“The Transporter Refueled” and “A Walk in the Woods” head into a sleepy Labor Day Weekend at the multiplexes, hoping to forage for a few remaining crumbs as the summer box office comes to a close.
Neither film is expected to dethrone “Straight Outta Compton.” The rap drama should top charts for the fourth consecutive weekend, picking up $10 million over the four-day holiday. It will be the first film to pull off that feat since “Furious 7” dominated the domestic marketplace last spring.
Not that the competition is particularly fierce. “The Transporter Refueled,” an attempt to reboot the European action series that made Jason Statham a star, is expected to bring in $9 million over the four-day period when it launches in approximately 3,400 theaters. That’s less than the $12 million that the third film in the series made over a three-day period and trails the $20.1 million part deux brought in during Labor Day in 2005. It would top the first film’s $9.1 million bow.
“The Transporter Refueled” swaps in newcomer Ed Skrein for Statham and cost $22 million to produce. It is distributed by EuropaCorp.
“A Walk in the Woods” is being fielded by Broad Green Pictures, a newly created indie label from brothers Gabriel Hammond and Daniel Hammond that recently pushed “Learning to Drive” into theaters. Featuring Robert Redford, Emma Thompson and Nick Nolte, this is a film pitched at the AARP set — not a bad target, given that older crowds have lifted “Grandma” and “I’ll See You in My Dreams.” It opens on Wednesday, looking to get a jump on the weekend, and should gross $9 million over its first six days and $7 million over the four-day weekend.
Broad Green picked up the picture out of the Sundance Film Festival and will release the film in over 1,870 locations. Reviews have been middling. The film currently holds a 55% “rotten” rating on critics aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
Among holdovers, Sony’s Affirm label will add roughly 200 theaters to the “War Room’s” current location count of 1,335. The faith-based drama defied projections last weekend by earning $11.3 million and should bring in $7 million in its follow-up weekend.
The domestic summer box office currently stands at $4.3 billion — a 7.5% bump from last year’s numbers and the third highest total in history behind the summers of 2013 and 2011. Overall, it was a solid season, with big hits like “Jurassic World” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” outnumbering flops such as “Tomorrowland.” However, August was unusually weak, falling more than 60% from last year’s numbers as films like “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and “Fantastic Four” failed to connect with audiences.