To say these are the doldrums of the summer box office season may be a colossal understatement.
In a rarity for August, two horror films have opened in the top spots. According to Box Office Mojo, Friday's winner is "The Final Destination 3-D" with $10.9 million and an estimated take of $23-26 million. If the estimates hold, it will beat the opening of 2006's "The Final Destination 3" which made $19 million its opening weekend. The fact the current installment was in 3-D no doubt pumped up the returns, but it's still a shocking result considering this sequel was originally intended just for DVD.
Coming in second with $7 million and an "at best" estimate for a $17 million weekend is Rob Zombie's "Halloween 2." The Weinstein Company may have made a mistake going up against "Final Destination 3-D" as this sequel to the 2007 reboot of the Michael Myers franchise won't come close to its predecessor's $26 million opening and surprising $58 million gross.
The Weinstein Company can take heart, however, because in third place is last week's champ "Inglourious Basterds" with another $5.9 million. Down 60% (although that should even out to mid-50's by the time the weekend is out), Quentin Tarantino's latest has already made close to $60 million total and should be closer to $70 million by the time the weekend is over. The fact the magic $100 million mark is not out of reach is surprising for a picture many thought dead after it's disappointing response at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Fourth place with $3 million was "District 9" as its cume hit $83 million. The critically acclaimed Sci-Fi thriller should make $9 million for the weekend and hit $100 million sometime in September.
"Julie & Julia" came in fifth place with another $2.1 million as the Nora Ephron romantic comedy really starts to slow down as it enters it's fourth week of release. With an estimated $7 million and a projected $70 million total by the end of the weekend, the Meryl Streep/Amy Adams flick should end with around $85-90 million when all is said and done.
Other openers including Ang Lee's "Taking Woodstock" which took in only $1.2 million from 1,393 theaters. Even with the low theater count that has to be a tad disappointing for Focus Features who no doubt found selling a 70s themed comedy more difficult than they expected.
Look for final weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.