One Direction made history when Up All Night debuted at #1 last year. Now, the first British group to have their first album debut at the top of the Billboard charts has their sights set on #1 somewhere else: the box office.
Fresh off their Best Song of the Summer win for “Best Song Ever” at last weekend’s Video Music Awards, the boys from 1D have debuted “One Direction: This is Us” in North American theaters. The film blends backstage moments and concert footage, captured by “Supersize Me!” documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock and produced by Simon Cowell, who put 1D together.
Sixty-eight percent of Fandango’s ticket sales were for “This Is Us” on Thursday, with 98 percent of those going to females. Industry analysts are predicting a four-day weekend in the neighborhood of $22 million for the 3-D flick, less than the $31.1 million three-day opening for Miley Cyrus’ 2008 3-D concert movie, “Best of Both Worlds.” It should also trail behind concert films from the late Michael Jackson and 2011′s “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.”
However that $22 million (ish) should be enough to swipe the #1 spot, unless two-time champion “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” edges out Niall, Zayn, Liam, Louis and Harry. The historical drama debuted at #1 and held onto the top spot during its second weekend, fending off the likes of horror flick “You’re Next” and franchise wannabe “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.”
If “The Butler” had the $15.1 million four-day weekend projected by BoxOfficeMojo.com and the Los Angeles Times, it should be smooth sailing for 1D. However, Entertainment Weekly put “The Butler” at $20.1 million, which would be a much closer race.
It’s unlikely that either of the weekend’s other two new releases will break the top five, leaving those spots for holdovers “We’re the Millers,” “Planes” and “The World’s End.” Thanks to one film critic from Canada, “Getaway” — starring Selena Gomez and Ethan Hawke — saw its zero percent Rotten Tomatoes score jump to 2 percent on Thursday. The film isn’t expected to collect more than $6 million.
Having already opened on Wednesday, “Closed Circuit” is playing in just 870 theaters (“Getaway” will be in 2,130) and should make about $3 million over the holiday weekend.
Though Labor Day traditionally marks the official end of the summer box-office season, “Fast & Furious” kingpin Vin Diesel will return as his “Pitch Black” character in the eponymous-titled “Riddick,” which opens September 6. The rest of that weekend will be reserved for headier fare like “Salinger” (with Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and “Adore” (with Naomi Watts and Robin Wright).