As August and therefore the summer movie season winds down, September has come with much more serious fare for moviegoers. The last month at movie theaters has been a veritable hodgepodge of films, ranging from the sci-fi spectacle of "Elysium" to the uproarious hijinks of Simon Pegg and crew in "The World's End." During this rare time of year, there is pretty much a movie for almost any taste to be found in theaters, so the list of the top box office hits is pretty diverse.
The top earner of the past month is easily "We're the Millers," (watch hilarious trailer) a comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and former "Saturday Night Live" alum Jason Sudeikis. It opened at number two for its opening-weekend earnings, tallying an impressive $26,419,396 on a modest $37 million budget. The film has excellent dialogue and was a nice escape from the robots and superheroes that marked many summer movies, so it actually kept doing well at the box office, even after its opening weekend. As of September 18, it has amassed a whopping$133,054,142, which is quite a bit more than the next top earner. It is still showing at many first-run movie theater screens across the country, so that total is sure to rise in the future. It also took in$69,700,000 overseas, which puts it over the $200 million mark, proving that Aniston is a draw in many countries, not just the US.
The film stars Sudeikis as a man who owes a drug dealer (Ed Helms) a big favor. He agrees to repay the favor by traveling to Mexico to pick up a rather large shipment of pot. To evade the suspicions of border patrol agents when trying to cross back into the United States, he poses as a family man, enlisting his neighbor, played by Aniston, to pose as his wife. Lots of things go wrong for him, forcing him to decide between repaying his debt to the dealer, and doing the right thing for the first time in his life.
In second place over the last month is "The Butler," starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. It opened to the tune of $24,637,312 over its first weekend, which is a very healthy intake. To date, it has amassed $101,636,802 in ticket sales, with an additional $3 million coming in foreign receipts. Much as with "We're the Millers," this film is still in several theaters, so the tally may change quite a bit before all is said and done. The film stars Whitaker as a butler who works under eight different presidential administrations over a span of thirty years, which covers everything from the civil rights movement to overseas wars.
Both "We're the Millers" and "The Butler" opened in August, but over the last month, one September film opened that may give both those films a run for their money once the final box office receipts are counted. That film is "Insidious: Chapter 2," the sequel to the 2011 sleeper hit "Insidious." It opened on Friday the 13th, which is really a perfect day for a horror movie to be released. Over its opening weekend, the chilling movie earned $40,272,103 to snare the number one spot. It has also earned an additional $4 million in foreign box office tickets, but it hasn't yet been released in all countries. That opening weekend tally is higher than both of the top grossers over the last month, but the film is in third place behind "We're the Millers" and "The Butler" because it has only been open for one week. If it keeps up the torrid pace it has set over the past seven days, it is a safe bet that it will eclipse the other two films fairly quickly.
The film stars Australian actress Rose Byrne as the put-upon and desperate wife of Josh (Patrick Wilson), a man who may or may not be possessed by a demon. It is full of thrills, which is no surprise considering it was written and directed by the same team who made the original "Saw." It is also a perfect transition film from the loud, explosive films of summer to the darker, tenser films of the fall season.
Several new films will be released by the end of September, giving all three of these films competition, which could further throw these rankings into chaos. Those films include the Hugh Jackman drama "Prisoners," and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2," which many predict will become the biggest earner for all September.