I am tired of saying what a slow weekend it has been in North America. So start assuming it without any prompting from me, at least for the month of September. No movie really sparkles, no movie causes a scream of excitement, nothing comes even remotely close to the intensity of the summer period. Why should September be discarded in such a fashion is a question for another day. There were two wide releases this weekend in North America (considering those that released across more than 1,000 theatres). They took spots 1 and 2 at the box-office finally displacing Guardians of the Galaxy to the third spot. While neither of them has done enough to join the $100 million plus club, they still have had a decent start.
No Good Deed opened with $24.5 million at the domestic box-office which is definitely above initial expectations and a good enough start for a movie made on just a $13 million budget. This movie is a thriller, centred around a cat-and-mouse chase between Taraji Henderson and Idris Elba, with the latter playing the bad guy. Both these actors have been successfully building their fanbase in recent years, and that surely has played a part in pulling the audience to the theatre. The fact that there is a lack of entertaining movies around would have benefited No Good Deed too. We have infact gone four weeks in a row without a new movie opening above $20 million in North America, ever since Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles somewhere in the middle of August. So a bit of thrill, a bit of mystery, a bit of stars in a film, that is what No Good Deed offered which was accepted by the audience.
The other release Dolphin Tale 2 opened with $16.6 million which is lower than the predecessor’s opening of $19.2 million in 2011. The production budget of this film is $36 million, quite similar to the previous one. When you consider that Dolphin Tale itself had made $95 million worldwide, which ain’t particularly a total to be ecstatic about, the lower opening for Dolphin Tale 2 will not particularly please the studio Warner Bros. Also, Dolphin Tale had very low drops in its initial weeks, which we’ll have to see if the sequel can replicate. So it ain’t a bad opening, it ain’t great either, and just like this month of September, it will be swallowed by the vastness of time without too much ecstasy nor heartache.
There was another release over the weekend, The Drop, that came out in only 809 theatres but still took a pretty strong $4.2 million earning; this movie is of course the final performance of actor James Gandolfini. And the other big news is on Guardians of the Galaxy which crossed the $300 million mark domestically and internationally too. The way things are going, soon this movie could well be the third biggest one of the Marvel cinematic universe in North America at least (after The Avengers and Iron Man 3). Who can say that it doesn’t deserve to be there!?
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):
1. No Good Deed ($24.5 million)
2. Dolphin Tale 2 ($16.6 million)
3. Guardians of the Galaxy ($8.0 million; seventh weekend)
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ($4.8 million; sixth weekend)
5. Let’s Be Cops ($4.3 million; fifth weekend)