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Weekend Report: 'Expendables' Repeats on Awful Late-August Weekend

by Ray Subers
The Expendables 2
 

 
August 26, 2012

The Expendables 2 repeated in first place on what was easily the lowest-grossing weekend of 2012 so far: the Top 12 added up to $83.8 million, or 12 percent less than the previous low (Feb. 3-5). While the end of August is generally a slow time for movie-going, it was exacerbated this year by a middling set of holdovers and an even worse group of new releases (Premium Rush, Hit and Run and The Apparition) that couldn't even break $7 million. One interesting area, at least, was the performance of 2016 Obama's America, which is already the highest-grossing conservative documentary ever.

The Expendables 2 fell 53 percent to $13.4 million this weekend. That drop is slightly steeper than that of the first Expendables (51 percent), and its $52.2 million 10-day total noticeably trails that movie's $65.4 million.

Holding on to second place, The Bourne Legacy dropped 45 percent to $9.34 million. Through 17 days, the spin-off/reboot has earned $85.5 million, and at this rate has zero chance of matching previous series low The Bourne Identity's $121.7 million total.

In its second weekend, ParaNorman eased 39 percent to $8.64 million. That's a nice hold, even if it isn't quite as strong as Coraline (12 percent dip). The stop-motion animation flick's total reached $28.3 million.

Will Ferrell-Zach Galifianakis political comedy The Campaign dipped 43 percent to $7.47 million in its third outing for a total of $64.6 million (on the low-end for Ferrell movies at this point). The Dark Knight Rises rounded out the Top Five with $7.2 million, which is off 34 percent from last weekend. The conclusion to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy has now made $422.3 million at the domestic box office, which is good for 11th on the all-time chart.

To put an exclamation point on just how bad this weekend's new crop was, last weekend's mild disappointment The Odd Life of Timothy Green actually finished ahead of all of those movies with $7.1 million. Through 12 days in theaters, the fantasy movie has earned $27.1 million.

After a very successful run in limited release, 2016 Obama's America expanded to 1,091 locations and earned $6.5 million this weekend. This is one of the best weekends ever for a political documentary, and only falls behind the first few frames for Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 (which this movie is clearly mimicking in its pre-election release pattern). 2016 has now earned $9.35 million, which makes it the highest-grossing conservative documentary ever ahead of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed ($7.7 million). It also already ranks sixth all-time among political docs behind four Michael Moore movies and Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, and it could pass a few of these movies if it's able to maintain this momentum after this week's Republican National Convention.

Premium Rush was tops among the newcomers with a terrible $6.03 million. It's hard to find too many comparisons (bike messenger thrillers aren't exactly common), but none of them are flattering anyway: for example, January dud Man on a Ledge was also a mid-budget New York-set thriller with a recognizable but untested cast, and it debuted to just over $8 million. Distributor Sony Pictures reported that the audience was 55 percent male and 67 percent were 25 years of age and older, and they gave the movie a middling "B" CinemaScore (that at least improved to "A-" among the under-18 crowd).

Hit and Run grossed $4.53 million from 2,870 locations this weekend, which brings its five-day total to a meager $5.72 million. That's the worst opening yet for Open Road Films, a distribution outlet co-owned by movie theater chains AMC and Regal. With an awful "C+" CinemaScore, the theatrical prospects for this low-budget action comedy aren't likely to improve much.

Then again, CinemaScore isn't always such a good indicator of long-term appeal: despite earning a very strong "A" CinemaScore from audiences last weekend, music drama Sparkle plummeted 66 percent to just under $4 million this weekend. The movie has now grossed a paltry $18.7 million, and has little chance of even reaching $30 million before concluding its run.

In 12th place, supernatural horror movie The Apparition earned a pathetic $2.84 million from 810 locations. With the unusually-low theater count and a practically non-existent marketing effort, it's clear Warner Bros. was trying to bury this movie, and they appear to have succeeded.

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo, and follow author Ray Subers at @raysubers.

This Weekend in Past Years:
2011 - No Downgrade for Hurricane 'Help'

2010 - 'Expendables' Battle On, 'Vampires,' 'Piranha' Settle for Scraps
2009 - 'Inglourious Basterds' Scalps the Box Office
2007 - 'Superbad' Stays on Top
2006 - 'Invincible' Tackles Top Spot

2005 - 'Virgin,' 'Grimm' Top Glumm Weekend

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