We reported that last week marked the worst box office weekend in 15 years, with The Hitman's Bodyguard repeating atop the box office with a paltry $10 million in its second weekend, and with no new movies arriving in wide release, the Labor Day holiday weekend was expected to be even worse. Surprisingly, the top 10 remained virtually unchanged, with most of the movies showing small increases from last weekend or very small decreases, but it still will likely set a record for futility, marking the worst Labor Day weekend since 1999. This weekend is said to be the first time that all of the movies released aren't even enough to cross $100 million combined.
The Wrap reports that industry estimates for the four-day holiday weekend will likely put all of the movies combined between $90 million and $100 million. This tally marks the worst Labor Day weekend since 1999, when The Sixth Sense took the top spot with $29.2 million in its fifth weekend, but the four-day total for all movies only reached $98 million, with the top 5 featuring no new releases. In 1998, the Labor Day weekend was even worse, with the four-day totals coming out to $78.7 million, topped by the comedy classic There's Something About Mary, winning with $10.9 million in its eighth weekend.
This weekend was lead by The Hitman's Bodyguard, starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, which dropped just 0.1% from last weekend with a three-day tally of $10.2 million, although we'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what the four-day totals will be. The horror spin-off Annabelle: Creation remained in second place with $7.3 million, a 5% drop from last weekend which is quite remarkable but still the lowest drop in the top 10. In fact, six movies in the top 10 posted increases from last weekend, with the top 10 rounded out by Wind River ($5.8 million), Leap! ($4.8 million), Logan Lucky ($4.4 million), Dunkirk ($4.1 million), Spider-Man: Homecoming ($3.6 million), The Emoji Movie ($2.4 million), Despicable Me 3 ($2.3 million) and Girls Trip ($2.3 million).
The only two new releases finished outside of the top 10, with a 40th Anniversary re-release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind taking 13th place with $1.8 million, posting a paltry $1,998 per-screen average from 901 theaters. The Weinstein Company's Tulip Fever fared even worse, debuting in 23rd place with $1.2 million, earning a horrid $1,588 per-screen average from 765 theaters. Marvel also debuted the first two episodes of its Inhumans TV series this weekend which kicks off a two-week theatrical run before it premieres on ABC September 29, but fans certainly didn't come out in droves to see these episodes, which have already been critically panned. The IMAX event earned $1.5 million in 18th place, earning $3,817 per-screen average from 393 theaters.
These Labor Day results cap off quite a lackluster summer, which proved that franchises and remakes based on existing stories are not always a sure thing at the box office. There were only really four big hits at the summer domestic box office this year, Wonder Woman ($408.9 million), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($389.6 million), Spider-Man: Homecoming ($324 million) and Despicable Me 3 ($257.8 million). There were many more disappointments and all-out failures though, with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales ($172.2 million) and Transformers: The Last Knight ($130.1 million) posting franchise lows, which highly-anticipated movies like Alien: Covenant ($74.2 million), Baywatch ($58 million) and The Dark Tower ($47.4 million) all severely underperforming, just to name a few. This year is also on pace to have the lowest audience attendance numbers since 1992