Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Don’t Breathe’ Breathlessly Wins the Weekend
In a summer filled with misfires and box office disappointments, the horror genre has kept its head above the water. The Conjuring 2 crossed the $100 million mark. Lights Out was a gigantic sleeper hit. And now, Don’t Breathe has closed out August with a surprising bang, dethroning Suicide Squad with a very strong opening weekend.
|2||Suicide Squad||$12,110,000 (-41.9)||$3,381||$282,882,000|
|3||Kubo and the Two Strings||$7,909,000 (-37.3)||$2,412||$24,920,000|
|4||Sausage Party||$7,665,000 (-50.5)||$2,445||$80,008,000|
|6||Pete’s Dragon||$7,282,000 (-35.8)||$2,245||$54,715,000|
|7||War Dogs||$7,255,000 (-50.6)||$2,227||$27,757,000|
|8||Bad Moms||$5,760,000 (-27.5)||$2,246||$95,453,000|
|9||Jason Bourne||$5,230,000 (-34.8)||$2,139||$149,357,000|
Despite an R-rating — and because of strong marketing and stronger reviews — Don’t Breathe snagged the number one spot with $26 million, a terrific start for a movie that only cost $10 million to make. Even if next weekend sees the film take a tumble (and that is common for any horror film), it’s already well on its way to being a big hit. $50 million would be a big success for a film of this size, but if the film continues to play throughout September (and it is very much an audience movie), it could make serious bank. Next weekend will be key to predicting just how far it can go, but this is a good start.
The weekend’s other new release, the Jason Statham sequel Mechanic: Resurrection, arrived with a whimper, only grossing $7 million. Statham has always been a little hit-and-miss at the box office, headlining modestly budgeted action movies that fluctuate between moderate successes and instant flops, and this appears to be very much the latter. He’ll be fine, though — after all, the only certainties in life are death, taxes, and Jason Statham movies.
Meanwhile, Suicide Squad finally fell to second place, grossing $12 million for a $282 million total. It’ll cross the $300 million mark sometime within the next two weeks, but it can’t help but feel like a hollow victory. In a year where Captain America: Civil War broke a billion dollars at the international box office while leaving audiences and critics satisfied, the Warner Bros. and DC superhero movies simply haven’t been up to snuff. This has been reflected in their box office. Suicide Squad is a hit, but it’s the kind of hit hype can buy; imagine if it was actually a good movie.
Of course, the key to determining which movies audiences actually like can be found in the percentage drops. Kubo and the Two Strings may have opened to weak numbers last week, but it only dropped 37% this week, grossing $7 million for a $24 million total. That’s not enough to make it a hit or guarantee that it’ll stick around long enough to break even, but it is a strong indicator that those who did see it are spreading the word. The same applies to Pete’s Dragon in sixth place, which only dropped 35% in its third weekend, grossing $7 million for a $54 million total. Neither film is going to be a smash in theaters, but these numbers suggest that the people who are seeing these actually like them, which bodes well for their future home releases (and lasting legacies as two of the summer’s best movies).
Elsewhere, both Sausage Party and War Dogs took big 50% drops this weekend. For the former, that’s not worth sweating — the raunchy animated comedy has crossed $80 million and will hit $100 million before all is said and done. It’s more devastating for the latter, which now sits at $27 million and will have to struggle if it wants to come within spitting distance of $50 million.
And while Ben-Hur is about to exit the top 10 as one of the summer’s biggest bombs and Jason Bourne is about to limp past $150 million, Bad Moms is only days away from $100 million, making it another one of 2016’s sleeper hits. In a summer where so many big movies bombed, this — along with the success of Don’t Breathe — feels like a lesson of some kind. Hopefully, the right people will take note.