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September 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Instructions Not Included, a Spanish-language comedy, came out of nowhere over the Labor Day weekend to surprise box office pundits by earning an estimated $10 million in just 347 theaters, landing at No. 5 over the three-day weekend. It was the most ever earned by the debut of a Spanish-language film. Its per-theater average of $28,818 far surpassed any other movie in release. By contrast, the No. 1 film, Lee Daniels’ The Butler wound up with about $20 million at 3,330 theaters, or an average of $6,009 per theater. One Direction: This Is Us, the film that most analysts thought would be the No. 1 film, did take the top spot over the regular three-day weekend, but as kids prepared to return to school on Monday, it dropped well behind The Butler, winding up with $18 million over the four-day holiday. Many holdovers showed a relatively imperceptible drop. The Butler dropped just 10.7 percent in its third week. In its fourth week, We’re the Millers blew past the $100-million mark to finish third with $15.3 million in ticket sales, a drop of just 3.4 percent, to bring its gross to $112.9 million. And Disney’s animated Planes slid only 9.6 percent to place fourth with $10.7 million. The Selena Gomez action flick Getaway was expected to bomb, but few thought that it would bomb as badly as it did. The film opened in tenth place with just $5.5 million. And although Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine dropped 104 theaters in its sixth week, receipts were actually up 1 percent to $5.3 million. The Labor Day weekend is expected to set a record for the holiday with a total of around $157 million, a fitting finish for the biggest summer in box office history, which is likely to tally about $4.4 billion.

The top ten films over the four-day Labor Day holiday, according to final figures compiled by Box Office Mojo (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):

1. Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Weinstein Co. $20,010,000, 3 Wks. ($79,275,106); 2. One Direction: This Is Us, Sony/Tristar, $18,000,000, (New); 3. We’re The Millers, Warner Bros., $15,930,000, 4 Wks. ($112,885,000); 4. Planes, Disney, $10,668,000, 4 Wks. ($73,756,000); 5. Instructions Not Included, Pantelion/Lionsgate, $10,000,000, (New); 6. Elysium, Sony/Tristar, $8,300,000, 4 Wks. ($80,400,000); 7. Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Sony/Screen Gems, $6,800,000, 2 Wks. ($24,254,000); 8. The World’s End, Focus, $6,089,275, 2 Wks. ($17,897,791); 9. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Fox, $6,050,000, 4 Wks. ($56,590,019); 10. Getaway, Warner Bros., $5,530,000, (New).