Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Weekend Box Office: The great summer wind-down begins

Illustration for article titled Weekend Box Office: The great summer wind-down begins

"I'm getting too old for this shit," moviegoers unanimously groaned, in their best Danny Glover voice, as they stared down the barrel of another popcorn-movie weekend. Not even the Lethal Weaponish allure of Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg teaming up to take down drug lords could make audiences forget that it's now August and they've been watching action moves for three months straight. 2 Guns topped the box-office, but not triumphantly; its $27 million intact is, by a substantial margin, the softest number-one opening of the season. Are people suffering from blockbuster fatigue or is everyone savvy enough by now to realize that Hollywood saves the crap of the crop for the last of the warm weeks? Either way, if ever one needed proof that movie stars don't automatically put butts in seats, this summer has provided it: Denzel and Marky Mark made less out the gate than Ethan Hawke and Lena Headley, which is to say nothing of Will Smith going toe-to-toe with Jesse Eisenberg and losing.


The good news, at least for those who believe in humanity and its future, is that The Smurfs 2 underperformed. Coming in third, behind both 2 Guns and last week's winner The Wolverine ($21 million), the kid-courting sequel not only failed to match the $35 million opening of its widely panned predecessor, but also claimed the worst start for any family film this summer—possibly, and we're just speculating here, because it's a sequel to The Smurfs. The silver lining for Sony, which spent a dismaying $105 million on this terribly reviewed thing, is that the little blue guys have a sizable global following; they scored $52.5 million overseas, which is probably enough to assure that Hank Azaria and Neil Patrick Harris will be disappointing their fans again come the summer of 2015. The real international hit of the weekend, though, was Guillermo del Toro's clash-of-the-titans jamboree. Pacific Rim, which disappointed in domestic release, has been destroying the worldwide box-office; it took $53 million this weekend, $45 of which came from China. The film opens next weekend in Japan, where its mixture of mechas and monsters should go over quite well. Do we smell a sequel, prequel, or origin-story spinoff chronicling Ron Pearlman's rise in the Hong Kong underworld?

In other heartening Warner Bros. news, The Conjuring continued to scare up new business, grossing $13 million to bring its three-week total to a fantastic $108 million. Expect horror fans to keep turning out until mid-September, when the year's other Jam Wan-directed haunted-house movie, Insidious Chapter 2, comes along. Elsewhere on the charts, Sundance alums provided profitable counter-programming: While both The Way, Way Back ($2.8 million on 1,001 screens) and Fruitvale Station ($2.7 million on 1, 086 screens) continued to grow, The Spectacular Now ($200,000 on 4 screens) opened strong. All might have done a little better still were it not for Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen's new drama, which climbed to $3 million in its second week. If projections prove accurate, it could come within striking distance of Allens previous high-grosser, the $56.8 million hit Midnight In Paris. Who better than the Woodman to ease us all out of event-movie season and into the chillier pleasures of autumn?

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.