September is always a slow month at the movies since it’s one of the “dump” months, when kids are back in school, the summer weather is winding down, it’s not quite time for horror movies and Oscar season, and studios are free to let loose with all the movies that were too bad, too weird, or too in need of a contractually obligated theatrical showing to show during any other time of the year. This weekend proved that in full force, when the top 12 movies made a combined $51.9 million, the lowest-earning weekend in two years. It didn’t help that the only major release was The Identical, a weird Christian alternate universe rock-n-roll movie that most people outside of churches didn’t even know existed. But even the Christian backing couldn’t save it from the weekend slowness, as the movie opened at number 11 with $1.91 million. There was also an IMAX rerelease of Forrest Gump, which showcased that even old movies couldn’t catch a break this weekend, as it made $405,000 and a pretty pitiful $1200 per-theater average (with IMAX tickets ranging anywhere from $20-25, that’s about 4-5 people per showing for the entire weekend).
The old releases are pretty much all hanging onto their usual spots with the new releases looking so dire. For the fourth weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy was at number 1 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was at number 2, bringing their respective overall grosses to $294.5 million and $174.6 million. If I Stay was still in third, bringing its total to $39 million on an $11 million budget, a nice bit of counterprogramming. Let’s Be Cops is up to $66 million against a $17 million budget, suggesting audiences starved for comedy and unaware of what’s been going on in St. Louis the past few weeks. And The November Man is up to $17 million, which probably won’t make it a hit but might keep it hanging on long enough to break even, assuming there’s nothing else coming out this month.
Next week brings No Good Deed, Dolphin Tale 2 and The Drop, so…. who’s ready for October?