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Hotchka's Box Office Report is back! We've shifted the report here to our sister site, but as new movies begin to be released and as theaters hopefully continue to re-open, we thought it was time to get back in the saddle after five-and-a-half months (our last Box Office Report was published way back on March 16!). Before we delve into the report, we'd like to state that Hotchka is not advocating everyone return to theaters hastily. There is still an ongoing pandemic in the US, and caution should be taken. You decide if and when you're ready to make that choice, and when you do please take all the precautions to keep yourself and those around you safe. Trust me, speaking from firsthand experience, it's no joke being sick for several weeks. If a movie is available to watch at home, consider that option. We feel for all of the local cinemas across the country, especially the smaller, independently owned ones, but you must place your own health and safety first.
With that being said, let's take a look a the top films for the last weekend in August.
Opening in the Number 1 spot on 2,412 screens after several delays that were only exacerbated by the pandemic, and concerns that the film would never hit the big screen, The New Mutants finally saw the light of day, earning just over $7 million which was at the lower end of studio expectations. But we're still in uncharted territory here, and as more theaters begin to re-open, the film could see an uptick. The real problem over the weekend was that the box office just did not sustain the promising Friday opening at $3.1 million, dropping 21% on Saturday and 41% on Sunday. It will be interesting to watch as the weeks progress. Internationally, the film earned $2.9 million, bringing the worldwide gross to $9.9 million.
Opening in third place was the hotly anticipated Bill & Ted Face the Music which opened on 1,007 screens, mostly drive-ins, and on Pay Video on Demand (PVOD) services such as FandangoNow, Vudu and iTunes. The theatrical gross was $1.12 million, and the film is sitting atop all of the streaming charts but no grosses are yet available. The film does not yet have an international release.
Coming in at Number 4 is The Personal History of David Copperfield with $475,800 on 1,360 screens. The film did see a 14% increase on Saturday but dropped 21% Sunday. The film has had an interesting history in foreign markets, opening at the end of January in the UK and playing until the weekend of March 13 before everything shut down. The film resumed its run the weekend of July 10 on 1 screen, but was out of the game again until the weekend of August 7 with five screens, the last weekend it played in the UK. The film has opened in New Zealand, Australia and the UAE throughout July, and its cumulative international gross stands at $9.91 million, giving it a worldwide total of $10.38 million.
Three weeks ago was when new wide releases really made a comeback with the Russell Crowe thriller Unhinged, which held the Number 1 spot for two weeks and slipped slightly this week, dropping 35%, landing at Number 2 with $2.6 million, giving it a domestic total of $8.84 million. The film's foreign totals have hit $8 million, giving it a global tally of $16.84 million.
In its second week, Words on Bathroom Walls saw 2% growth by adding 432 screens (1,356 total) but still slipped two spots to Number 5 with $441,166, which helped bring its domestic total to just over $1 million. Two other second week films saw mixed results. On 349 screens, down 40 from the opening weekend, Cut Throat City saw a 34% drop and moved down two spots to Number 7 with $161,245, bringing the domestic total to $507,436. At Number 10, Tulsa moves up three spots even with a 42% decrease and a loss of 32 screens (159 total) from its opening week, earning $45,809, giving it a domestic cumulative total of $159,092.
The coming weekend will see the US release of Christopher Nolan's Tenet, which rolled out in 41 international markets this weekend earning $53.6 million. The film opens September 3 in the US and Russia, and September 4 in China and six more international markets. All eyes will be on its US performance. Disney will also be rolling out Mulan theatrically next weekend to international markets and PVOD in the US and other countries where cinemas are not yet open, so it will be interesting to see how that gambit pays off.
What comes next is anyone's guess, but we'll be here to keep track of the situation.
Below are the Top Ten grosses for the weekend of August 28.
- [N] The New Mutants - $7,037,017 [NEW]
-  Unhinged - $2,603,382 [$8,841,582]
- [N] Bill & Ted Face the Music - $1,125,007 [NEW]
- [N] The Personal History of David Copperfield - $475,800 [NEW]
-  Words on Bathroom Walls - $441,166 [$1,071,411]
- [N] The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run - $424,544 [$2,969,145]
-  Cut Throat City - $161,245 [$507,436]
-  Peninsula - $92,177 [$741,479]
-  The Tax Collector - $69,181 [$942,666]
-  Tulsa - $45,809 [$159,092]
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