On this the last weekend of August, for the third week in a row, we have three new wide releases vying for attention. Don’t Breathe for Sony / Screen Gems possesses the best shot at preventing Suicide Squad from becoming the first film since Star Wars: The Force Awakens to lead the box office for four consecutive weeks. Also opening in a modest ~2,200 and 810 theaters will be the Jason Statham-led sequel Mechanic: Resurrection from Lionsgate/Summit and the boxing biopic Hands Of Stone from Weinstein Company.
Though Suicide Squad has tumbled each week in terms of percentage drops it has still maintained a stranglehold on the box office as the end of summer slow-down takes effect. It has already surpassed the multiplier (total box office divided by opening weekend box office) that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice managed back in March, so despite the lackluster reviews Warner Bros. must be pleased with how well it has stood up.
– Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive with its 90% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes being one of the highest grades in the genre for the year.
– Director Fede Alvarez directed the reboot of Evil Dead in 2013 which was largely successful and will reteam with Evil Dead producer Sam Raimi here for Don’t Breathe.
– Social media buzz has greatly picked up as its release approaches and has allowed it to easily pass recent films in the genre such as The Forest and The Boy.
– Though the end of August is traditionally one of the slowest times of the year at the box office the horror genre has been one of its lone bright spots over the recent past. Three of the top four biggest openers on the final weekend in August all time have been horrors: Final Destination (2009) with $27.4 million, Halloween (2007) with $26.4 million, and The Last Exorcism (2010) with $20.4 million.
– Outside of Sam Raimi there is a lack of star power and name recognition associated with the film.
– The market in general is contracting after a very busy summer schedule which will limit its overall potential.
– The Mechanic performed well internationally with just over $60 million in ticket sales globally against a reported budget of $40 million. While that hardly screams sequel in light of Statham’s past successes in the genre, specifically with the similar Transporter franchise, it is clear that Lionsgate/Summit are pushing for a similar trajectory here. The Transporter films grossed $44 million, $85 million and $109 million worldwide from first to third respectively.
– Jason Statham has proven himself many times at being able to fill seats in the historically slow end of August/Labor Day weekends with films such as WAR, the Expendables franchise, Death Race, and Crank.
– Statham’s draw as an action star appears to be waning in recent years. The last time he has managed to top-line a film that grossed more than $30 million domestically was The Transporter 2 way back in 2008.
Hands of Stone
– Roberto Duran is a boxing legend, even to North American audiences, and the depiction of his life story including famous bouts with Sugar Ray Leonard should be of interest to boxing fans.
– The film should be more susceptible to negative critical reviews given its older target audience and it is languishing around the 50% fresh mark on Rotten Tomatoes.
– With only 810 theaters on the weekend and its limited appeal outside of boxing fans it is going to struggle to find a footing against the wider releases with a broader appeal. Weinstein was aiming for an increased rollout over coming weeks aided by word-of-mouth, no doubt, but that might not have been the best move in hindsight given its reviews.
– The film has been on the shelf for two and a half years as it wrapped in early 2014 and sat for an entire year before Weinstein picked up its distribution rights.
Top 10 Forecast
BoxOffice Pro forecasts this weekend’s top ten films will generate $83.7 million. That would mark an 33% increase from last year’s $63.2 million when Straight Outta Compton led for the third consecutive weekend with $13.1 million.
Check out our complete weekend forecast below.
|Title||Distributor||Weekend||Domestic Total through
Sunday, August 28
|Don’t Breathe||Sony / Screen Gems||$20,000,000||$20,000,000|
|Suicide Squad||Warner Bros.||$10,700,000||$281,970,000|
|Kubo and the Two Strings||Focus Features||$8,200,000||$25,560,000|
|War Dogs||Warner Bros.||$8,080,000||$28,910,000|
|Sausage Party||Sony / Columbia||$7,740,000||$80,430,000|
|Pete’s Dragon||Buena Vista||$6,810,000||$54,370,000|
|Bad Moms||STX Entertainment||$5,170,000||$94,660,000|
|The Secret Life of Pets||Universal||$3,530,000||$352,960,000|
|Hell or High Water||Lionsgate||$2,900,000||$6,710,000|
|Florence Foster Jenkins||Paramount||$2,850,000||$19,580,000|
|Hands of Stone||Weinstein Company||$2,000,000||$2,000,000|