Box Office: “Don’t Breathe” scares Audiences into Theaters

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(AUGUST 26 – AUGUST 28, 2016 estimates)

  1. Don’t Breathe (Opening) – $26,115,000
  2. Suicide Squad (Week 4) – $12,110,000
  3. Kubo and the Two Strings (Week 2) – $7,909,000
  4. Sausage Party (Week 3) – $7,665,000
  5. Mechanic: Resurrection (Opening) – 7,500,000
  6. Pete’s Dragon (Week 3) – $7,282,000
  7. War Dogs (Week 2) – $7,255,000
  8. Bad Moms (Week 5) – $5,760,000
  9. Jason Bourne (Week 5) – $5,230,000
  10. Ben-Hur (Week 2) – $4,530,000

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  • Dylan-Minnette-and-Jane-Levy-in-Dont-Breathe1As the dog days of summer wore on, low-budget horror continued to be popular, and affordable, avenue at the box office. Director Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe wrestled the top spot away from Suicide Squad after three weeks at the top of the box office. Costing only $9.9 million dollars to make, the film nearly tripled that amount with its $26 million opening weekend. This is a better opening than this summer’s other big horror hit, Lights Out, which debuted at $21 million in July. Even if this film doesn’t hold quite as well as that one did, it is looking to make over $60 million dollars, boosted also by Labor Day next weekend.
  • After three weekends at the top of the box office, Suicide Squad finally relinquished its position. The film dropped 41% after a month in theaters. This is the first weekend the film made more than Batman v. Superman did at the same point in theaters. The film is holding slightly better than that film, which means it should expect to cross the $300 million mark at the box office. Going any higher than that seems unlikely. To date, the film has grossed a hefty $635 million worldwide. This number is quite large and shows interest in the DC Cinematic Universe. However, it is far behind the billion plus receipts the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been achieving for quite some time.
  • The well reviewed animated film Kubo and the Two Strings held better than the other films that opened against it last week. The adventure eased 37% in its second weekend, bringing its domestic total to $24.9 million. This drop was slightly better than fellow Laika animated film Paranorman from 2012. However, it is still the lowest performing of all Laika animated features. It might still have legs to carry it further, but it’s a long way from the $60 million production budget.
  • Conversely, the R-rated animated film Sausage Party is experiencing fantastic returns on investment, despite not having a long shelf life. The raunchy comedy lost half of last week’s business, bringing its total to $80 million. The $100 million mark is looking doable, but it will take strong Labor Day numbers to ensure that happens. Still, at a $19 million production budget, the film is already a success for Sony.
  • With the Transporter series stalled, Jason Statham tried to jump start another franchise for himself. Unfortunately, Mechanic: Resurrection doesn’t look to be another franchise player. When the original film opened to $11 million in January 2011, going on to $29 million total, it hardly seemed poised for a sequel. The $7.5 million opening for this sequel is even below the $8 million opening for Hitman: Agent 47 last year. That film opened on the same weekend last year and went on to gross $22 million. This film would be lucky to pass $20 million domestic.
  • Disney saw its latest vault remake Pete’s Dragon recover in its third weekend in theaters. The film saved ground, dropping 35% since last week. This brings its domestic total to $54 million and worldwide gross to $76 million. This still isn’t a spectacular sum, even though the film cost a relatively reasonable $65 million to make. However, if it keeps up these results with less family competition in the mix and it does well in more overseas markets, it could make a small profit.
  • War Dogs, starring Miles Teller and Jonah Hill, dropped 50% in its second weekend in theaters. The film’s total jumped to $27 million domestic and $42 million worldwide. While not a dire loss, the film doesn’t seem to have major legs to it. It should wind up with $40 million domestic, $65 million worldwide.
  • Yet again, the R-rated female led comedy Bad Moms experienced the best hold of any movie in the top 10. The comedy dropped another scant 27% in its fifth weekend in theaters. This brings its domestic total to $95 million dollars. It should easily pass $100 million by Labor Day, making it the comedy success story of the summer. Already, it has quadrupled its opening weekend gross of $23 million. This is a fantastic sum for a film that cost only $20 million to make.
  • Matt Damon’s latest foray as the amnesiac hitman Jason Bourne dropped only 35% in its fifth weekend in theaters. The film saw its domestic gross climb to $149 million and worldwide total reach $347 million. Its worldwide performance was most noticeable this weekend, as it was bolstered by a stellar $50 million opening in China. If those worldwide numbers continue to hold, it might have a play at besting the high water mark set by The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007. That film went on to $227 million domestic, $442 million worldwide.
  • August’s biggest bomb, Ben-Hur, was unable to save face in its second weekend. The poorly reviewed remake of the Best Picture winning epic dropped 59% from its dismal opening. That was just enough to cling onto the bottom spot in the top 10. It’s domestic total stands at $19 million and worldwide total stands at $41 million. This is far from the $100 million production budget saddled to the film. A total of $30 million domestic seems far-fetched at this point.

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  • hell-or-high-water-trailerLionsgate saw another strong weekend of expansion for the action drama Hell or High Water. The well-reviewed film expanded to 909 theaters for a weekend total of $3.7 million. That was good enough for twelfth place on the charts. This brings the independent film’s domestic total to $8.5 million. Its per theater average was a solid $4,098. With some of the best reviews of the year, the film has a strong shot at performing particularly well over the Labor Day weekend. It should wind up one of the top grossing independent films of the year if it continues to expand successfully.
  • After debuting to good reviews in Sundance, the romance Southside with You was unable to draw crowds into the art house theaters. Chronicling the first date of Barack and Michelle Obama, the film opened in limited wide release in 813 theaters to $3 million. This represents a per theater average of $3,764, which is ok, but not a good enough starting point for the film to gain significant expansion over the coming weeks.
  • The boxing drama Hands of Stone tried a similar release approach to Southside with You, but had even more muted results. The sports drama, starring Edgar Ramirez and Robert De Niro, grossed a mere $1.7 million from 810 theaters. This represents a per theater average of $2,141. With a planned wide expansion over Labor Day weekend, this number is not an encouraging sign the film will play with a mass audience.
  • Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn had trouble expanding her business drama film Equity into more markets this weekend. The film added 212 theaters for a total of 255 theaters this weekend. Unfortunately, the film only grossed $351K, for a per theater average of $1,378. This effectively stunts any further expansion plans. The film’s domestic gross still stands just under $1 million.
  • Other limited release films failed to make a mark over the weekend. The South Korean action thriller The Tunnel managed only $180K from 36 theaters for a per theater average of $5,013. John Krasinski’s feature directorial debut The Hollars did little better in its opening weekend. The film did $46K from four theaters for a per theater average of $11,517. In fact, the largest per theater average of the weekend didn’t belong to a current film. The restoration of the 1992 Best Picture nominee Howards End was released in two theaters for a gross of $24K. The per theater average of $12,411 was enough to be the most robust of the weekend, showing the dearth of new independent releases.