Continuing my assumption that nobody reads these intros, let me rather say that I finally got around to start watching Stranger Things or, as I have started to call it, Stephen King’s Poltergeist. Winona Ryder’s entire story arch so far is a bold homage to Poltergeist – I suspect they even lifted some lines directly from the 1982 movie. That’s awesome.
Anyway, the charts. Box Office Mojo’s tracking is back on, so we can indulge in the numbers. Three new movies arrived on the chart, none of whom managed to destabilize the top. Yeah, not a lot of people cared enough to go watch the new $#&^. Sorry Marilyn.
- 1. THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (incl 3D) (LW: 1)
- 2. MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (incl 3D & 4DX) (LW: 2)
- 3. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (LW: 3)
- 4. MASTERMINDS (NE)
- 5. DEEPWATER HORIZON (Incl Imax & 4DX) (LW: 4)
- 6. MAGNIFICENT 7 (incl Imax) (LW: 5)
- 7. BRIDGET JONES’S BABY (LW: 6)
- 8. DON’T BREATHE (NE)
- 9. QUEEN OF KATWE (NE)
- 10. SY KLINK SOOS LENTE (LW: 7)
1. THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS
Weekend gross: R 2.1 million
Percentage change: -56.5%
Total gross: R 19.7 million
How do you know audiences don’t feel there is anything new to watch? When your top movie drops over 50 percent and still retains the number one spot.
2. MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
Weekend gross: R 1.7 million
Percentage change: -43.9%
Total gross: R 5.6 million
Tim Burton’s latest movie is still drawing audiences, but it’s clearly not a big fish. See what I did there? Woosh! Anyway, that total gross is far below what the blockbusters have been pulling so far this year.
3. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN
Weekend gross: R 1.1 million
Percentage change: -24.8%
Total gross: R 3.3 million
Maybe we can credit a slow week on the charts, but this thriller is doing far better than expected. Normally thrillers targeted at adults who desire more than CG overload and plots written by 10 year olds don’t even crack the top 5, let alone retain a top 3 position for two weeks running.
Weekend gross: R 800,000
Percentage change: n/a
Total gross: R 800,000
Despite ripping off the marketing from Horrible Bosses, this ensemble caper comedy is not attracting audiences. Local moviegoers clearly feel the same. Don’t let that 4th place debut fool you: earning less than a million on its opening weekend is a bad sign.
5. DEEPWATER HORIZON
Weekend gross: R 680,000
Percentage change: -40.7%
Total gross: R 5.4 million
After taking a bit of a kick in the teeth when it debuted, the disaster movie Deepwater Horizon seems to have found a bit of soil beneath its feet. Not enough to make it one of the year’s hits, but enough to not change the conversation every time the chart comes up.
6. MAGNIFICENT 7
Weekend gross: R 552,000
Percentage change: -38.5%
Total gross: R 6.6 million
I honestly thought this would be doing better. Yes, it is tracking more or less as well as The Equalizer, Denzel Washington and Antoine Faqua’s previous collaboration. But this cost nearly double that and has been more of a flop than a success.
7. BRIDGET JONES’S BABY
Weekend gross: R 454,000
Percentage change: -45.9%
Total gross: R 9 million
It’s not been a bad run for Bridget Jones’ third outing (and THAT is the correct use of an apostrophe for a word ending on an ‘s’), but like the franchise she is running out of steam.
8. DON’T BREATHE
Weekend gross: R 418,000
Percentage change: n/a
Total gross: R 418,000
This is just me, but I suspect local distributors cut serious corners around marketing when they think they have a hit on their hands. This movie set the US box office on fire, yet here it arrives like an afterthought. What happened? If you ask me, I think distributors are resting on their laurels. The result is a very bad debut for what should have been a bigger hit. Even so-so horrors like Lights Out did better than this.
9. QUEEN OF KATWE
Weekend gross: R 293,000
Percentage change: n/a
Total gross: R 293,000
Let’s be honest: biopics like this mainly exist for awards and critical acclaim. Consequently everyone loves this and nobody goes to see it. It’s unlikely to be around next week.
10. SY KLINK SOOS LENTE
Weekend gross: R 271,000
Percentage change: -40.4%
Total gross: R 2 million
This local comedy comes to a quiet end. It started slow, then picked up traction. But it’s now at the precipice and with R2 million total isn’t exactly a runaway hit for a South African movie.
It’s a clean sweep of last week’s bottom 3, all of which can retire knowing they kicked ass. Mechanic: Resurrection did very well for the unlikely sequel to a watered-down remake, Bad Moms is not doubt already got a sequel in the works and Suicide Squad put geek press, fan reviewers and self-entitled social media wonks in their place. Yes, it’s not a billion dollar club success, but it outpaced X-Men Apocalypse and nearly matched Deadpool‘s earnings.