SUNDAY AM: It wasn’t just my imagination — this turned out to be the slowest box office weekend of the entire year, and the worst weekend in 5 years. The overall weekend was expected to generate around $66 million in box-office when all the final figures are tallied on Monday, according to Media By Numbers. The last time a weekend was lower was the post-Labor Day weekend in 2003 (start date of 9/5/03) when the overall weekend generated $66.7 million. Of course, the bad weather in big parts of the country had to be a factor, too. But even with no competition since it was the only new wide release, Nicolas Cage in Lionsgate’s predictable hit man action pic Bangkok Dangerous still couldn’t attract an audience. It barely opened in 2,650 theaters for just a $7.8 million weekend — much less than the tracking showed, or about what his film Next debuted to in 2007. Clearly the only reason anyone wants to see Cage is if he’s starring in a Marvel comic book movie like Ghost Rider (and Sony is making the sequel, Ghost Rider 2) or Disney’s National Treasure franchise. Other than those, he hasn’t starred in a movie that’s made money since, like, forever. Really, Cage needs to take a long, hard look at his career since constantly appearing in bad pics like this is a price quote killer. (And he needs to pay his taxes, too.)
DreamWork/Paramount’s moviemaking spoof Tropic Thunder took 2nd place with $7.5 million from 3,446 venues and finished the weekend with a new cume of $96.8M. Sony’s Playboy-meets-college comedy The House Bunny was No. 3 Friday with $5.9 million from 2,736 dates and new cume of $36.9 million. In the 4th spot was Warner Bros’ mega-blockbuster The Dark Knight which eked out another $5.7 million from 2,575 plays a new cume of $512.1M. And in 5th place for the second week (-31%) is Overture’s Traitor starring Don Cheadle which made $4.6 million from 2,066 runs for a new cume of $17.6 million.