Sunday, September 4, 2016

Don't Breathe Is King All Of It Can See At The Box Office As New Releases Fail To Register Over Labor Day Weekend

Note: All the figures discussed in this box office report are for the three day weekend.

Summer 2016 came to a quiet close this weekend, as Labor Day weekend signaled the conclusion of another summer moviegoing season. On the final weekend of the season, Don't Breathe was the number one film at the box office, grossing another $15.7 million, only down 41% from its opening weekend. That's a fantastic dip for a horror movie, and while a little bit of that can be attributed to most movies holding well on Sundays during three-day weekends, it can't be denied that Don't Breathe is also experiencing some strong word-of-mouth. Don't Breathe has now grossed $51.1 million domestically in ten days and could go as high as $75 million in its domestic run, a phenomenal sum for this original horror film that cost only $9.9 million to make.

In second place, Suicide Squad grossed another $10 million, a small 29% dip from last weekend. That's a bigger three-day Labor Day weekend dip than fellow August blockbuster Guardians Of The Galaxy,  but still a mighty fine dip and takes its domestic total to $297.4 million. This one should cross $300 million domestically tomorrow, and is now guaranteed to surpass the $306 million gross of Independence Day to Will Smith's biggest movie ever domestically.

Two August family films came in at third and fourth place this weekend. First up was Pete's Dragon, which added $6.47 million to its domestic cume. That's a small 18% dip from last weekend and brings Pete's Dragon's domestic gross to an OK but under expectations $64.2 million. Right behind Pete and Elliot was Kubo And The Two Strings, which also saw a small decrease this weekend, going down only 17% to gross another $6.46 million. That's a better third-weekend dip than fellow LAIKA film ParaNorman (which also had its third weekend coincide with Labor Day weekend), bringing Kubos domestic cume to $34.3 million, about 10% below ParaNorman through the same point.

Sausage Party had by far its smallest weekend-to-weekend decline this frame, losing only 30% to add $5.3 million to its grocery cart. Sausage Party has now grossed $88.4 million and will likely just eke past $100 million in its domestic run.

Right outside the top five was one of the two new wide releases this weekend, The Light Between Oceans, which grossed an underwhelming $5 million. The film cost only $20 million to make, but that's still a middling debut. At least Disney/DreamWorks was smart in releasing the film with a restrained marketing campaign (I don't think I ever saw lead actors Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander do even press stops on the late night talk shows for this film) and releasing it in only 1,500 theaters.

Bad Moms managed to crack the $100 million mark this weekend, an insane achievement that's a testament to the level of word-of-mouth this motion picture's received. Adding $4.7 million this weekend (a small 15% decline from last weekend), Bad Moms has now grossed $102.5 million domestically and stands as one of the summer's biggest success stories. Finally entering the top ten this weekend was sleeper hit Hell Or High Water, which brought its theater count up to 1,303 locations and grossed another $4.5 million for a per-theater average of $3,454. Hell Or High Water has now grossed $14.6 million domestically and has become one of the bigger indie movie success stories of 2016.

Rounding out the top ten was Mechanic: Resurrection, which shed 43% in its second-weekend to gross another $4.27 million this weekend. Jason Statham's newest action vehicle has grossed only $14.4 million in ten days. Far more successful was the newest film from Pantelion Films, a studio (who distributes its films through Lionsgate) that made a killing with No Instructions Included over the Labor Day weekend holiday three years ago. Their newest title, No Manches Frida, grossed a strong $3.6 million at only 362 locations (for a per-theater average of $10,083) that's larger than the opening weekends of the last two films (Cantinflas and Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos) they released over this holiday weekend.

