By Chris Kavan - 09/09/13 at 05:16 AM CT
September is usually a quiet month at the box office and 2013 is no exception. With the top 12 films earning just $66.9 million, it's the lowest-grossing weekend yet for the year. Yet compared to last year, the weekend is up 29% and we can all thank Vin Diesel for helping that total along. Considering the rather lackluster lineup in the coming weeks, this may be a bright spot for the month. Hollywood may be able to give themselves a pat on the back, but they shouldn't celebrate just yet.
You could say that although Riddick was the top draw at the box office, the $18.67 million was slightly disappointing. While that total was much better than Pitch Black's opening ($11.57 million) it was well off from The Chronicles of Riddick ($24.28 million). Chronicles still cost about three times as much - with Riddick only have a $38 million budget - it has a much better chance at earning back its budget, especially with foreign markets taken into account. This was pretty much a passion project for Diesel and the film mainly appealed to his fans. Male (59%) and older (53% over 30) gave it a B cinemascore, suggesting it probably won't be able to cross the $50 million mark. Still, for September - when school and football are drawing more attention - the opening isn't too bad at all.
2) LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER
After three weeks atop the box office, The Butler finally dropped a spot. Taking in $8.9 million, the historic drama now stands at $91.9 million and $100 million is not far off at all. The 40% drop is also impressive for movie that has been around for four weeks now. Considering the meager offerings, I wouldn't be surprised to see the film stick around the top five for most of September.
3) INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED
After an impressive start in limited release, the Spanish-language film Instructions Not Included was expanded to over 700 theaters. That gave it a 3.2% increase for the week as well as bumping it up to third place with $8.1 million. That gives it a new total of $20.3 million. Given its popularity and buzz, it could be very feasible this film winds up with a larger gross than Riddick - but time will tell.
4) WE'RE THE MILLERS
The comedy dropped 37% in it fifth week and brought in $7.9 million for a new total of $123.8 million. It has already earned over three times its $37 million budget and although it is losing some steam, it still has a good chance of reaching that $150 million mark - especially considering the lack of comedy on the horizon.
Dropping one spot from last week, Disney's Planes brought in $4.27 million, giving it a new total of $79.3 million. Positioning this at the last family movie of the summer was a shrewd move and it continues to pay off.
Outside the top five: One Direction: This is Us was very front-loaded and if you needed proof the steep 74% drop sealed it. That is in line with the Jonas Brothers film (which dropped a slightly worse 77%) and not as good as Justin Bieber or Michael Jackson - both of whom were closer the the 50% mark. The $4.1 million raised its total to nearly $24 million.
Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine jumped from 12th to 8th place over the weekend, though attendance was off 32.6%. The $2.68 million it took in raised its total to $25.4 million - topping both Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Match Point.
The idea to re-release This is the End in honor of James Franco's roast was a solid decision as the film added back in 2000 theaters (and jumped nearly 1850%) with a $2 million showing (13h place from its 44th place showing last weekend) and giving it a new $98.9 million total. If it stays wide one more weekend, it should finally be able to top that magical $100 million mark.
Next weekend has the horror sequel Insidious 2 (hoping to mirror The Conjuring rather than You're Next in terms of numbers) as well as mob crime drama The Family - with Robert De Niro leading the charge.