Hollywood was left cringing this weekend as the box office slumped harder than at any time since September 2001, with total takings down to a feeble $64 million – compared to $96 million and $116 million in the two weeks before.
That suggested the two highest-placed newcomers – animated kids’ flick Leap! and Bruce Lee biopic Birth of the Dragon – weren’t strong enough pulls, Box Office Mojo reported.
But the bigger problem was likely the one-two punch of the Mayweather/McGregor fight in Las Vegas and the continuing onslaught of Hurricane Harvey.
They meant even top-grossing film The Hitman’s Bodyguard only took in $10 million – compared to the $21.3 million it made in the same position last weekend.
Hit hard: Conor McGregor took a beating from Floyd Mayweathr Jr on Saturday night – and as millions tuned in, Hollywood box office took a beating of its own
Hit harder: In cinemas, The Hitman’s Bodyguard (pictured) retained its top position for the second week running – but made just $10 million compared to $21.3 million last week
The $64 million total box office take – spread over 53 films, including re-releases of Terminator 2 and ultra-low-budget fare – is abysmal.
The top 12 combined made $49 million – the lowest amount for those rankings since late September 21-23, 2001, when the box office pulled in $43.5 million.
This is also the first August in 20 years not to break the $50 million barrier.
The promise of seeing Floyd Mayweather Jr, arguably the best boxer of his generation, take on MMA upstart Conor McGregor in the ring likely contributed to that.
The countless house parties and car events around the US attracting young male fistfight fans will have sapped cinemas of their audiences.
That would have been bad news for microbudget kung fu flick Birth of the Dragon. Not that thefilm with its lack of big name stars – was ever likely to take over box office. It made $2.5 million this weekend, hitting eighth place.
And Leap! – a French animated film about a girl who steals another person’s identity so she can learn ballet – likely suffered from a hard-to-sell concept.
Taking a flying leap: French kids’ film Leap! failed to rise above its poor reviews, taking $5m at third place. In total, the box office made less this weekend that any other since Sept 2001
Massive closures: That will have been caused not just by the boxing match, but by the fact that many cinemas were closed across Texas ahead of Hurricane Harvey (damage pictured)
Well, that and an underwhelming critical response: it’s received an aggregate score of just 37 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.
It came in at third place, making $5 million. Two weeks ago The Nut Job 2 took that spot, having opened in cinemas that weekend to $8.3 million.
But neither would have been helped by Hurricane Harvey, which has brought coastal Texas to a standstill, and saw theater closures as far inland as Houston on Friday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
With weak new fodder, Samuel L Jackson and Ryan Reynolds’ action-comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard enjoyed its second week in the top spot, pulling in an estimated $10 million.
However, that figure could drop down to somewhere in the $9 million range when final figures are released.
Kung phooey: Fictionalized Bruce Lee biopic Birth of the Dragon (pictured) was a newcomer alongside leap, but took in just $2.5m at eighth place
Wonder women: The paucity of big hitters saw Wonder Woman (left) shooting up to 12th spot from 16. Meanwhile, spooky sequel Annabelle: Creation (right) made $7.3m in second place
Horror movie Annabelle: Creation brought in $7.3 million, keeping the second place slot in its third week.
Jeremy Renner-starring Native American murder-mystery Wind River came in at fourth place with $4.4 million, up from tenth position last week after doubling its cinemas to 2,095.
And Logan Lucky, a NASCAR heist flick by Ocean’s Eleven director Steven Soderbergh, came in fifth place with $4.3 million.
Perhaps given the paucity of other offerings, Wonder Woman had a resurgence, climbing from 16th place to 12 and making $1.6 million in the process.
The film became the highest-grossing superhero origin movie ever made last week, likely sparking its second wind.
THE BOX OFFICE TOP 10
- The Hitman’s Bodyguard (w/end $10m; budget $30m; total $39.6m)
- Annabelle: Creation (w/end $7.3m; budget $15m; total $77.8m)
- Leap! (w/end $5m; budget N/A; total $5m)
- Wind River (w/end $4.4m; budget $11; total $9.8m)
- Logan Lucky (w/end $4.3m; budget $29m; total $15m)
- Dunkirk (w/end $3.9m; budget $100m; total $172.5m)
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (w/end $2.7m; budget $175m; total $318.8m)
- Birth of the Dragon (w/end $2.5m; budget N/A; total $2.5m)
- The Emoji Movie (w/end $2.3m; budget $50m; total $76.4m)
- Girls Trip (w/end $2.2m; budget $19m; total $22.4m)