Americans once again flocked to the story of a proud yet oppressed people’s struggle against discrimination this weekend, as One Direction: This Is Us topped the two-day weekend box office with its inspiring tale of a boy band who overcame being rejected on The X Factor to become super cute, like oh my God. The film, in which investigative documentarian Morgan Spurlock fearlessly exposes how the members of One Direction are also super nice, opened in first place with $15.8 million—impressive, yet a considerably smaller haul than similar films from the likes of Justin Bieber, whose fandom’s recent, fragile accord with One Directioners is no doubt being shattered today with gloating over how much more money one group of teenagers gave to a movie studio. Also potentially adding a melancholy tone to One Direction fans’ sustained shrieking: If you count the Labor Day holiday, Lee Daniels' The Butler actually wins the weekend. No doubt this has already provoked hundreds of all-caps tweets threatening to stab the White House in the face.
In news of actual underdogs, Eugenio Derbez’s Instructions Not Included landed at fifth place, despite premiering in a mere 347 theaters, making it the biggest-ever debut for a Spanish-language film. Its success speaks not only to the popularity of star and co-writer Derbez in Mexico, where he’s been a TV star for some 20 years, but also to the universal appeal of movies about single guys who are into being single and having sex, then they get stuck with a kid and realize they can’t have sex all the time, but it’s okay because kids are adorable. Truly, it’s a story that knows no cultural barrier.
Surprisingly, Getaway—the equally universal tale of a guy who’s forced to smash up a bunch of cars while riding around with a young, sexy hacker—failed to make a similar impact on the box office, despite early buzz on the Internet that it was definitely a movie real people were excited about. Its ninth-place debut suggests it will soon be racing out of theaters faster than Ethan Hawke in the pulse-quickening roller coaster of a movie you’re not going to see, just behind the legal thriller Closed Circuit ($3 million in 870 theaters) and Brian DePalma’s Passion, in which even the promise of Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace making out proved not to be worth much more than $40,000. Fortunately, these brave, determined underdogs can also take comfort in knowing they’re super cute.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.