All the way down in seventeenth place was Morgan, a sci-fi film starring Kate Mara that grossed a dismal $1.9 million this weekend at 2,020 locations. That is the seventh worst opening weekend for a movie opening in over 2,000 theaters and only five other movies in 2016 have opened in wide release to worse results. It's not exactly a shock that Morgan failed given that 20th Century Fox basically penciled it into this release date at the last minute and gave it barely anything resembling a marketing campaign but few could have expected it would perform this badly. Something else interesting worth noting; when one takes the Worst Opening Weekends For Films In 2,000+ Theaters chart on Box Office Mojo and adjusts it for inflation to 2016 ticket prices, half of the top ten worst opening weekends ever for movies opening in over 2000 theaters were released in the last 53 weeks. Those films are as follows (in order from smallest to biggest opening): Jem And The Holograms, Rock The Kasbah, We Are Your Friends, Morgan and Victor Frankenstein, Fascinating to think how the last 16 months have delivered 5 of the 10 biggest opening weekends of all-time while the domestic box office has also sunk to such lows. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" and all that.

For some ungodly reason, The Weinstein Company decided to expand Hands Of Stone into over 2,000 theaters this weekend despite its dismal opening weekend numbers last weekend. That result in a pretty pitiful showing for the film this frame, grossing only $1.3 million at 2,011 locations for only $649 per-theater. Hands Of Stone has only grossed $3.7 million in ten days and will likely barely get past $5 million in its total domestic run. I know Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment released  The 9th Life Of Louis Drax this weekend (it's playing at a Cinemark theater super close to me), but there is no word on how much money it grossed this weekend nor how many locations it went out in.

A number of summer 2016 titles went back into wide release this weekend to take advantage of the Labor Day holiday, so let's take a gander at how these releases fared expanding their theaters counts. The most high-profile of these re-releases was Finding Dory going back into 2,075 theaters as part of the tradition that all PIXAR summer releases expand their theater count significantly over the Labor Day holiday weekend. Dory grossed $1.9 million for a per-theater average of $929, bringing its domestic total to a gargantuan $481.8 million. The second-biggest of the movies expanding their theater count was Ghostbusters, which returned to 1,091 theaters to gross another $1.07 million for a per-theater average of $985, bringing its domestic total to $126.2 million. Ice Age: Collision Course came back to 692 locations and grossed another $725,000, surprisingly nabbing the highest per-theater average among the major summer 2016 movies that expanded their theater count this frame with a per-theater gross of $1,048. In its seventh weekend of release, the newest Ice Age film has now grossed only disastrous $62.3 million domestically. Nerve dared to return to 761 locations and grossed another $685,000, for a per-theater average of $900 and bringing its domestic total to a solid $37.6 million. Hillary's America went back into 404 theaters and grossed another $253,000 for a poor per-theater average of only $623 and taking its domestic cume to $12.7 million, Finally, Independence Day: Resurgence did a minor expansion, expanding its theater count from 112 locations last weekend to 391 locations this weekend to dismal results, grossing only $155,000 for a per-theater average of $396, brining this box office dud's domestic total to only $103 million.

There were two notable titles debuting in limited release this weekend. The first was White Girl, which FilmRise bowed in 3 theaters to $36,000 for a per-theater average. And then there was Kevin Smith's new movie  Yoga Hosers, which I'll be watching this afternoon, which grossed a projected $65,000 this weekend at 140 theaters for an anemic per-theater average of $464. Something tells me this title will not be expanding into a larger theater count in the weeks to come, though I'd have said the same thing about Hands Of Stone last weekend.

The only title, as far as I know, that ended its domestic run this past Thursday was the documentary Gleason, which closed with $568,664 after a five-week run. Not much to say on this one except that it became the lowest grossing movie ever for distributor Open Road Films (the $2.5 million gross of The Fluffy Movie used to have that distinction) and the first ever movie for the studio to gross under $1 million domestically.

The Top 12 this weekend grossed $74.7 million, a 15% increase over the same weekend last year when War Room ruled the Labor Day crop. This is also the third biggest first weekend of September (excluding four-day weekend hauls that account for Labor Day Monday grosses) ever and allowed Summer 2016 to wrap up with $4.235 billion. I'll have a far more in-depth two-part piece looking back at the box office of this summer, but this gross puts Summer 2016 behind Summers 2015, 2013 2012 and 2011, though ahead of Summers 2014 and 2010.

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