One Direction scored a #1 debut on the charts last year and nearly pulled off the same move in movie theaters over the weekend.
"One Direction: This Is Us" actually sold more tickets than any other film between Friday and Sunday, although it ultimately lost the top spot by just $2 million. "Lee Daniels' The Butler" was #1 for the third time once all of the receipts were counted across the four-day weekend. "This Is Us" opened on Thursday night and collected an estimated $18 million through Labor Day, while "The Butler" grabbed another $20 million for a $79.3 million total.
"Getaway" and "Closed Circuit" both flopped while the Spanish-language "Instructions Not Included" did better than expected.
The box-office haul of "This Is Us" was certainly still a victory for Niall, Zayn, Liam, Louis and Harry. While the Directioners who flocked to see the 3-D documentary (65 percent of whom were under 17 and 85 percent of whom were female) didn't outnumber the Beliebers who gave "Never Say Never" a nearly $30 million debut, "This Is Us" managed to beat the recent documentaries from Katy Perry and the Jonas Brothers. Considering the fact that audiences who saw "This Is Us" gave it a CinemaScore of "A" and that it contributed to the biggest overall Labor Day weekend gross in history, it's safe to say Sony Pictures' TriStar brand was happy with the fruits of "Super Size Me" director Morgan Spurlock's labor — especially given that $10 million budget.
"We're the Millers" came in third with $14.9 million across the four-day weekend, putting the new comedy from "Horrible Bosses" co-stars Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston at $112.9 million.
Disney's "Cars" spinoff "Planes" was #4 with $10.6 million in its fourth week for a domestic total of $73.6 million.
"Instructions Not Included" managed to crack the top five with a $10 million debut despite playing at less than 350 locations; by comparison, "The Butler" was in 3330. The Los Angeles Times called it a "sweet, funny and poignant comedy."
One of the worst-reviewed films of the year, "Getaway," was in over 2100 theaters and made a lousy $5.5 million. "Closed Circuit" has made $3 million since opening on Wednesday in 870 theaters. The mystery/thriller (starring Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall) was "rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes, but at 43 percent on the Tomatometer, it still did better than the 2 percent of "Getaway."
This weekend will see the release of "Riddick," Vin Diesel's third turn as the character that launched his career. The star-studded documentary about reclusive "Catcher in the Rye" author J.D. Salinger, called simply "Salinger," will also arrive in theaters.