Continuing 2016’s streak of micro-budgeted horror successes, Screen Gems and Stage 6 Films’ Don’t Breathe took in an estimated $26.1 million, almost tripling its $10 million production costs after a mere three days in wide release.
Debuting on 3,051 screens, Don’t Breathe averages an impressive $8,559 per theater as the distributor’s effective marketing campaign (teasing chills instead of gory spills) pays off. Hitting its target demographic, the film averages an A- score with moviegoers under the age of 35, who’ve proven their appetite for scary movies is insatiable this year as they also carried June’s The Conjuring 2 to $102.4 million, and boosted both The Purge: Election Year and Lights Out to $79 million and $65.5 million, respectively, in July.
Overall audiences weren’t as impressed with the film as critics, however, as the film’s CinemaScore grade drops to a so-so B+ when the survey scope widens to include all ages. Still, with numbers spearheaded by Don’t Breathe, year-to-date box office is up around 5.5 percent from the same frame last year, with nine of the last 10 weekends outperforming their 2015 counterparts thus far.
Falling to No. 2 for the first time since it debuted is Warner Bros.’ DC Comics adaptation Suicide Squad, which sheds 42 percent of its audience for a weekend finish at around $12.1 million. Its domestic total now stands at approximately $282.9 million. The $175 million film, with an ensemble cast that features Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, and Viola Davis, has grossed $635 million worldwide.
Animated holdovers Kubo and the Two Strings and Sausage Party finish the weekend at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, with the LAIKA stop-motion title jumping a spot from its fourth-place finish last week. Kubo falls a mere 37 percent across its second Friday-Sunday performance, pulling in an estimated $7.9 million, while Sausage Party dips another 50 percent to add around $7.7 million over its third weekend outing.
Rounding out the top 5 with an estimated $7.5 million is the action sequel Mechanic: Resurrection, as the Jason Statham genre pic averages $3,322 from 2,258 screens. The Lionsgate/Summit flick, a continuation of the 2011 remake, The Mechanic, also stars Jessica Alba, Michelle Yeoh, and Tommy Lee Jones. While critics weren’t exactly kind to the movie (it stands at 24 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 4/10), audiences were a little nicer, as it tied Don’t Breathe‘s B+ CinemaScore grade.
It’s worth noting that STX Entertainment’s Bad Moms, now in its fifth weekend of release, adds $5.7 million to its ballooning total this weekend, bringing the film’s collective haul to a hair over $95.4 million to date. Featuring an all-female cast (Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith), Bad Moms’ impressive performance (atop long legs) at the box office falls in-line with other female-fronted comedies like Sisters, Spy, Trainwreck, and Bridesmaids, a group of well-received titles hitting big with a relatively-underserved demographic, proving there is an audience willing to pay to see women in the kind of adult-oriented films Hollywood has traditionally reserved for men.
Jason Bourne, while slowly descending the domestic charts, where it finishes with $5.2 million this weekend, debuts to a solid $50 million from theaters in China (it opened there Tuesday), bringing its global total to $347.9 million — the second-best performance for a franchise film, trailing behind The Bourne Ultimatum‘s $442.8 million.
Outside the top 10, Roadside Attractions‘ Sundance hit Southside with You, the dramatic retelling of Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date, grossed a lukewarm $3 million on 813 screens, averaging $3,764 per-screen. The film should stay afloat thanks to strong critical reviews, however, as it’s one of the best-reviewed titles of the week (93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 7.4/10).
The Weinstein Co.’s boxing drama Hands of Stone, starring Edgar Ramirez, Usher, and Robert De Niro, underperforms, even by platform standards, with a soft estimated $1.7 million on 810 screens. To get a jump start on the traditionally-lucrative Labor Day weekend, Weinstein plans to expand the film to 2,500 locations on Wednesday.
Check out the Aug. 26-28 weekend box office estimates, below:
1. Don’t Breathe – $26.1 million
2. Suicide Squad – $12.1 million
3. Kubo and the Two Strings – $7.9 million
4. Sausage Party – $7.7 million
5. Mechanic: Resurrection – $7.5 million
6. Pete’s Dragon – $7.3 million
7. War Dogs – $7.3 million
8. Bad Moms – $5.8 million
9. Jason Bourne – $5.2 million
10. Ben-Hur – $4.5 million