‘War Room’ Takes First at Box Office on Holiday Weekend

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“War Room,” Sony Corp.’s faith-based movie, led the domestic box office over the Labor Day holiday weekend in its second week in the theaters.

“War Room” brought in $9.35 million in the U.S. and Canada, Rentrak Corp. said Sunday in an e-mailed statement. Two new releases, Robert Redford’s big-screen return in “A Walk in the Woods” and “The Transporter Refueled,” opened in third and fifth place.

The Labor Day weekend marked an end to the important summer season, which typically produces about 40 percent of annual box-office sales. Heading into the weekend, summer sales were up almost 7 percent from a year earlier in the U.S., while shy of the 2013 record, according to BoxOffice.com.

“PG-rated movies that reflect the values of the faith-based audience are few and far between, but when they are released they do very, very well,” said Paul Dergarabedian, Rentrak’s senior media analyst. “Sony picked a terrific release date because it’s a much less competitive timeframe as we are winding down the summer season.”

“War Room,” showing in 391 locations more than its first weekend, brought its total sales in North America to $24.7 million after just 10 days in release.

After leading for three consecutive weeks, “Straight Outta Compton” took in $8.85 million to fall into second place.

Appalachian Trail

“A Walk in the Woods” produced $8.25 million. In the film, Redford plays renowned travel writer Bill Bryson as he treks the Appalachian Trail. His peace is broken by companion Stephen Katz, played by Nick Nolte. The comedy has the two clashing over their definitions of adventure. Emma Thompson also appears.

The movie secured about 48 percent positive reviews, according to aggregator Rottentomatoes.com.

In fifth place,“The Transporter Refueled,” from EuropaCorp, Ed Skrein plays Frank Martin, a retired mercenary who has become a transporter for hire. A father-son bonding weekend in the south of France takes a turn for the worse when a group of feisty females involve him in a bank heist. The movie generated $7.13 million.

Just 17 percent of reviews were favorable, according to Rottentomatoes. The film is a reboot of the Luc Besson film and TV series. BoxOffice.com was forecasting four-day sales of $8.8 million.

The Mexican animated movie “Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos,” distributed by Pantelion Films and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., generated $3.4 million to place eighth for the weekend. It had the highest per-screen average among the top 10.

Year-to-Year

Weekend sales for the top 10 films surged 24 percent to $59.5 million from a year earlier, when Labor Day was a week earlier. Revenue was down 28 percent when comparing the holiday weekends. Sales for the year to date have increased 5.4 percent to $7.7 billion, Rentrak said.

At the current pace, 2015 is on track to exceed $11 billion total sales in North America, breaking the previous record of $10.9 billion, Dergarabedian said. Worldwide sales may top $40 billion for the first time, he said.

The following table has U.S. movie box-office figures provided by studios to Rentrak. The amounts are based on actual ticket sales for Sept. 4 and Sept. 5, with estimates for Sunday.

                     Rev.    Pct.             Avg./   Total
 Movie              (mln)    Chg. Theaters  Theater   (mln)  Wks
================================================================
1 War Room           9.4    -18    1,526    6,127     24.7    2
2 Straight Outta     8.8    -33    3,097    2,857    147.8    4
3 Walk In The Woods  8.3     --    1,960    4,209     10.3    1
4 Rogue Nation       7.2    -12    2,849    2,510    180.4    6
5 Transporter        7.1     --    3,434    2,076      7.1    1
6 No Escape          5.4    -33    3,415    1,594     18.4    2
7 U.N.C.L.E.         3.4    -22    2,102    1,639     39.4    4
8 Gallo con Muchos   3.4     --      395    8,608      3.4    1
9 Sinister 2         3.4    -28    2,651    1,274     23.7    3
10 Inside Out        3.1    133    2,967    1,060    348.2   12

Top 10 Films Grosses

This Week Year Ago Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $59.5 $48.1 23.8

Year-to-date Revenue

2015 2014 YTD YTD Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $7,706 $7,309 5.4 Source: Rentrak Corp.
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