September ended with a photo finish at the box office. For quite a while, it was not clear which movie would come out on top in a three-way heat between IT, AMERICAN MADE, and KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE.
When the dust settled, the wildly successful Stephen King adaptation reclaimed the number one spot with $17.3 million. Second place went to the Tom Cruise action comedy AMERICAN MADE, which grossed $17,016,000, just enough to best KINGSMAN, which did exactly $17 million.
The frame’s other newcomer, Sony’s very long in coming follow-up to 1990’s FLATLINERS (which boasts the exact same title), well, flatlined with a limp $6.7 million. Critics also did not respond well, giving the movie a 3% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That, combined with only moderate audience response at screenings, pretty much guarantees this will not make it to the recovery room.
The LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE continues to be a disappointment for Warner Bros., declining 41% and bringing in another $12 million.
The 1970s comedy drama BATTLE OF THE SEXES added an additional 1200 screens and $3.4 million to its total. Critics have largely liked the picture, which should play well into the fall and represents a win for Fox Searchlight.
Also on the specialty front, Focus expanded VICTORIA AND ABDUL, netting solid results that suggest it will also continue to be a draw for a number of weeks.
After a very weak August, the domestic box office has rebounded considerably, thanks in no small part to IT. Warner Bros. is hoping for another winner this weekend with the much-anticipated BLADE RUNNER 2049. Critical response thus far has been extremely positive, but it remains to be seen how audiences will react to the heady, reportedly slow-paced film which clocks in at a challenging 164 minutes, almost 50 minutes longer than its 1982 predecessor.