Box office suffers worst Labor Day weekend since 2000


Labor Day weekend is normally a bad one at the box office... but woof, this is still a bit much. A combined top 12 three-day gross of $51.5 million makes Labor Day 2017 the worst Labor Day weekend since 2000, when the two new wide releases were the largely forgotten Highlander: Endgame and Whipped. (Remember either of those? No?)

Leading the pack this year were a pair of holdovers: The Hitman’s Bodyguard and Annabelle: Creation, both of which enjoyed modest drops in their third and fourth weekends, respectively. Hitman earned $10.5 million over the three-day weekend and $13.3 million over the four, bringing its domestic total to $58 million. For Annabelle: Creation, those numbers are $7.5 million/$9.3 million/$90.9 million, putting the horror sequel past its 2014 predecessor (domestic gross $84.2 million).

The rest of the top five—the top ten, in fact—went to holdovers. The Weinstein Company added 507 screens to their release of Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River, which earned $6.2 million over the three-day weekend and $7.9 million over the four day for a domestic total of $20.3 million to-date. Weinstein also nabbed fourth place with long-delayed animated offering Leap! (three-day gross $4.8 million; four-day gross $6.5 million; total gross $13 million). Rounding out the top five was Steven Soderbergh’s critically adored but underperforming Logan Lucky, which inches closer to recouping its $29 million budget. The indie heist’s $5.6 million four-day total brings its total domestic haul to $22.6 million.

The highest-grossing new release isn’t really new at all; Sony brought in $2.3 million with its 40th anniversary re-release of Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which runs for one week. Disney also took advantage of the Labor Day lull by re-introducing Cars 3 into theatres; it had its debut in June and had subsequently dropped down to 214 screens, to which Disney added another 2,231 for a four-day gross of $2.3 million. Despite the late bump, with a domestic cume of $151.4 million Cars 3 is still the second lowest-grossing Pixar movie, ahead of only 2015’s The Good Dinosaur ($123 million). 

You have to go all the way down to spot 23 to find a proper new release: The Weinstein Company's Tulip Fever, which slunk into 765 theatres after four—count ‘em, four—release date delays. Not exactly a shock that a film pushed back so many times didn't set the world on fire. We’re looking at $1.4 million four-day total, for a per-theatre average of $1,832. That puts Tulip Fever slightly behind the $1.48 million cume of new release Hazlo Como Hombre, from Lionsgate’s Latino-focused Pantelion divison.

The weekend’s highest per-theatre average went to IFC’s Viceroy’s House, which earned $63,176 (four-day) on four screens for a PTA of $15,794. Also new in speciality release were I Do… Until I Don’t ($234,259 on 165 screens), Valley of Bones ($138,196 on 300 screens), Cohen Media Group’s re-release of James Ivory’s Heat and Dust ($12,744 on four screens) and The Vault ($5,000 on 11 screens).

Next weekend should see the box office kick back into gear, with Warner Bros./New Line releasing their highly anticipated Stephen King adaptation It.