Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Weekend Box Office: An abandoned America paces nervously

Illustration for article titled Weekend Box Office: An abandoned America paces nervously

While much of the movie industry absconded to the tropical paradise of Toronto, it left its audiences in the care of the automatic feeder, making for one of the slowest box office weekends of the past decade. And with no new nationwide releases to chew on—save for a Christian movie about an Elvis impersonator that we just nosed around confusedly—studio execs will return to find us swollen on summer blockbuster leftovers, and their furniture all scratched to hell from boredom.


Still, that neglect continues to be great news for Guardians Of The Galaxy, which remained in the top spot for the fourth straight week and entered some vaunted company in doing so, surpassing The Sixth Sense as the highest-grossing-ever August release, and landing it in the Top 10 of comic-book movies by edging out last year’s Man Of Steel. With openings in Japan and China still to come, its worldwide total now stands at $586 million—more than the first Iron Man. More importantly, Guardians has even earned gracious humility from Robert Downey Jr., which is accepted legal tender in some territories.

With the crowds steadfastly believing in smart-asses pretending to be space heroes, kidney stones pretending to be turtles, sick teenager movies pretending to be The Fault In Our Stars, and dudes pretending to be cops, there wasn’t much faith left over to drive consumers to The Identical. The film finds professional Elvis impersonator Blake Rayne playing a man who impersonates another guy who also looks and sounds like Elvis, all in an alternate movie reality where Elvis exists atop this strange hierarchy of doppelgangers. But of course, what it’s really about is Israel. Surprisingly, while it managed to bring in Ray Liotta, Seth Green, and Ashley Judd, possibly as community service, that mix of convoluted stories and preachiness somehow did not attract the church crowd, leaving The Identical in a distant eleventh place. All in all, a failure in its attempt to impersonate the year’s true faith-based movie stars like Heaven Is For Real and God’s Not Dead.

Though it might have benefited from a few stray, reading-averse church groups wandering in, Stuart Murdoch’s God Help The Girl saw its $6,400 per-screen average more than doubled by the $15,520 PSA of Last Days In Vietnam, despite both opening in just two theaters. It seems that, here at the end of a long slog of a summer movie campaign, on a weekend where we were more or less abandoned by our movie industry caretakers, audiences simply related less to a twee movie about fun and romance than they did a story about the fall of Saigon. When all those movie people finally get back from Toronto, they better bring us some kind of treat if they don’t want us shitting in their bed.

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.