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Box Office Top Ten: Anti-Obama Polemic Performs on Weak Weekend, 'Premium Rush' Starts Slow UPDATED

Box Office
by Tom Brueggemann
August 26, 2012 1:43 PM
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'2016: Obama's America'

While three new studio releases started off shockingly slow, the strongest showing was "2016: Obama's America," an anti-Obama polemic that-- on just over 1,000 screens-- rose to eighth place after several weeks of more limited play.

Overall business was typical of the summer dog days. The top ten films grossed around $73 million, $3 million better than last year. The last weekend of August is usually deadly as the studios hold back from releasing top product and the summer hits are on their last legs.

What is shocking is the low placement of the new films, which so far are placing 7th, 10th and 12th (Warner Bros.' dumped "The Apparition" in less than 1,000 theaters). This weekend last year, three of the top five places were taken by fresh films. But the relatively good holdovers for several other higher-ranking performers compensated for these. 

1. The Expendables 2 (Lionsgate) - Week 2; Last weekend #1

$13,500,000 (-53%) in 3,355 theaters (+39); PSA (per screen average): $4,024; Cumulative: $52,314,000

Retaining the #1 spot after falling 53% from a somewhat disappointing opening is both unusual and reveals the weak playing field. The fall is similar to the original's (-51% off of a $6-million higher opening weekend), which is about par for an action seque.

What comes next: Millennium Productions will need  fabulous foreign results to justify another entry in the franchise. (There's talk of an all-femme edition.)

2. The Bourne Legacy (Universal) - Week 3; Last weekend #2

$9,300,000 (-45%) in 3,654 theaters (-99); PSA: $2,522; Cumulative: $85,500,000

Not a bad hold for the third weekend for this series reboot. But the Jeremy Renner "Bourne" still lags behind Matt Damon's last "Ultimatum" three years ago, which fell less than 40% its third weekend with a $164-million total. Still, snagging the #2 spot (for the moment) counts as a positive for Universal.

What comes next: International, rolling out gradually with many territories still to open, will determine the ongoing fate of this Bourne revamp. The domestic returns (Universal splits the gross with exhibitors) will fall short of the reported $125 million production budget.

3. ParaNorman (Focus) - Week 2; Last weekend #3

$8,546,000 (-39%) in 3,455 theaters (+26); PSA: $2474; Cumulative: $28,274,000

Hanging on to the #3 spot for the second weekend bodes well, with a 39% fall (family films tend to hold better) compares to the 12% drop of Laika Studio's first animated feature "Coraline" (also distributed by Focus), which had a holiday weekend boost. "Coraline" was at $35 million after 10 days, so this is 80% of that.

What comes next: With the summer grinding to a halt (many schools already open), this will have to count on hanging on as a prime family film for the next few weekends to get to $50 million, which would be 2/3s of what "Coraline" grossed.

4. The Campaign (Warner Brothers) - Week 2; Last weekend #5

$7,440,000 (- 43%) in 3,302 theaters (+47); PSA: $2253; Cumulative: $64,543,000

Not a bad falloff for the third weekend of this comedy, which looks like a mid-range success for Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. Again though, maintaining position for the weekend is more a factor of the weak new openings than an impressive achievement for this film.

What comes next: Most of these actors' mainstream comedies have hit $100 million or more, so by that standard, this will come in a bit short. Still, this has performed at or above industry expectations, with the late summer release date being a factor in somewhat lower grosses.

5. The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros) - Week 6; Last weekend #7

$7,150,000 (-35%) in 2,606 theaters (-551); PSA: $2744; Cumulative: $422,188,000

A modest drop, even though it lost hundreds of theaters. This still has a shot at as many weeks in the top 10 (10) as "The Dark Knight" (which however was #3 in its sixth week).

What comes next: Though the domestic take, great as it is, will fall short of "The Dark Knight," passing the $1 billion mark and moving ahead of the previous entry remains possible.

Box Office
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  • Mike | August 27, 2012 12:54 AMReply

    I would like to ask Mr. BRUEGGEMANN what he means by "underserved" in, "...the ill-fated 'Atlas Shrugged: Part 1,' which cater to underserved conservative moviegoers?" WTH is that supposed to mean? It sure doesn't make any sense and adds little to the critique... explique à moi, ça!

  • Tom Brueggemann | August 27, 2012 11:17 AM


    that is, an audience for which few films specifically aimed at them are made. Sometimes written as under served.

    I think you mistook that word for the much different "undeservered." That's not what I wrote, and of course not what I meant.

  • spiris333 | August 26, 2012 10:57 PMReply

    Oh, how liberally cute that the story line calls it polemic, instead of documentary. Obama's past is a shadow, and people are interested in a rather truthful layout of his seedier connections to the past, and his membership in the socialist movement.
    Obama's college transcripts are sealed for a reason, and most speculate that obama was not honest on his enrollment papers. Truth is the enemy of liberals.

  • Tom Brueggemann | August 27, 2012 11:21 AM

    I don't regard polemic as a pejorative word. I'd also say the same word applies to Michael Moore's films.

  • Truth | August 27, 2012 8:42 AM

    Why is there a conspiracy of silence about Romney's taxes? He's a proven tax cheat, lying to save $60,000 on his property taxes during the 2002 UT Olympics. We know that he has money stashed in tax Chevy havens from his voluntary reporting on his 2010 taxes. But he refuses to release his 2009 taxes 2009 was the last year to avoid criminal charges and tax amnesty for failing to volunteer to report money in foreign tax cheat havens.

    And Romney hasn't released his college transcripts because no presidential canidate does.

  • Tim | August 26, 2012 3:10 PMReply

    "2016: Obama's America" should be re-subtitled, "2016: The Paranoid Delusions of Easily Manipulated Dullards."

  • editor | August 25, 2012 7:44 PMReply

    “2016” a Fantasy From the Right Wing Machine?

  • editor | August 25, 2012 7:45 PM


  • Tom Brueggemann | August 25, 2012 6:52 PMReply

    Thanks for catching that - Utah it is.

  • NameDanny Lee Ladely | August 25, 2012 6:09 PMReply

    Your CommentRocky Mountain Pictures is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, not Colorado, according to IMDb Pro.

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