Weekend Forecast: “Transporter Refueled” Running on Fumes Over Slow Labor Day Weekend

With whats likely to be one of the lowest grossing weekends of all time, two holdovers and one soft newcomer will take the top spots, though none of them are likely to gross over $10M. If that is true, it will be the first time that has happened since the same weekend in 2012. Before that, it was the same weekend in 2008. It’s a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy, it seems.

For some reason, The Transporter Refueled is accidentally being released in theaters over Labor Day weekend, and will likely end up with a very poor debut for a multitude of reasons. One, fan favorite Jason Statham isn’t returning. Now that’s a pretty damning sign right there, when Jason Statham says “no” to a film. Instead, Ed Skrein takes the role of the titular ‘Transporter’ as it were. Now, a new film in the Transporter series may have been a decent idea if it had a decent release date and if Jason Statham was returning. Obviously there was some hope in it, as the studio had originally slated it for June before chickening out and dumping it on Labor Day weekend. The original trilogy has a solid cult following, most of which came from DVD sales post theatrical release, but it’s been seven years since the last film, and it seems that audience has run totally dry at this point. It doesn’t seem likely that Transporter opens to much more than $5M. Granted, the budget is a soft $22M and it does have the advantage of IMAX and Large Format theaters almost entirely to itself, but that likely won’t be enough to save it.

First place will likely be a toss up between Straight Outta Compton and War Room, and it’s going to be a close match. Straight Outta Compton will probably fall around 50% again, and War Room is all up in the air right now.

Low budget comedy Dope is getting a re release this weekend, strangely enough. It wasn’t really a huge word of mouth hit and it didn’t gross much of anything in its original run, so this is fairly confusing. Dope will likely pull in well under a million this weekend.

Also opening is A Walk in the Woods, which is surpisingly getting a release in over 1,900 theaters. It opened on Wednesday to a poor $1.1M, or a per theater average of just $632. It probably won’t be able to end up with more than $5M or so over the weekend.

Predictions

  1. Straight Outta Compton – $7.5M
  2. War Room – $5.8M
  3. The Transporter Refueled – $5.1M
  4. A Walk in the Woods – $4.2M ($6M Five Day)

The Bottom Line

Given its recognizable brand and IMAX/Large Format release, The Transporter Refueled needs at least $15M this weekend to get a pass. A Walk in the Woods is fine if it can hit $8M or so over the five day start.

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