Ugh!!! The month of August has been prominently slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww for the industry, most especially with last year’s record-breaking “Suicide Squad” in view. Right now, the film business is hoping that this weekend will potentially be reigniting the marketplace in a dire state as “It” is expected to enter the scene with a bold statement.
The summer box office, which ends after this Monday, is still on track to end with less than $4 billion in North America for the first time since 2006. Major movie flops including “King Arthur” and “Valerian,” as well as several big-budget sequels that under-performed should serve as a wakeup call to studios that are used to splashy features with familiar faces equaling ticket sales.
Let’s talk about the rave “Hitman’s Bodyguard” for a moment. Without any fresh competition in wide release, “Hitman’s Bodyguard” seems to be the holiday weekend’s movie of choice. The Lions gate release with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson at the center is expected to earn $13.4 million from 3,370 locations over the four-day weekend. Its seemingly imminent win would make “Hitman’s Bodyguard” the only gag this summer to retain the top spot on the domestic box office charts for three consecutive weekends. “Dunkirk,” “Wonder Woman,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” each stayed first for two frames.
But while the action comedy is certainly profitable at this point, its threepeat is less due to the movie’s overwhelming popularity, and more attributable to the lack of alternatives. This — the first Labor Day weekend in recent history without a new wide release — is tracking to have the lowest four-day total for the holiday in nearly two decades. The 28 movies currently in release are tracking to bring in about $95.5 million, according to ComScore. Not since 1998 has the Labor Day domestic box office dropped below a $100 million four-day total. The last time there were no wide releases over Labor Day weekend was back in 1992.