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Weekend Box Office: It, American Made, Kingsman Battle for Top Spot as Record September Closes

View Chris Kavan's Profile

By Chris Kavan - 10/01/17 at 06:48 PM CT

Currently less than $305,000 separate the first place to third place movie at the box office, so there is a good chance the top three as listed could switch places. Still, one thing that is not going to change is how good the September 2017 box office turned out. Led by It, the runaway horror success story of the month, September broke the previous record of $626.4 million set in 2015 with a new total of $694.9 million (of with It accounted for 40% of that total). It also helped ease the pain of terrible August. Whereas at the end of that month the box office was trailing last year by 6.3%, September helped scale that back to 4.9% - still behind, but with hope that a strong finish (we still have Star Wars, after all) can eventually catch up.

1) IT

Dropping just under 42% in its fourth weekend - an incredible hold on its own - It (currently) retains the box office lead with $17.3 million. That give the Stephen King adaptation a new total of $291.1 million and will soon pass The Sixth Sense ($292 million) as the third-highest grossing horror movie in North America... and that's if you truly count Jurassic Part ($402 million) and Jurassic World ($623 million) as "horror". No matter, It also continues to rake in the cash overseas, posting a record (for a horror film) $11.6 million opening in Germany. Its worldwide total sits at $553.1 million as it continues to play strong here and abroad. That makes it the eight-highest grossing R-rated film of all time in terms of worldwide grosses. I suspect It will continue to break more records as the film shows little sign of slowing down - heck, if It can play well through October, and Halloween, the sky truly is the limit.

2) AMERICAN MADE

The latest outing from Tom Cruise is within spitting distance of the top spot, currently sitting at $17.01. That opening is definitely on the lower end for Tom Cruise - it did top the $15 million opening of Jack Reacher - but don't let the numbers fool you. This isn't an action franchise like Mission: Impossible or Jack Reacher, nor is is a heavy-effects film like The Mummy or Edge of Tomorrow. No, this is a Tom Cruise movie - and it was all about selling the actor, one who has had his ups and downs with media. So $17 million might be a low number, but American Made is probably still going to top $50 million stateside and, with over $60 million overseas thus far, it should make a tidy profit considering its $50 million budget. The film earned an "B+" Cinemascore and was a little more male (55%) and older (56% over 30). It won't be a massive hit, but it's not going to lose money and, if anything, it still proves Cruise is a box-office draw, even after the crummy Mummy.

3) KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE

The Golden Circle is sitting at $17 million currently for the weekend, and, once again, could change positions based on where the final numbers fall on Monday. To whit, however, that puts the Kingsman sequel at just $66.7 million, as it falls behind the original film which has amassed $67.9 million. It also fell harder in its second weekend (56% compared to 49%) than the original film. Still, its holding up rather well against harsher reviews and as been-there-seen-that fatigue sets in. It continues to do much better overseas, however, as it brought in over $50 million for a new international total of $126 million - 53% ahead of the original film. That gives the $104 million sequel a $192.9 million global total, meaning even if it begins to peter out as competition increases throughout October, it's going to wind up just fine thanks to overseas support.

4) THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE

while Kingsman is certainly not going to have any problems making its money back, The LEGO Ninjago Movie might have a bigger problem. Dropping 41.3% in its second weekend, Ninjago only brought in $12 million, giving it a new total of just $35.5 million, again, well behind the other LEGO films. Ninjago isn't benefiting much from the international community, as it has brought in just $22.7 million thus far for a global total of $58 million. Oh, and it is also still trailing Storks ($38 million in its second weekend) as well. What I'm staying is Ninjago isn't going to have much staying power, here or abroad, and hopefully the forthcoming LEGO films will help wash out the bad taste of Ninjago.

5) FLATLINERS

Rounding out the top five is a film I frankly expected to do a little better. The Flatliners remake flatlined all right - a mere $6.7 million opening - or $3 million lower than what the original film brought in back in 1990. Despite some big names attached - including Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton and Kiersey Clemons - the film didn't screen for critics, has decent marketing, but no real buzz. That led to a disappointing opening that was even below the studio's estimate of $7 million. It only posted a "B-" as the audience was about evenly split between men and women, as well as split between those over and under 25. Even with a low $19 million budget, this film is going to struggle to remain profitable, especially with marketing taken in to account. It's another example of remakes not standing out.

Outside the top five: The expansion of Battle of the Sexes from 21 to over 1200 theaters resulted in a move from 16th to 6th place, but the $3.4 million is a bit low when you factor in the considerable buzz the film has brought in. Still, the adult-leaning drama could have a decent run ahead of it but it better hope for that adult audience to support it or it's going to fade quicker than it should.

Two other semi-wide releases had moderate impact at the box off. The thriller Til Death Do Us Part (based partly on Sleeping with the Enemy) brought in $1.56 million (9th place) from 562 theaters for a an OK $2,790 per-theater average.

The film did better than the faith-based A Question of Faith, which opened in 661 theaters but fell outside the top 10 in 11th place with $1.05 million. That amounted to a paltry $1,589 per-theater average meaning the faithful weren't very faithful over the weekend and this is going to exit quickly.

Next week brings us another deluge of new releases. The biggest dog barking with be Blade Runner 2049, but we also get the survival drama The Mountain Between Us, the animated My Little Pony, the expansion of Victoria and Abdul and faith-based The Stray - in semi-wide release. Stay tuned - we'll see on Monday who actually wins the box office crown.

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