One Direction: This is Us plummeted 54 percent from Friday ($8.9 million) to Saturday ($4.0 million), but the boy band’s concert film still topped the three-day frame over Labor Day weekend with an estimated $17 million. Audiences, which were 87 percent female and 65 percent below the age of 17, rushed out to the theater on Friday (and awarded This Is Us an “A” CinemaScore), but the film’s intense frontloadedness could open a door for Lee Daniels’ The Butler to surpass it over the four day frame.
One Direction fared better than last year’s Katy Perry: Part of Me, which arrived with a whisper instead of a “Roar” on its opening weekend, grossing only $7.3 million. Yet 1D couldn’t outdo Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, which danced up $29 million in its opening frame. (This is guaranteed to anger some Directioners, though fans canbrag that This Is Us opened to $5.7 million in the U.K. — 187 percent above Never Say Never.) Sony spent just $10 million on the film, which has already become director Morgan Spurlock’s highest grossing feature ever — ahead of his fast food doc Supersize Me, which found $11.5 million total.
Meanwhile, The Butler scored another $14.7 million over the Friday-to-Sunday period, marking a drop of just 11 percent from last weekend. The $30 million Weinstein drama starring Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker reciprocated One Direction‘s 54 percent drop on Saturday by surging 54 percent to $5.6 million and topping the daily chart. Both films are now expected to earn between $19 and $21 million over the holiday frame, but The Butler doesn’t need the bragging rights. It’s already grossed $74 million, and it has a finish above $100 million clearly in sight.
In third place, We’re The Millers blew past the $100 million mark. The $37 million comedy starring Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston dipped only 3 percent to $12.6 million this weekend, giving the R-rated laugher a strong $109.6 million cume. Notably, another Warner Bros. film, Pacific Rim, also passed $100 million at the domestic box office this weekend, but the studio wasn’t so lucky with its latest release, Getaway, which crashed in its opening weekend in ninth place with an awful $4.5 million from 2,130 theaters. Polled crowds gave the film, which stars Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez, a weak “C+” CinemaScore.
Disney’s Planes held on in fourth place, dropping 10 percent to $7.8 million in its fourth weekend. The vehicular comedy, which was originally intended as a direct-to-DVD release, hasn’t broken any box office records, but it’s holding on very well due to a lack of family competition since its release in early August. Planes has now flown away with $70.8 million total against a $50 million budget.
The big story of the weekend was down in fifth place. Spanish-language family comedy Instructions Not Included sizzled with $7.5 million out of only 347 theaters, giving it a powerful $21,614 per theater average — over three times as high as One Direction’s $6,216 location average, the next best figure in the Top 20. A rep for Lionsgate says the film was awarded an “A+” CinemaScore.
Instructions Not Included stars Eugenio Derbez, who also wrote and directed the film. Derbez is a popular television actor and multimedia superstar in his native country of Mexico (to give you a sense of his stardom, his wedding to actress Alessandra Rosaldo was broadcast live on Televisa last year), and he’s been easing his way into the American market over the past few years. He voiced “Donkey” in the Latin American version of Shrek, appeared in Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill in 2011, and starred in Rob Schneider’s sitcom ¡Rob! in 2012. Lionsgate and Pantelion Films (a joint venture between Lionsgate and Televisa) plan to expand the film next weekend.
1. One Direction: This Is Us – $17 million 2. Lee Daniels’ The Butler – $14.7 million 3. We’re the Millers – $12.6 million 4. Planes – $7.8 million 5. Instructions Not Included – $7.5 million