LOS ANGELES: Boy mega band One Direction’s new film is set to top this holiday weekend’s North America box office, in the latest British invasion, an expert said Friday.
“One Direction: This is Us,” which has also just opened in Britain and much of Europe, will likely depose Oscar-tipped civil rights epic “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” in the number one spot over the three-day Labor Day weekend.
The movie, by Oscar-nominated director Morgan Spurlock, made $2.7 million on opening Thursday evening alone, preliminary figures show.
“The British Invasion seems to be upon us again. And by us, of course, I mean gaggles of tween girls,” said Jeff Bock, analyst at box officer tracker Exhibitor Relations.
He did point out that the Labor Day weekend, the last of the summer season, is traditionally one of the slowest periods of the year at the box office.
Spurlock was nominated for an Academy Award in the best documentary category of the Oscars in 2005, for his film “Super Size Me,” in which he explored the consequences of eating nothing but McDonald’s food for a month.
The One Direction film shows the group in concert at London’s O2 Arena, along with fly-on-the-wall footage of life inside one of the world’s most famous bands.
The band — Irish-born Niall Horan, 19, Zayn Malik, 20, Liam Payne, 19, Harry Styles, 19, and Louis Tomlinson, 21 — have topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, becoming the first British act to top the Billboard chart with their debut album.
“Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” a celluloid depiction of the US civil rights battle as seen by an African-American who served in the White House, has topped the North America box office for the last two weeks.
Starring Forest Whitaker and US talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, it is already being spoken of as a multiple contender for the Academy Awards, the climax of Hollywood’s annual awards season on March 2 next year.