‘Hitman’s Bodyguard’ tops weekend that Hollywood would rather forget

Samuel L Jackson "Darius Kincaid" and Ryan Reynolds as "Michael Bryce" in THE HITMAN'S BODYGUARD. (Photo: Lionsgate, Jack English)

Weekend Box Office for September 1 -3, 2017

(KUTV) Leading into August you could count on a blockbuster theatrical release every two weeks. Box office numbers were down from last year, but outside of a few notable flops it wasn’t the bleakest of summers.

August was ugly and the first weekend of September is equally painful to look at as “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” tops the weekend box office charts more out of default than anything else. Ironically, it is the first time this summer that any film has claimed the top spot three weeks in a row. The action comedy is expected to finish Sunday with $10.2 million and might reach $12 million if we add in Monday’s projections. That lift the film’s domestic total near $60 million. Not bad for a film that cost roughly $30 million to make. If only the rest of the summer's releases had been this successful we might not be looking at the lowest ticket sales in over two decades.

Annabelle: Creation” will land in second place, again, with $7.3 million for a domestic total of $88 million. “Annabelle” topped out at $84 million in 2014.

In third place is the excellent thriller “Wind River” with $5.8 million. The directorial debut of screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (“Hell or High Water”) stars Jeremy Renner as an animal tracker in Wyoming who comes across the frozen body of a young woman while working on a Native American reservation. The film has now earned $18 million against an $11 million budget.

In fourth place is the animated film “Leap!” with $4.8 million. The film has only made $14 million stateside, but a strong international showing has the film sitting at $94 million worldwide.

"Logan Lucky" rounds out the top five with $4.4 million. Steven Soderbergh's return to theaters has now earned $21 million against its $29 million budget.

So where did this summer go wrong? Following an impressive spring that saw both "Beauty and the Beast" and "Fate of the Furious" reach $1 billion worldwide it seemed that we were headed for a massive blockbuster season. But no other film has hit the $1 billion mark. "Despicable Me 3" is close with $993 million, but the biggest domestic hits, "Wonder Woman" and "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" stalled before they could reach $900 million worldwide. "Spider-Man: Homecoming" had great reviews but it managed only $740 million worldwide. That's only slightly better than "The Amazing Spider-Man 2's" $708 million worldwide total in 2014. So even the hits didn't bring in the numbers you'd expect. And the misses, which there were quite a few, managed to pull the rest of the box office down with them.

"The Big Sick" dominated the indie market and "Wind River" is doing well, but even the better reviewed titles like "Patti Cake$," "Stomp," "Ingrid Goes West," "Good Time" and "A Ghost Story" have struggled to find any sort of success.

Were there too many movies? Was the quality worse than it has been? Were the releases too close together? Maybe a little of all three.