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The North American box office bounced back to life thanks to a pair of new releases from Sony which drove the marketplace to the best September frame in history. The animated comedy Hotel Transylvania overperformed and checked into the number one spot while the studio's release of the sci-fi action pic Looper gave the it the runner-up spot too with over $64M in combined ticket sales leading the Top 20 to a potent $115M, a new high for what is normally the slowest month of the year. Especially noteworthy is that the weekend was driven by original films as none of the top six movies were sequels or based on well-known brands.
This weekend two new releases were in a dead heat for the number one spot while a third was very close behind making the race for the box office crown too close to call based on Sunday estimates. Final grosses to be reported on Monday will determine chart positions, but overall the North American box office remained dull once again posting double-digit declines from the same frame in recent years.
This weekend, two new 3D films from well-known brands led a box office rebound after last week's atrocious performance as the action sequel Resident Evil: Retribution opened at number one followed by the re-release of Finding Nemo 3D which settled for the runner-up spot. But despite the arrival of a pair of very different new films, the overall marketplace remained in the doldrums suffering double digit losses compared to the same frame from the last few years. Opening well in the top spot, Sony's Resident Evil: Retribution took the box office crown with an estimated $21.1M from 3,012 locations for a good $7,005 average, helped by higher prices from 3D and IMAX screens.
Tumbleweeds blew through North American multiplexes as the marketplace collapsed to its worst level in at least four years thanks to the end of the summer movie season and no new compelling films opening. Last week's top two films The Possession and Lawless held onto their positions, the new Bradley Cooper film The Words debuted poorly in third, and most holdovers enjoyed relatively low declines. Still, the top ten failed to break $50M and the Top 20 barely inched over the $60M mark making for an ocean of empty seats.
The summer of super heroes came to a close with a pair of new releases taking the top two spots at the North American box office over the four-day Labor Day holiday frame while comic book hits continued their global domination passing new milestones. The horror pic The Possession debuted at number one, the period crime drama Lawless bowed in second place and holdovers filled up the rest of the top ten with mostly small declines thanks to Monday being a holiday. Overall ticket sales were on par with what the industry has seen recently over this summer-ending frame.
This weekend, the end-of-summer blues kicked in as the North American box office slumped to its worst performance of the year. Three new films failed to make any significant dent into the marketplace while the political documentary 2016 Obama's America enjoyed a strong national expansion jumping into the top ten. Sylvester Stallone's action sequel The Expendables 2 topped the charts for the second straight weekend as holdovers took up the top six chart positions.
This weekend, a pair of new franchise films could not stop Bane and Batman from ruling the North American box office for a third straight time as The Dark Knight Rises continued to reign supreme, once again taking the gold medal position. The big-budget sci-fi remake Total Recall took home the silver while the bronze went to the kidpic Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. Neither of the new releases showed major muscle and the overall Top 20 slumped 27% from last year's levels as overall moviegoing continued to be affected by a lack of exciting titles and the ongoing drama of the London Olympics.
The summer of super heroes continued with the top spot debut of The Amazing Spider-Man which captured the number one spot over its extended holiday opening in North America. Sony's 3D reboot of the lucrative movie franchise grossed an estimated $65M over the Friday-to-Sunday frame and an exceptional $140M over the six days since its Tuesday launch. It was the fifth best extended opening over the Independence Day holiday trailing Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($180.7M in 6.5 days in 2011), Spider-Man 2 ($180.1M in 6 days in 2004), The Twilight Saga: Eclipse ($176.4M in 6 days in 2010), and Transformers ($155.4M in 6.5 days in 2007). Comparisons are not entirely fair since films debut in different ways with the actual 4th of July holiday falling on a different day each year.
A pair of new R-rated films dominated the North American box office sending ticket sales soaring to a new record for the biggest June weekend in history. The comedy Ted and the drama Magic Mike both overperformed and connected with their target audiences while Tyler Perry's latest effort Madea's Witness Protection delivered his usual potent numbers. Overall, it was the third best weekend of 2012 as success came from a handful of original movies and not from one big franchise juggernaut opening. The marketplace is now in great shape entering what will be a gigantic July.
This weekend, princess power ruled the North American box office as Disney and Pixar's Brave opened at number one setting a new record for the biggest debut ever for an animated film centered around a female character. The weekend's other new releases were not met with as much enthusiasm as the stylish action thriller Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter premiered in third place with moderate numbers while Steve Carell's Seeking A Friend for the End of the World was dead on arrival in tenth place. The overall marketplace was down again from a year ago when Pixar also reigned supreme. Moms, daughters, and others lined up for Brave.
This weekend, in a situation eerily similar to one in June of 2010, an animated threequel in its second weekend held off the openings of films from box office heavyweights Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler. Except this year, it was much, much worse.
The North American summer box office jolted back to life after a three-week slump thanks to a pair of powerful new 3D flicks - the animated sequel Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and the sci-fi chiller Prometheus - which kicked in over $110M in combined ticket sales. The overall marketplace surged 30% over last year's which was a healthy gain after recent weeks saw box office numbers trail last summer's.
Universal scored a big box office victory with the better-than-expected opening of its expensive fairy tale adventure Snow White and the Huntsman which captured the number one spot driven by strong fan demand. The PG-13 film grossed an estimated $56.3M from 3,773 theaters for a muscular $14,910 average and delivered the best opening weekend of the summer for any non-Avengers film. In fact, the sword-wielding princess even beat out the $54.6M debut of last weekend's Men in Black 3 which got a boost from 3D surcharges, a holiday opening, and nearly 500 more theaters. It's also grossed more in three days than studio stablemate Battleship has made in three weeks.
Will Smith made his long-awaited return to multiplexes and seized the number one spot at the North American box office with his new sci-fi sequel Men in Black 3 which booted The Avengers down to second place in its fourth weekend. But fewer people came out to greet the 3D alien comedy compared to the two previous installments prompting the top ten to fall by a troubling 31% from last year's four-day Memorial Day holiday session.
Dominating the box office for a third weekend in a row and turning all competitors into casualties of war, The Avengers held on firmly to the number one spot breaking more records in the process. Audiences were not very excited about the new releases as the big-budget action tentpole Battleship suffered a poor opening in second place, the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy The Dictator failed to match the raunchy funnyman's past performances, and the all-star pregnancy comedy What to Expect When You're Expecting debuted in fifth with weak results. It was the first time in fourteen years that the normally-busy weekend before the Memorial Day holiday frame failed to deliver any $35M+ openings causing the top ten to fall below both last year's and 2010's levels.