(Bloomberg) -- The North American box office posted its worst weekend in three years as competition from the Mayweather-McGregor boxing match added to a dismal summer for Hollywood and theater owners.
This will be the first Friday-Sunday period to earn less than $70 million since Sept. 5, 2014, researcher ComScore Inc. said Sunday in an email. “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” the Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. action-comedy starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, topped sales with an estimated $10.1 million in the U.S. and Canada.
Weighing on the box office was Floyd Mayweather’s boxing victory over Conor McGregor Saturday night.
“It drew people away from the movies,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst at ComScore. The match was shown in 481 theaters and generated $2.4 million in ticket sales, but the movie industry doesn’t benefit from that, he said.
The low weekend box office will seal this August as one of the weakest on record. Through Sunday, the month was down about 36 percent from a year earlier. And with no new big releases on tap, the coming Labor Day weekend doesn’t look to offer much relief from a summer that’s proved a disappointment for the film industry, with North American revenue slumping more than 13 percent through last Sunday, according to ComScore.
“It’s been a brutal month,” Dergarabedian said.
Of three films opening in wide release, Weinstein Co.’s “Leap!” was the only one to make the top five, placing third with revenue of $5.02 million. The movie features Elle Fanning in an animated comedy as the voice of the orphan girl Felicie, who dreams of becoming a ballerina. She leave her rural home for Paris, where she bluffs her way into the Grand Opera house.
The movie had already generated $58 million internationally before its domestic release and was forecast by BoxOfficeMojo to earn $5.2 million this weekend. It scored 37 percent positive reviews at RottenTomatoes.com.
The martial arts feature “Birth of the Dragon,” released through the Blumhouse label BH Tilt, placed eighth with $2.5 million. BH Tilt and a unit of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. acquired the movie after its premiere at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival.
The picture is an homage to the movie that made Bruce Lee famous, with a modern day twist that sets the fighting in San Francisco in the 1960s. Philip Ng plays an up-and-coming Lee, who battles his Kung Fu master Wong Jack Man. Just 14 percent of critics liked the movie, according to RottenTomatoes.
Sony Corp.’s faith-based drama “All Saints” failed to make the top ten, generating sales of $1.6 million. It had been forecast by Hollywood Stock Exchange to generate $3.8 million after opening in fewer than 1,000 locations. Featuring John Corbett as Michael Spurlock, a salesman turned pastor, the movie is based on a true story of a fight to keep the doors of tiny church open.