Summer Sweat: Box Office Sinks to Historic August Slump

Empty cinema auditorium

Box office revenue this weekend is expected to hit a 15-year low — thanks to an August schedule devoid of any must-see films, theater closures in Texas in response to Hurricane Harvey, and Saturday’s much-hyped Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor pay-per-view fight.

So far, the animated film Leap! has hauled in an estimated $1.6 million in its Friday debut, Box Office Mojo notes, and is expected to finish the weekend with a disappointing $4.8 million to $5 million from 2,575 theaters.

The weekend opening numbers for the remaining slate are bleak, with Steve Gomer’s faith-based film, All Saints, and the modern kung fu flick, Birth of the Dragon, projected to take in $1.6 million from 846 theaters and about $3 million from 1,618 theaters, respectfully:

General atmosphere at “Birth Of A Dragon” TIFF premiere and after-party on September 13, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Sonia Recchia/Getty Images for Kylin Pictures)

Expected to take the number one spot is the Ryan Reynolds-Samuel L. Jackson-starring buddy cop action comedy Hitman’s Bodyguard. In its second week, the Lionsgate production is expected to take in $10 million this weekend. Coming in at a close second place is Annabelle: Creation, which took in $35 million in its opening weekend and is expected to post a respectable $8 million in its third week out:

Stephanie Sigman and Lulu Wilson star in Warner Bros.’ ‘Annabelle: Creation,’ the lone bright spot on the August calendar this summer. (Warner Bros.)

Heist comedy Logan Lucky and murder mystery movie Wind River are on a collision course for fourth place, with both films expected to finish the weekend with about $4 million.

Industry experts, however, will likely chalk up the end of August and its historic box office slump to a perfect storm of a high-profile pay-per-view fight, a massive hurricane slamming into the country’s second-most populous state, and a roster of largely underwhelming summer movies that failed to inspire moviegoers to fill theaters.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson.