erik lundegaard

Box Office: Faith-Based Elvis Parable, 'The Identical,' Checks Into Heartbreak Hotel

How do we know we’re stuck in the box-office dregs of early September? Because the top movies of the weekend are not only not openers, they’re not even second-weekenders.

Here are the top four movies, along with how many weeks they’ve been released:

Rank Movie Weekend Gross  Wk #
1 Guardians of the Galaxy $10,160,000 6
2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) $6,500,000 5
3 If I Stay $5,750,000 3
4 Let's Be Cops $5,400,000 4

When was the last time the top four movies didn’t include a release from the previous two weeks?

Here’s a hint. It’s the first time it’s happened in 2014.

It didn’t happen last September, either. Or even last year.

No, the last time the top four movies weren’t from the previous two weeks was December 7-9, 2012, when, after offering us movies like “Killing Them Softly” and “Playing for Keeps” in early December, we went to see the November holdovers:

Rank Movie Weekend Gross Wk #
1 Skyfall $10,780,201 5
2 Rise of the Guardians $10,400,618 3
3 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 $9,156,265 4
4 Lincoln $8,916,813 5

That’s what happened here, too. Among September releases, “The November Man” with Pierce Brosnan did best, finishing in fifth place with $5.4 million, while “As Above/So Below” finished sixth with $3.7 million.

The weekend’s sole new release, “The Identical,” a faith-based take on Elvis-like twins that got trashed by the critics (4% on RT), was returned to sender (or was lonesome tonight, or got stuck in the ghetto, or ...), finishing in 11th place with $1.9 million in 1,956 theaters.

How bad is that? It’s the lowest gross of the year for a movie opening in more than 1,500 theaters. By far:

Rank Movie Studio Total Gross Opening Gross Thtrs
1 The Identical Free $1,911,000 $1,911,000 1,956
2 Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return CE $8,462,027 $3,747,780 2,658
3 The Quiet Ones LGF $8,509,867 $3,880,053 2,027
4 Vampire Academy Wein. $7,791,979 $3,921,742 2,676
5 Moms' Night Out TriS $10,429,707 $4,311,083 1,044
6 And So It Goes CE $14,932,905 $4,642,329 1,762
7 Bears BV $17,780,194 $4,776,267 1,720
8 Labor Day Par. $13,371,528 $5,175,282 2,584
9 Sabotage (2014) ORF $10,508,518 $5,272,444 2,486
10 Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For W/Dim. $12,906,000 $6,317,683 2,894

You have to go back to “The Fifth Estate” last year to find a movie that opened in more than 1,500 theaters and grossed less opening weekend: $1.6 million. And even it opened in fewer theaters than “The Identical” (1,769).

So what’s the rationale for Freestyle Releasing (the group behind “God’s Not Dead”) choosing 1,956 theaters for “The Identical”? Because of 1956? The year Elvis broke? Cute, but probably not a good strategy. I don’t want to be cruel, but lawdy, Miss Clawdy.

The Identical bombs at box office

For some reason, Cabbage-Patch Elvis didn't click with moviegoers. 

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Posted at 09:45 AM on Sun. Sep 07, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office  

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