With the exception of one ultra-buzzy political documentary, this weekend at the box office is shaping up to be an unremarkable one.
The Expendables 2 maintained the top spot on Friday, shooting up $3.9 million worth of tickets, which should lead to a $12 million weekend — a 58 percent decline from last week, when it topped the chart. By Sunday, the action film will have about $51 million total.
Last weekend’s second and third place films will maintain their rankings as well. On Friday, The Bourne Legacy grossed $2.7 million, which may lead to a $9 million frame, and ParaNorman found $2.3 million, putting it on pace for an $8.2 million weekend.
In fourth, the conservative doc 2016: Obama’s America expanded from 169 to 1,091 theaters and grossed a hefty $2.3 million as a result. The independently produced and distributed documentary scored a higher gross than the three studio-distributed titles that entered theaters this weekend. Not only did 2016‘s national ad campaign kick off in earnest this week, it has recently enjoyed a groundswell of curiosity and is riding a wave of Republican National Convention publicity. The film is no Fahrenheit 911 just yet — that film earned $119.2 million — but its takeoff at the box office is notable.
2016 may earn about $7 million over the three day frame, which would give it almost $10 million total. That’s enough to make the film the second-highest grossing documentary (behind Disney’s Chimpanzee) this year, surpassing Bully‘s $3.5 million cume, as well as the highest grossing conservative documentary of all time — passing Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which grossed $7.7 million in 2008. To be clear, its performance isn’t shocking, despite the numerous headlines suggesting it is — just look at the film’s trajectory over the past few weeks.
Another political film (with much more lighthearted sensibilities), The Campaign, rounded out the Top 5 with $2.2 million. Warner Bros.’ Will Ferrell/Zack Galifinakis comedy may also gross $7 million over the Friday-to-Sunday period.
1. The Expendables 2 – $3.9 million
2. The Bourne Legacy – $2.7 million
3. ParaNorman – $2.3 million
4. 2016: Obama’s America – $2.3 million
5. The Campaign – $2.2 million
Meanwhile, all three newcomers were relative non-factors at the box office. Bike messenger thriller Premium Rush rode away with just $2 million from 2,225 theaters. Hit & Run started off even worse with $1.4 million from 2,870 theaters. And The Apparition kicked off its run with $1.2 million, thought it was only playing in 810 theaters. The ghostly tale will actually finish the weekend with one of the best per theater averages in the Top 20.
Check back tomorrow for the full box office report, and follow me on Twitter for more analysis and up-to-the-minute box office updates.