NEW YORK (AP) – Hollywood effectively took the weekend off, resulting in one of the most dismal box-office results in 16 years.
An already slow August came to a screeching halt at the multiplex, where no major new releases were unveiled. That left the Samuel Jackson-Ryan Reynolds action-comedy “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” to top all films for the second week with an estimated $10.1 million in ticket sales.
But the entire slate of films grossed only about $65 million in North America and the top 12 films generated just $49.6 million. There have been similarly slow weekends in recent years, including early September in 2014 and in 2016. But not since September 2001 have the numbers been quite so dreadful.
Mid-August through early September is historically the sleepiest time of the year for the movie business, but it’s been especially so this year. This August is down a whopping 35 percent from last year, according to comScore. Next week is expected to be just as bad: No new wide releases are scheduled for Labor Day weekend.
One of the few bright spots on the weekend was the expansion of the Weinstein Co.’s “Wind River,” Taylor Sheridan’s thriller set on an Indian Reservation in Wyoming. The Jeremy Renner-led film expanded to 2,095 theaters and earned $4.1 million in its fourth weekend.