7TH Update, Sunday AM Sony Screen Gems/Stage 6’s Don’t Breathe is on its way to a $26.1M opening after a fantastic Saturday. Don’t Breathe‘s opening not only gives Screen Gems its best August opener ever following 2010’s Takers ($20.5M), but it’s the third in a string of profitable Sony summer titles after The Shallows ($17M cost, $85M global B.O.) and Sausage Party ($19M cost, $86M global B.O.), all driven by heavy digital marketing campaigns. Don’t Breathe‘s opening B.O. haul is over 2X what the film cost (of course rentals account for 50-55%).
Don’t Breathe led the weekend’s business to $116M per ComScore, which is up a whopping 32% from a year ago when Straight Outta Compton grossed $13M in its third No. 1 hold and Sony’s faith-based War Room debuted in second with $11.4M.
Don’t Breathe was off 1% from its $10M Friday with an estimated $9.9M — an amazing hold for an R-rated horror movie, most of which tend to be front-loaded in their weekend business. By comparison, Warner Bros.’ James Wan production Lights Out declined 22% between its Friday and Saturday, while The Conjuring 2 eased -15% in its first two B.O. days.
Beamed Sony’s worldwide marketing and distribution chief Josh Greenstein this morning about Don’t Breathe, “This is the strongest digital campaign we’ve had to date at Sony where we used the power of social media to sell and reflect the experience that director Fede Alvarez created in the movie. He’s a master filmmaker and to have a B+ CinemaScore and 87% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score is incredibly rare for a horror movie.”
Approximately 55% of Sony’s marketing budget was spent on digital for Don’t Breathe, which is more percent-wise than what was relegated to Shallows and Sausage Party. The P&A on Sony’s latest trio of summer cash cows — Don’t Breathe, Shallows and Sausage Party — range from the high teens to mid $20Ms per title.
Among Sony’s digital efforts for the Alvarez movie: There was a 360 Snapchat ad (scroll down to previous update to watch), which let fans experience the blind antagonist’s basement. There were also vibrating mobile ads.
Another digital driver was Cozz’s music video “Don’t Breathe”. Sony and Screen Gems partnered with All Def Digital to drive pre-opening awareness for Don’t Breathe among urban moviegoers with this latest song by the breakthrough artist. It clocked over 1M views on Facebook and went viral on a number of hip-hop portals. Cozz was inspired by Alvarez’s style and cut the music video to visuals of the movie. Fans gave a shoutout to the music video on social as the main reason why they decided to see Don’t Breathe this weekend.
In addition to its digital outreach, Sony also ran custom promotions for the film across various under 25-skewing cable networks. Adult Swim created irreverent “Don’t Breathe **** Your Pants Pack” spots which included necessary items to prepare for the horror movie experience. Viacom’s Comedy, MTV2 and VH-1 ran a string of short-form spots that paired fast-paced footage with intense sound effects. Additional sneak peeks aired across key outlets such as AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead/Talking Fear premieres, USA’s WWE Raw and on El Rey.
Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad is coming in at the high end of its industry projections with $12.1M in second place, and could go $600K higher by the end of today. Running cume through its fourth weekend is $282.9M.
Lionsgate is calling a $7.5M opening for its 11th Jason Statham title from Lionsgate Premiere/Summit, Mechanic: Resurrection. Sources inform me that after a U.S. acquisition in the high single digits and a mid teens P&A, home entertainment will bring this title in the black. ComScore showed the actor’s previous Mechanic selling 1.5M copies and 2.1M rentals on DVD/Blu-Ray — and that doesn’t include streaming. Lionsgate also bought the U.K. as well where the revenue streams emulate the U.S.: Statham titles make anywhere from 1.5 to 2x its B.O. in the home entertainment sphere. Statham’s fans showed up at 60% with 49% of all women and 22% of the under 25 demographic giving Resurrection an A-. Overall CinemaScore here was a B+, higher than the 2011’s Mechanic‘s B-.
Roadside Attractions/Miramax/IM Global’s Southside With You was a hot ticket in Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas earning $3M at 813 sites spurred by moviegoers’ fervor for the outgoing Obama presidential administration. The pic about Barack and Michelle’s first date will expand slightly over the Labor Day holiday. Pic boasted the best reviews of the wide entries this weekend at 93% fresh.
Weinstein Co.’s Roberto Duran biopic Hands of Stone drew $1.7M at 810 locations, which is lower than where we saw it yesterday. The film received an overall A CinemaScore, with the 18-34 crowd awarding it an A+. Those women who showed up gave it a 97% positive rating, which isn’t typical for a boxing film. Pic played 50% Hispanic, 30% Caucasian and 18% African American with top grossing cities being Miami, New York and Los Angeles. Distrib expects positive WOM to impact pic’s wide expansion this coming Wednesday to 2,000-plus theaters. TWC has a distribution deal on Hands of Stone and was the foreign sales agent for the title.
