With filmgoers busy at barbecues, Labor Day weekend box office is often slow. But in the past few years, Focus has taken advantage of the meager frame by releasing low-risk thrillers that sometimes overperform. This year’s entry is Eric Bana starrer “Closed Circuit,” opening Wednesday, its third Labor Day weekend international thriller in the last four years.
“Closed Circuit” — which Focus touts as coming from the same producers behind “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” a profitable venture, according to the distrib — could gross $4 million-$5 million in six days. That’s a generous estimate, according to some observers, and pales in comparison to Focus’ past Labor Day thrillers, led by 2010’s “The American,” which earned $19.8 million in its first six days.
But Focus is keeping “Closed Circuit” concentrated to metropolitan areas, launching the film at only 862 locations. By comparison, “The American” bowed wide at more than 2,800 theaters.
Other than “The American,” which went on to make $35.6 million, Focus released “The Debt” in 2011, when it made $31.2 million, and “The Constant Gardener” in 2005, with $33.6 million domestically.
“Closed Circuit” stars Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall as ex-lovers, who fight to expose the truth behind a high-profile terrorism case in London. Focus co-produced the pic with Working Title.
The film has received mixed reviews from critics. And while the pic has generated more positive buzz on social media, its number of tweets, for instance, trails greatly the number of mentions for Friday openers, actioner “Getaway” and concert pic “One Direction: This is Us,” the latter of which should gross $20 million-plus through Labor Day.
It’s unlikely that Focus will expand “Closed Circuit” beyond its theater count this weekend, though the distrib did add roughly 100-plus theaters earlier this week.