One of the regular criticisms lobbed against Tim Burton is that his style has calcified into a brand: He’s less an auteur, the argument goes, than a Hot Topic huckster, churning out product for dyed-in-the-wool Nightmare Before Christmas fanatics. That may be bad for his art, but it’s undeniably good for business. To wit: While $28.5 million isn’t a record-breaking debut for a guy who’s made movies featuring Batman, the Mad Hatter, and Willy Wonka, it’s still pretty solid for a film with a title as unwieldy as Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.
Granted, the director’s latest flying of freak flags is based on a bestselling YA novel, which may account for some of the cash it amassed. But without any major stars anchoring the project (Eva Green isn’t quite an A-lister, for some reason), it has to be assumed that the Burton name and/or the unmistakable Burton touch is what helped Peregrine’s win the weekend. If nothing else, consider it a victory for artsy Goth kids over the macho jocks that oppress them—the latter group represented, on this final weekend of September, by a movie about Mark Wahlberg saving the day on an exploding oil rig. Deepwater Horizon, the workmanlike Peter Berg disaster movie Marky Mark headlines, landed in second place with $20.6 million. That’s not a Lone Survivor-level hit, but maybe the director and star are saving their energy for their next collaboration, December’s Patriot’s Day, in which Wahlberg saves the day during the Boston marathon terrorist attacks.
Otherwise, it was a pretty quiet weekend at the movies. Delayed for more than a year thanks to distributor Relativity’s bankruptcy woes, Masterminds bumbled into a very modest $6.6 million opening—not a heist for the history books. That wasn’t quite enough to break the top five, which was rounded out by The Magnificent Seven ($15.7 million), Storks ($8.4 million), and Clint Eastwood’s latest hit, Sully ($8.4 million). Speaking of a successful directorial brand…
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.