Most analysts were predicting that the Labor Day weekend would be one of the worst holiday weekends at the box office in decades. And it seems those predictions were actually too generous. With no new movies opening in wide release, The Hitman's Bodyguard took full advantage, winning for a third weekend in a row with a four-day holiday weekend tally of $13.3 million. While the top 10 remained virtually unchanged, with the three-day tallies showing that six movies in the top 10 actually posted increases from the previous weekend, it still wasn't enough for this weekend to be the worst Labor Day weekend in 17 years.
Box Office Mojo reports that the top 12 movies grossed just $51.5 million, which was the lowest tally since 2000, when the top 12 took in $47 million. We also reported yesterday that the box office estimates represented an 18-year low, with analysts predicting that the four-day weekend totals for every movie in theaters won't even break $100 million, which hasn't happened since 1999. The four-day estimates confirm that this weekend didn't crack $100 million, with all 46 movies combining for a paltry total of $95.5 million. If the top 10 movies would have suffered more traditional decreases from weekend to weekend, it could have been a lot worse than it really was. Still, The Hitman's Bodyguard has been capitalizing on this box office down turn, bringing its domestic total to $58 million, from a $30 million budget.
The Labor Day numbers cap off a summer movie season that has now been confirmed as the worst on record since 2006. While there were a few hits within the summer movie mix, like the critical and commercial hit Wonder Woman, which recently passed $400 million domestic and $800 million worldwide, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($389.6 million) and Spider-Man: Homecoming ($325.1 million) and Universal's animated sequel Despicable Me 3 ($258.8 million), there were many more flops based on existing properties than expected. 20th Century Fox's Alien: Covenant, Paramount's Baywatch and Transformers: The Last Knight and Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales all came in vastly lower than expectations.
The top 5 includes Annabelle: Creation, which this weekend passed Get Out to be the highest-grossing horror movie of 2017, taking in $9.3 million, followed by Wind River with $7.9 million, Leap! with $6.5 million and Logan Lucky with $5.64 million. The top 10 is rounded out by Dunkirk ($5.62 million), Spider-Man: Homecoming ($4.7 million), The Emoji Movie ($3.35 million), Despicable Me 3 ($3.30 million} and The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature ($2.9 million). It's also worth noting that the weekend's two new releases didn't even crack the top 10. Sony's 40th Anniversary restoration of Close Encounters of the Third Kind debuted in 14th place with $2.3 million, earning a dismal $2,553 per-screen average from 901 theaters. The Weinstein Company's Tulip Fever fared even worse, debuting in 23rd place with $1.4 million, earning just a $1,832 per-screen average from 765 theaters.
Also opening in limited release is Pantelion's foreign film Hazlo Como Hombre (Do It Like An Hombre), which earned $1.4 million with a $3,887 per-screen average from 382 theaters. Hammond's thriller Valley of Bones earned $138,196 from 300 theaters for an abysmal $461 per-screen average and the drama Viceroy's House earned $63,176 from four theaters for an impressive $15,794 per-screen average. No box office data was released for Freestyle Releasing's A Boy Called Po, PBS' documentary Dolores, Shout! Factory's horror-thriller Jackals, Vertical Entertainment's comedy The Layover, Screen Media's horror movie Temple, and Lionsgate Premiere's action-thriller Unlocked.
Looking ahead to next weekend, New Line's highly-anticipated IT remake is looking to break fans out of the summer box office doldrums with what could be quite the big opening weekend at the box office. It will be going up against Open Road Films' romantic comedy Home Again, with Atlas Distribution's drama 9/11, GKIDS' Napping Princess, Indican's Paradise Club, Sony's Poster Boys, IFC's Rebel in the Rye, Magnolia's School Life, The Orchard's Trophy IFC's The Unknown Girl and Real Women's Year by the Sea also debuting in limited release. Take a look at the four-day estimates for this Labor Day weekend at the box office below.