Though the end of August is traditionally one of the slower movie-going weekends of the year, it was a big weekend for the genre. So how did our three contenders fare?
It was interesting, what with the newest film from the Shaun of the Dead gang (The World’s End), the latest attempt to create a new Twilight (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), and the indie horror film festival darling (You’re Next). Alas, none could put up much of a fight against Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Aniston.
Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Meet the Millers continued to reign over the box office, leaving the three genre newcomers to settle for table scraps. In the case of You’re Next, even Disney’s Planes took a bigger helping of the box office pie.
The big loser of the weekend was without question The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, the latest big screen adaptation of a supernatural Young Adult novel (not titled The Hunger Games) in the wake of Twilight to fall flat at the box office. $9.2 million for the weekend and only $14 million total since opening this past Wednesday; this has to be considered quite disappointing and somewhat surprising for Screen Gems/Sony given how long hyped this film has been and how allegedly rabid the books’ fans were supposed to be. So let’s take a moment to welcome The Mortal Instruments to the Twilight wannabe YA funeral pyre with other non-starters I Am Number Four, Beautiful Creatures, Beastly, and The Host. Will Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters break or continue the trend next year?
Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright may have developed a strong following here across the pond, but mainstream American audiences have yet to fully embrace their brand of humor. Their British booze and bots comedy The World’s End has been met with rave reviews yet failed to open any higher than 4th this weekend. However, $8.9 million for a British sci-fi comedy playing on less than half as many screens as The Butler and Meet the Miller is fairly impressive. It also received a B+ Cinemascore. Expect it to go on to become a beloved cult favorite just like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
Next on the box office round-up is You’re Next, the hit of horror film festivals that Lionsgate sat on for what feels like years at this point before finally releasing it to theaters. Although it only mustered a 6th place, $7 million opening, it cost less than a million dollars to make and Lionsgate didn’t pay that much more to pick it up. It may not be a breakout hit, but it’s hard to call it a box office bust. Audiences only gave it a B- Cinemascore.
September brings us Riddick and Insidious Chapter 2, which is actually one more mainstream genre movie than this year’s impoverished Halloween wide release movie season will deliver. It’s Carrie or nothing this year, folks.
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