The great summer comedown continued this weekend, as audiences nursed their blockbuster hangovers by largely avoiding the multiplex and staying home to watch America's Next Ninja Warrior instead. Three new releases were casualties of these nationwide cleansing efforts, designed to flush the body of four months of popcorn, Pepsi, and CGI things fighting other CGI things. The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones proved all too mortal, taking $9.3 million over the weekend (or $14 million, when its Wednesday opening is factored in) to land at #3. Unless the next book in the series is actually a Twilight crossover, expect it be one-and-done for this prospective YA franchise—though folks thought the same about Percy Jackson, who someone tricked the studio gods into granting him an unearned sequel. Next down the list is Edgar Wright's The World's End, which opened not with a bang but a whimper. (To be fair, the film's $8.9 million gross is slightly more than what the other films in the Cornetto trilogy debuted to and only slightly less than what Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World made out the gate.) Most surprisingly, the indie scare flick You're Next, which many predicted would win the weekend, slashed out just $7 million to land in 7th place. Perhaps horror-friendly audiences are still suffering from nightmares induced by that clapping-ghost shit in The Conjuring.
With all the newcomers failing to make an impact, the weekend went instead to a couple of well-performing examples of August counter-programming. Buoyed by Oprah's endorsement (and involvement) Lee Daniels' The Butler took the top spot for a second weekend in a row. The Civil Rights drama, which made another $17 million, is doing well enough to spur Oscar talk. (Will the supporting actor race be a three-way battle of the bad impersonations, with Robin Williams, John Cusack, and Alan Rickman duking it out for the gold?) Meanwhile, We're The Millers continued to prove that comedies have staying power. The Jason Sudeikis road picture added another $13.5 to its total tally, which has now reached a somewhat surprising $91 million. Believe it or not, it's going to turn out to be the big hit of August—though the month's real success story is probably Blue Jasmine, which just achieved the widest release of Woody Allen's career (1,283 screens) and has made around $14 million in six weeks. Apparently the perfect anecdote to the blockbuster hangover is Cate Blanchett doing her best Blanche DuBois.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.