This year’s summer moviegoing season is ending not with a bang, but a whimper.
North American box office revenue for the four-day Labor Day weekend — which didn’t feature a new wide release for the first time in a quarter-century — is projected to total about $95.5 million, marking the lowest such frame in nearly two decades. (The last time the four-day Labor Day total failed to crack $100 million was back in 1998, according to ComScore.)
It would seem to be a fitting end for a sluggish summer that’s on track to finish below $4 billion (somewhere around $3.8 billion) for the first time since 2006. Although the season featured some notable hits, including Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Dunkirk, it was dragged down by a string of misfires, such as King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Baywatch, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and The Dark Tower, to name a few.
This weekend, Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson’s R-rated action-comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard is on pace to top the box office with an estimated $10.3 million from Friday to Sunday, or $12.9 million factoring in Monday’s take. In doing so, the Lionsgate release — which stars Reynolds as an “executive protection agent” tasked with escorting a top assassin (Jackson) to testify against a dictator — would bring its domestic total to $55 million (through Sunday) and become the only movie of the summer to reign over three weekends.
In second place, Warner Bros. and New Line’s horror flick Annabelle: Creation will gross an estimated $7.3 million, bringing its domestic total to about $89 million and passing its predecessor Annabelle ($84.3 million).
Meanwhile the Weinstein Co. thriller Wind River, from Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, is set to add $5.9 million through Sunday after expanding to 507 more theaters. (It’s in 2,602 locations, all told.) With about $18.2 million through five weekends, it’s roughly on par with last year’s Sheridan-penned Oscar contender Hell or High Water.
Rounding out the top five are the Weinstein Co. animated tale Leap, with an estimated $4.9 million, and Steven Soderbergh’s redneck heist movie Logan Lucky, with an estimated $4.4 million.
Among the weekend’s new offerings, none opened in 1,000 theaters or more. The Weinstein Co.’s long-delayed period drama Tulip Fever will gross an estimated $1.2 million through Sunday from 765 locations, Marvel’s big-screen TV pilot Inhumans wil earn about $1.5 million from 393 Imax theaters, Lionsgate’s Spanish-language comedy Hazlo Como Hombre (Do It Like an Hombre) will take in an estimated $1.1 million from 382 screens, and Sony’s 40th anniversary re-release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind is eyeing about $1.8 million from 901 theaters.
Per ComScore, overall box office is down 6 percent year-to-date. Check out the Sept. 1-3 figures below.
1. The Hitman’s Bodyguard — $10.3 million
2. Annabelle: Creation — $7.3 million
3. Wind River — $5.9 million
4. Leap! — $4.9 million
5. Logan Lucky — $4.4 million
6. Dunkirk — $4.1 million
7. Spider-Man: Homecoming — $3.7 million
8. The Emoji Movie — $2.5 million
9. Despicable Me 3 — $2.4 million
10. Girls Trip — $2.3 million