production, worldwide this will soar far past $200 million

What comes next: This still has Japan and other important international territories to open.

8. Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 - Last weekend: #11

$2,688,310 (33%-) in 1,069 theaters (-110); PSA: $2.515; Cumulative: $25,449,000

An excellent post-holiday hold for Woody Allen's film, helped as well by owning the older audience market at the moment. This weekend indicates that this film isn't going away anytime soon. It returned to the top 10 for its highest placement yet.

What comes next: At this point, a $40 million total now seems possible, and equally important for awards potential ahead, staying visible while competing films start gaining attention.

9. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (20th Century-Fox) Week 5 - Last weekend: #9

$2,500,000 (-44%) in 2,045 theaters (-348); PSA: $1,222; Cumulative: $59,848,000

This is up to around $150 million worldwide, about 2/3s so far of what "Percy Jacksons and the Olympians" amassed.

What comes next: Probably not quite enough to justify a third go-round.

10. The World's End (Focus) Week 3 - Last weekend: #8

$2,302,000 (-54%) in 1,520 theaters (-33); PSA: $1,514; Cumulative: $21,737,000

Barely holding in the top 10, but doing well enough to look to be the top grossing film in the Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg trilogy that includes "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz." It also has topped "The Place Beyond the Pines" and "Admission" as Focus' top film of the year.

What comes next: This didn't break out much beyond its core audience, but is likely to have a long afterlife in home viewing like the previous films.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Lee Daniels' The Butler


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.