Shark Night Bites It At The Box Office, Apollo 18 Grounded

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Box Office Mojo

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Last weekend there was speculation as to how much Hurricane Irene sweeping across the East Coast negatively impacted the box office. Nobody is going to blame Tropical Storm Lee drenching the Gulf Coast region for this weekend’s poor box office.

Unless the movie was a drama with a two word title beginning with “The” this was not a particularly good weekend for anyone, according to Box Office Mojo. While The Help and The Debt contended for the first and second spots, two genre films were dumped onto Labor Day weekend to duke it out for the final table scraps of summer. As has been the case with every horror movie release of the past few weeks, those scraps weren’t especially meaty.

The found footage moon shot horror flick Apollo 18 (alternate title: Extraterrestrial Activity) barely made it into orbit with a paltry $8.7 million for the three-day weekend. That’s the worst opening for a found footage flick to date. Reviews have been almost universally terrible and judging by the very unhappy people I overheard exiting the showing I attended expect this Apollo 18 to drop like a moon rock out of the top 10 in record time.

Shark Night 3D proved to be no Piranha 3D, and as you may recall, Piranha 3D wasn’t exactly a box office sensation. 3D PG-13 sharks could only chum the waters for around $8.6 million for the weekend. I you ask me (and you didn’t) that’s even more than I believed it would gross as I wrongly predicted last week. I have it on good authority Buz still hasn’t even seen it so I was wrong two times over.

Chances are you have seen Rise of the Planet of the Apes, still holding steady at 5th place with another $7.8 million. That brings it to around $160 million.

The producers of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark had plenty of reasons to be afraid as the R-rated remake dropped to 8th place and $4.9 for a two week total of a little over $16 million.

Three other recent genre box office disappointments finished well out of the top. Final Destination 5 dropped all the way down to 16th this weekend yet still held up better than Conan the Barbarian (17th) and Fright Night (20th).

An all-star cast, an Oscar-winning director, and critical acclaim should be enough to propel the bird flu thriller Contagion to the top of the box office next weekend unless the MMA drama Warrior and its shockingly great word-of-mouth pulls off an upset.

Next weekend also brings about the mystery of the low budget, old fashioned, swamp monster movie Creature. No stars, a rubbersuit monster, a R-rating, not a single ad anywhere on TV except for a late night infomercial for the film airing in select markets, yet there are claims Creature will open on 1,500 screens. It remains to be seen if that will prove true or if anyone will even see it if they do.

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