Holdover movies dominate on weak box office weekend

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Hollywood may have run out of summer hits, but an anti-Obama documentary is helping to fill the gap.
Holdover movies easily topped the weekend box office again, led by Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables 2” at No. 1 for the second straight weekend with $13.5 million.
The weekend’s new wide releases were overshadowed by “2016: Obama’s America,” which expanded from limited to nationwide release and took in $6.2 million to finish at No. 8. The documentary is a conservative critique of what the country would look like four years from now if President Obama is re-elected.
The weekend’s other new wide releases opened weakly. Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell’s road-chase comedy “Hit & Run,” released by Open Road Films, debuted at No. 10 with $4.7 million, and the Warner Bros. fright flick “The Apparition” opened at No. 12 with $3 million.
The weak openings are typical of late August, a dumping ground for movies without much audience appeal as the summer blockbuster season winds down.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to
1. “The Expendables 2,” $13.5 million ($18.5 million international).
2. “The Bourne Legacy,” $9.3 million ($9.4 million international).
3. “ParaNorman,” $8.5 million.
4. “The Campaign,” $7.4 million.
5. “The Dark Knight Rises,” $7.2 million ($15.3 million international).
6. “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” $7.1 million.
7. “Premium Rush,” $6.3 million.
8. “2016: Obama’s America,” $6.2 million.
9. “Hope Springs,” $6 million.
10. “Hit & Run,” $4.7 million.

Bristol-Myers abandons flawed hepatitis C pill

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. has abandoned an experimental hepatitis C pill it bought for $2.5 billion earlier this year after one patient died and others were hospitalized while taking the drug in a study.
Bristol-Myers will take a charge of $1.8 billion in the third quarter related to research and development of the therapy, the New York-based company said in a regulatory filing Friday. The drugmaker suspended testing of the medicine, known as BMS-986094, on Aug. 1 after a patient developed heart failure.
Bristol-Myers said it has discontinued development of the drug, part of a class of medicines called nucleotide polymerase inhibitors, and was consulting with U.S. regulators to assess the treatment’s effects. Along with the death, eight patients suffered from heart and kidney toxicity, the company said in a statement.
“Bristol-Myers paid a fortune for a pearl that turns out to be fake,” said Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan business professor who follows the health industry, in an email Sunday, referring to the company’s “string of pearls” name for its acquisition strategy.

This week in business …

Here are the business and economic events scheduled for this week.
• Tuesday – Standard & Poor’s releases S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for June and the second quarter. The Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for August.
• Wednesday – Commerce Department releases second-quarter gross domestic product. National Association of Realtors releases pending home sales index for July. Federal Reserve releases Beige Book.
• Thursday – Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims. Commerce Department releases personal income for July. Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, releases weekly mortgage rates. Selected chain retailers release August sales.
• Friday – Commerce Department releases factory orders for July.