If you thought Labor Day weekend was slow at the box office, the weekend after Labor Day might as well be moving backwards.
“Historically, the post-Labor Day weekend is one of the slowest of the year,” says Rentrak’s Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “The studios really have been stepping up and living up to that idea of the 52-week release calendar, but on this particular weekend it seems all bets are off.”
The Identical, a faith-based musical melodrama movie about a preacher’s son who grows up to be a rock star, is the only new wide release and Guardians of the Galaxy will surely reclaim the No. 1 spot. It’s very possible that The Identical, which stars Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd, won’t even break the top five.
“This is the no man’s land between the end of the summer season and the start of Oscar season and the big holiday movie season. It’s this transitional period,” Dergarabedian says. “Hollywood is unapologetic about it. It’s a time when people can catch up on movies, check out Guardians of the Galaxy or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or some of the other films that are out there. It’s like the day after the big party. It’s kind of slow.”
Even though the just-closed summer season was one of the worst in a decade and the overall year is still down, Dergarabedian notes that this slump is at least one that everyone plans for. “Just like the entire box office year, it ebbs and flows. This is just one of those weekends that are always expected to be slow. It’s nothing to be alarmed about, the sky is not falling, it’s just post-Labor Day weekend and we have to live through it,” he says.
And, with that said, here’s how things might play out.