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Weekend Box Office: It's a Fantastic Bore as Rogue Nation Takes Top Spot

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By Chris Kavan - 08/09/15 at 11:08 PM CT

The weekend was a big disappointment in many ways. None of the new movies did particularly well (only one performed above expectations, while others suffered) and the result led to a 30% decrease compared to last year - the only August on record to break $1 billion. That isn't likely to be repeated any time soon - and certainly not this year. It was the holdovers that really had the best luck - with some milestones crossed. Hopefully August can recover a bit in the coming weekends to salvage a terrible opening.


I don't think most people would have counted on Tom Cruise and Rogue Nation to top the box office for the second week in a row, but thanks to the lackluster response to the Fantastic Four, the film still took the top spot. The film dipped 47% in its second week to bring in $29.4 million - which was more than enough for the film to top the $100 million mark. It now stands at $108.6 million. The second week dip was a better hold than both the original film and its sequel (which dropped 52% and 53% respectively); Mission: Impossible III had an equal 47% drop. If it follows the same pattern as the third film from here on out, it should be able to top $150 million and near the $175 million mark before it leaves theaters. It has a good shot considering the only real competition left seems to be Man from U.N.C.L.E. (another hit-or-miss film) and could potentially rule August rather easily.


There is no beating around the bush here - the debut of Josh Trank's Fantastic Four film was bad. Of course, the director didn't help himself by getting into a Twitter rant and essentially trashing his own film just before it premiered (news of on-set troubles plagued the film for far longer anyway). As it stands, the rebooted superheros could only muster a $26.2 million opening. For a film that was expected to open in the $45 million range (on a film that cost $120 million to produce). Critics were unimpressed, as were audience, who gave the film a terrible "C-" Cinemascore (even the much-maligned Pixels managed to snag a "B" overall). The film's opening was on the lower end for superhero films - it at least managed to beat Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance ($22 million). There is a very good chance this is going to wind up lower than Trank's Chronicle ($64.5 million) and is going to get nowhere near the totals of the earlier version of the film or its sequel (which topped out at $154 million and $131 million). Even with foreign grosses taken into account, the film will likely only just limp to profitability. Any thoughts of a franchise are probably going to be thrown out - let alone teaming up with another franchise (X-Men). Let's face it - all the buzz going into the film was bad and it's not going to get any better from here.


As I said, there was at least one film that came in ahead of expectations, and that film was the third-place finisher, The Gift. The directorial debut of Joel Edgerton (who also starred) took in $12 million. That is great for Blumhouse and STX Entertainment (their first major picture), as the film only cost $5 million. This has worked great with horror films in the past - now you can add thrillers in the mix. It's also nice to see Jason Bateman in a non-comedic role - and actually come out on top. Granted, it's not going to break any records - but the film is already a guaranteed money-maker - everything from here on out is just more icing on the cake. That bodes well for the future of Edgerton - and I hope to see more of his talent in the future.


The raunchy reboot/sequel (or whathaveyou) didn't really click with audiences when it opened but it had a decent hold - dropping a lighter-than-expected 37.7% (dipping from second to fourth place). The $9.1 million it brought in gives Vacation a new total of $37.3 million. Granted, the good news doesn't help the fact it opened a bit weak, but it looks like vacation is going to at least hit $50 million but I'm sure the studio was hoping for at least double that amount.


The little Marvel hero that could took a 39% tumble in its fourth week out, but still managed to stick in the top five. Ant-Man brought in $7.82 million, raising its total to $147.3 million - and closing in on the $150 million mark. It has topped $300 million worldwide and will likely top out in the U.S. at around $170 million.

Outside the top five: The two other films to open wide this week had little impact on the box office. Meryl Streep's aging rocker dramedy Ricki and the Flash opened in 7th place with $7 million. That is certainly on the lower end of the scale in Streep's long career and will not likely be a highlight in her career. Granted, the film had little push and will be lucky to hit $20 million.

The animated Shaun the Sheep suffered even more from lack of awareness. Though Aardman animation has provided plenty of crowd-pleasing films, this one opened outside the top 10 in 11th place with $4 million. That doesn't reflect the quality of the film, in my opinion, but rather the lack of effort put into marketing it to families - especially considering school is right around the corner for many.

Speaking of animated films, in better news Minions crossed $300 million domestically with a $7.4 million (6th place) take in its fifth weekend out. It has now earned $302.7 million and also crossed the $900 million mark on the worldwide market. The film is pretty much a lock to hit $1 billion (as it still has China, Italy and a handful of markets to open to).

Next week we will see summer's last hurrah as The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and the biographical Straight Outta Compton both look to close out the summer on a high note.


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