There seems to be only one direction for One Direction, and that's up. Teenage female fans flocked to theaters to see the music documentary "One Direction: This Is Us," which took in $2.7 million for its opening Thursday night, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Director Morgan Spurlock's documentary about the Brit boy band is expected to top the box office for Labor Day weekend with $20 million-plus, restoring some of the luster to the concert documentary genre. Last summer, the Katy Perry concert documentary "Part of Me" failed to strike a chord with audiences and opened to a dismal $7.2 million.
The movie, which features band members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles, chronicles their meteoric rise to fame, from their humble hometown beginnings and competing on the British version of TV's "The X Factor," to topping the music charts and performing at London's O2 Arena.
Thanks to fans, the Thursday night earnings for "This Is Us" bested the Thursday-night grosses of the summer comedies "Grown Ups 2" ($2.3 million), starring Adam Sandler, and "We're the Millers" ($1.7 million) with Jennifer Aniston.
One Direction's main competition is likely to be third-week holdover "Lee Daniels' The Butler," a film catering to more mature audience than "This Is Us." "Butler" has held the top spot the previous two weekends and has earned $55.7 million domestically to date. Starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, the film could earn another $15 million this weekend.