Further dampening a murky summer at the movies, this weekend suffered the worst box office revenue in years.
It would be easy to blame Saturday night’s Floyd Mayweather-Connor McGregor boxing match or the impact of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, but that lets the movies off the hook. As is sometimes the case in late August, once most of the flashy summer blockbusters have already opened, all of the new releases were lousy.
Case in point: “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” ― a holdover from last week starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson ― maintained the No. 1 spot with a paltry $10 million. “Annabelle: Creation,” which opened two weeks ago, mustered $7.4 million in second place.
The final calculations are still being crunched, but the total revenue ― currently estimated at $65 million ― is the lowest for a single weekend since at least 2014. It could even be the lowest since Sept. 21, 2001, which accrued $59 million in the wake of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
Of the new releases, the animated girl-power comedy “Leap!” performed best, which isn’t saying much: It debuted at No. 3 with a mere $5 million, a particularly low number for a family-friendly movie that opened on more than 2,500 screens.
Both well-reviewed, the crime thriller “Wind River” ($4.4 million) and the heist caper “Logan Lucky” ($4.3 million) rounded out the Top 5. For comparison’s sake, the movies that made the Top 5 during the same weekend last year earned nearly twice those sums.
The weekend’s other new releases ― the martial arts film “Birth of a Dragon” and the faith-based drama “All Saints” ― were relegated to No. 8 and No. 13, respectively. Fathom and Mayweather Productions streamed the Mayweather-McGregor fight in 532 theaters; it notched the No. 9 spot. “Dunkirk” (No. 6), “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (No. 7) and “The Emoji Movie” (No. 10) filled the remainder of the Top 10.
As North American moviegoers continue to show disinterest in certain sequels and franchise titles, the box office has trended downward throughout the summer. Financially speaking, it will likely be the weakest summer in 25 years, and the first not to crack $4 billion in ticket sales since 2006.