The No. 1 film was still
But the real story at the box office this weekend was "2016: Obama's America," a documentary from conservative author Dinesh D'Souza that far exceeded industry expectations. The movie grossed $6.2 million — just a tad less than the bike-riding action flick
Heading into the weekend, pre-release audience surveys suggested "Obama's America" would gross about $4 million -- but by mid-day Friday, ticket sales were so brisk that estimates were lifted to $6 million. The movie, which is being released by the independent distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures, debuted seven weeks ago in Houston and had raked in $2.4 million as it expanded from 169 theaters to 1,091 locations this weekend.
In the past weeks, the film has quietly been promoted on talk radio,
"Premium Rush" received largely favorable critical reviews, and those who saw it this weekend assigned it an average grade of B, according to market research firm CinemaScore. However, word of mouth will need to be strong in the coming weeks to make the film a hit, especially considering
The film, which stars
"Hit & Run" opened Wednesday in an attempt to spread positive buzz about the film, but those who saw the movie during its first days in theaters gave it only a C+ CinemaScore. In its first five days of release, the picture has sold $5.9 million worth of tickets -- a disappointing sum even though Open Road Pictures acquired the $1.3 million production. The distributor, owned by theater chains
"The Apparition," which stars
As Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.' executive vice president of domestic distribution put it: "It's those last days of summer where everyone takes what's been hanging around in their closet out and tries to make it as profitable as they possibly can."
[Updated, 11:32 a.m. Aug. 26: In limited release, a film from comedian Mike Birbiglia and "This American Life" host
Here are the top 10 movies at the domestic box office, according to studio estimates and Hollywood.com:
1. "The Expendables 2" (Lionsgate/Millennium): $13.5 million on its second weekend, down 53%. Domestic total: $52.3 million.
(Disney): $7.1 million on its second weekend, down 34%. Domestic total: $27.1 million.
7. "Premium Rush" (
8. "2016: Obama's America" (Rocky Mountain Pictures): Opened with $6.2 million. Domestic total, including limited release ticket sales: $9.1 million.
10. "Hit & Run" (Open Road): Opened with $4.7 million. Domestic total since debut on Wednesday: $5.9 million.