Weekend Box Office Aug 2017: Moviegoing Slows to a Standstill Amid Historic August Slump
With the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight and Hurricane Harvey hurting moviegoing, holdovers “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” and “Annabelle: Creation” are leading a disastrous weekend at the U.S. box office.
In fact, the Friday to Sunday frame in shaping up to be the worst of the year. According to early Friday estimates, both titles should finish in the $7 million to $8 million range — by far the lowest gross for a weekend winner this year — with “Hitman’s Bodyguard” the more likely winner.
The previous low mark was set during Super Bowl weekend on Feb. 3 to Feb. 5, when the third frame of “Split” led with $14.4 million.
Texas theaters are closing as the hurricane approaches, but one studio exec said the overall impact on the nation’s moviegoing business will be “minimal.” The Category 3 storm has already closed theaters in Corpus Christi, Texas City, Victoria, Lake Jackson, and Bay City.
….The weekend will cap what’s been a catastrophic summer for the movie business. As of Aug. 23, the summer domestic box office was down 13.4% to $3.63 billion, lowering the year-to-date total by 5.4% to $7.38 billion. This month is running 34% behind August of last year.
The previous weekend, when “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” led with $21.4 million, was the lowest of 2017 with $96 million in total business.
12:53 PM PDT 8/25/2017 by Pamela McClintock
Hurricane Harvey will impact theaters in Texas, while Saturday night’s Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight is expected to be a big draw on pay-per-view.
Mother Nature certainly isn’t helping the dramatic downturn at the August box office, where revenue is running more than 70 percent behind August 2016.
Hurricane Harvey, which is bearing down on the Gulf Coast, is already prompting theater closures in Corpus Christi and other coastal locales, while many movie houses in Houston began closing Friday evening.
Even without the storm, none of the weekend’s new offerings were expected to earn more than $5 million, and that’s proving to be the case, based on early Friday returns.
…Box-office experts say an even bigger threat to moviegoing than Hurricane Harvey is Saturday’s FloydMayweather-Conor McGregor fight, which is being carried on pay-per-view. It will also be beamed into roughly 500 theaters via Fathom and Mayweather Productions.