By Phil Contrino
After a record-setting summer that brought with it the extreme success of films such as The Dark Knight, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Iron Man, the overall box office has just experienced one of its worst weekends in a long time.
Final box office figures for the weekend of September 5 to September 7 are expected to come in at $66 million and the last time numbers were that low was during the weekend of 9/5/03, when the David Spade comedy Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star finished in first place with $6.6 million.
Of course, a slump in the month of September is nothing new since studios have usually exhausted their best films in the months preceding it. Still, this September is not without strong prospects.
Next weekend, two star-studded vehicles will make their debut. Both Righteous Kill and Burn After Reading should post solid box office numbers as they lead 2008 into what looks to be a very promising fall season.
Opening later in September, Eagle Eye will test Shia LaBeouf's drawing power outside of an established franchise and Nights in Rodanthe, which stars Richard Gere and Diane Lane, should be able to entice older audiences who may have felt alienated by younger-skewing summer fare.
In short, there's no need to panic.