×

Box Office: ‘Hitman’s Bodyguard’ Leads Slowest Labor Day Weekend in About Two Decades

UPDATED 9/4: A disastrous domestic summer box office is ending on a low note.

Without any fresh competition in wide release, “Hitman’s Bodyguard” appears the be the holiday weekend’s movie of choice. The Lionsgate release with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson at the center should earn $13.4 million from 3,370 locations over the four-day weekend. Its seemingly imminent win would make “Hitman’s Bodyguard” the only flick this summer to retain the top spot on the domestic box office charts for three consecutive weekends. “Dunkirk,” “Wonder Woman,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” each stayed first for two frames.

But while the action comedy is certainly profitable at this point, its threepeat is less due to the movie’s overwhelming popularity, and more attributable to the lack of alternatives. This — the first Labor Day weekend in recent history without a new wide release — is tracking to have the lowest four-day total for the holiday in nearly two decades. The 28 movies currently in release are tracking to bring in about $95.5 million, according to ComScore. Not since 1998 has the Labor Day domestic box office dropped below a $100 million four-day total. The last time there were no wide releases over Labor Day weekend was in 1992.

Of the weekend’s medium-sized launches, Sony’s re-release of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” is faring best. The 40th anniversary theatrical event is set to take in $2.3 million for the four-day holiday weekend from 901 locations. Meanwhile, TWC’s long-delayed release “Tulip Fever” is not finding its audience. The historical drama starring Alicia Vikander is expected to earn $1.4 million from 765 locations.

A unique collaboration between Marvel Television and ABC Studios brought “Marvel’s Inhumans” to 393 Imax screens in North America, where it is expected to earn $1.5 million. And Pantellion’s “Do It Like an Hombre” is looking at about $1.4 million for the four days at 382 locations.

Otherwise, “Annabelle: Creation” should remain in the two slot for Warner Bros. The horror sequel has an estimated three-day tally of $7.3 million from 3,358 locations, and is tracking for $9.3 million with the extended holiday.

While “Tulip Fever” might fail to crack the weekend’s top 20, TWC has the third and fourth highest-grossing movies of the weekend. “Wind River” is expecting an $8 million four-day total from 2,602 spots. The animated adventure “Leap!” should follow close behind with $6.6 million from 2,705 locations. “Logan Lucky” should round out the top five with a reported $4.4 million three-day and estimated $5.6 million for the entire holiday.

The summer box office, which ends after this coming Monday, is still on track to end with less than $4 billion in North America for the first time since 2006. Major flops including “King Arthur” and “Valerian,” as well as several big-budget sequels that underperformed should serve as a wake up call to studios that are used to splashy features with familiar faces equalling ticket sales.

While this Labor Day weekend is especially low for overall grosses, the frame has not historically been an especially huge source of revenue — August and September are traditionally thought of as a dumping ground for the industry between summer blockbusters and awards season contenders. Last year, for example, “Don’t Breathe” led the pack during its second weekend with just under $20 million. The year prior, “War Room” landed in first with $13.4 million.

Still, the month of August has been especially slow for the industry, especially with nothing to match last year’s record-breaking “Suicide Squad.” So the film business looks ahead to next weekend when “It” is expected to enter the scene with a bold statement, and potentially reignite what is a marketplace in a dire state.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Betty Gilpin'Stuber' film premiere, Arrivals, Regal

    'GLOW' Star Betty Gilpin in Talks to Join Chris Pratt in 'Ghost Draft' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fresh off her Emmy nomination for Netflix’s “GLOW,” Betty Gilpin has found her next project. The actress is in talks to join Chris Pratt in “Ghost Drama,” a sci-fi action film from Skydance and Paramount. Gilpin would join a cast that also includes “Handmaid’s Tale” star Yvonne Strahovski. Directed by “Lego Batman” filmmaker Chris McKay [...]

  • Stephan Komandarev on Sarajevo Player ‘Rounds’

    Director Stephan Komandarev on Sarajevo Player ‘Rounds’ and His Bulgarian Trilogy

    Bulgarian director Stephan Komandarev earned critical acclaim for his 2017 feature “Directions,” which was selected for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard sidebar. The first installment in a planned trilogy about the social inequality and moral ills plaguing both Bulgaria and Europe at large, the film followed six cab drivers over the course of 24 hours as [...]

  • Meryl Streep Best Movie Lines

    HBO Max Lands Steven Soderbergh's Next Film Starring Meryl Streep

    HBO Max has picked up Steven Soderbergh’s next film, the comedy “Let Them All Talk” starring Meryl Streep. Joining Streep in the ensemble cast are Candice Bergen, Dianne Wiest, Lucas Hedges and Gemma Chan. The screenplay was written by short story author and MacArthur Fellow recipient Deborah Eisenberg. It’s the story of a celebrated author [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen FYSEE Opening Night with

    Bruce Springsteen Drops Introspective Trailer for 'Western Stars' Film

    While initial reports about Bruce Springsteen’s forthcoming documentary around his recent “Western Stars” album said that it would essentially be a concert film, the first trailer for it, which dropped today, suggests it’s going to be a more introspective outing, more in line with his autobiographical performances at “Springsteen on Broadway” in 2017 and 2018, [...]

  • Phyllis Nagy

    Writers Guild Presidential Candidate Phyllis Nagy Blasts Strategy on Agencies

    Phyllis Nagy, who is challenging Writers Guild of America West’s president David Goodman, has warned of dire consequences from the current stalemate between the WGA and Hollywood agents. Nagy, who announced her candidacy on July 22 as the head of Writers for Negotiation, is running on a platform that the WGA needs to get back to [...]

  • Chris Pine to Play Nixon Attorney

    Chris Pine to Play Nixon Lawyer John Dean in Amazon Studios Feature Pitch (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amazon Studios has nabbed a feature pitch with “Wonder Woman” star Chris Pine attached to play John Dean, a pivotal figure in the Watergate scandal. The film will follow the life and political saga of Dean, who served as White House counsel for President Richard Nixon from July 1970 through April 1973. Amazon bought the [...]

  • 'Bombay Rose,' Venice Premiere, Debuts Trailer

    'Bombay Rose,' Venice Film Festival Premiere, Debuts Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for animated film “Bombay Rose,” which will have its world premiere opening Venice Critics’ Week on Aug. 28. The film, written and directed by Gitanjali Rao, will also play in the Contemporary World Cinema strand at the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 7. “Bombay Rose” is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content