Said Weinstein Co. COO/President David Glasser about the audience appeal for Hands of Stone, “The younger generation wasn’t sure what happened to Roberto Duran – they didn’t live through his era in the ring – but we found that there’s this incredible conversation about him and learning his story from the exit polls, especially among the female demo which is rare for a boxing movie. The data and the A grade Cinemascore says that the audience is there as we expand to 2,000-plus theatres next Wednesday.”
The top 10 titles per studio-reported Sunday estimates for the weekend of Aug. 26-28 as compiled by Amanda N’Duka:
1). Don’t Breathe (SONY), 3,051 theaters / $10M Fri (includes $1.9M previews)/$10M Sat (-1%) / $6.2M Sun (-37%) /3-day cume: $26.1M / Wk 1
2). Suicide Squad (WB), 3,582 theaters (-342) / $3.3M Fri./ $5.5M Sat (+67%) / $3.3M Sun (-40%) / 3-day cume: $12.1M (-42%) /Total cume: $282.88M/ Wk 4
3). Kubo and the Two Strings (FOC), 3,279 theaters (+19)/ $2M Fri /$3.4M Sat (+75%) / $2.5M Sun (-33%) / 3-day cume: $7.9M (-37%)/Total cume: $24.9M/ Wk 2
4). Sausage Party (SONY/APP), 3,135 theaters (+32) / $2.3M Fri. /$3.1M Sat. (+37%) / $2.3M Sun. (-28%) / 3-day cume: $7.7M (-51%)/Total cume: $80M/Wk 3
5). Mechanic: Resurrection (LG), 2,258 theaters / $2.6M Fri (includes $390K previews) / $2.8M Sat. (+6%) / $2.1M Sun. (-24%) / 3-day cume: $7.5M / Wk 1
6). Pete’s Dragon (DIS), 3,244 theaters (-458)/ $1.8M Fri. /$3.3M Sat (+75%) / $2.2M Sun (-33%) / 3-day cume: $7.3M (-36%)/Total cume: $54.7M/Wk 3
7). War Dogs (WB), 3,258 theaters (0) / $2M Fri /$3M Sat. (+50%) / $2.25M Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $7.3M (-51%) /Total cume: $27.8M/Wk 2
8). Bad Moms (STX), 2,565 theaters (-246)/ $1.8M Fri./ $2.4M Sat. (+35%) / $1.6M Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $5.8M (-28%)/Total cume: $95.45M/ Wk 5
9). Jason Bourne (UNI), 2,445 theaters (-442) / $1.4M Fri. /$2.4M Sat. (+66%) / $1.4M Sun. (-40%) / 3-day cume: $5.2M (-35%)/Total cume: $149.4M/ Wk 5
10). Ben-Hur (PAR/MGM), 3,084 theaters / $1.3M Fri /$1.95M Sat. (+49%) / $1.3M Sun. (-35%) /3-day cume: $4.5M (-60%) /Total: $19.6M/ Wk 2
Hell or High Water (CBS/Lionsgate), 909 theaters (+437) / $983K Fri. /$1.6M Sat. (+60%) / $1.2M Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $3.7M (+38%)/Total Cume: $8.6M/ Wk 3
Southside With You (RSA/MAX/IMG), 813 theaters / $1M Fri (includes $75K previews) / $1.1M Sat. (+11%) / $973K Sun. (-14%) / 3-day cume: $3.1M / Wk 1
Hands of Stone (TWC), 810 theaters / $624K Fri (includes $100K previews)/ $634K Sat. (+2%) / $476K Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $1.7M / Wk 1
The Hollars (SPC), 4 theaters / $13K Fri /$18K Sat. (+40%) / $15K Sun. (-17%) / PTA: $11,5K/ 3-day cume: $46K/ Wk 1
6TH Writethru, Saturday AM: Over 60% K-12 schools and colleges are back in session, but there’s nothing like a decent horror film to dynamite students away from their books, and this weekend there’s Sony Screen Gems/Stage 6’s Don’t Breathe which is overperforming with a $22.4M opening.
Sony’s genre label has tapped this late August period before, and knows that with a thrifty-budgeted pic that jibes with the 18-35 demo, there’s cash to be made. Don’t Breathe is on its way to become the biggest Screen Gems August opening ever, beating the 3-day of the 2010 urban crime title Takers which debuted to $20.5M and finaled close to $60M.
With Don’t Breathe Sony allocated 55% of the pic’s marketing spend to digital, a share that’s larger than what was set aside for Shallows and Sausage Party (tied in 4th with Kubo and the Two Strings currently for $7.2M, -53%, $79.5M cume). Non-Sony estimates figure that Don’t Breathe‘s P&A is in the $20M range. The movie cost under $10M. While heavy digital marketing isn’t unusual for a horror film, it’s just another example of the Culver City, CA studio getting the biggest bang for its buck when it comes to hooking a specific demo. The proof is in the exit polls: The Under 35 crowd for Don’t Breathe turned up at 73% and gave it an A- CinemaScore — unheard of for a horror title. ComScore’s PostTrak shows the 18-24 demo repping 42% of the pic’s ticket buyers, who awarded Don’t Breathe with an 80% total positive score.
Don’t Breathe‘s overall CinemaScore is a B+, which is huge for a horror film and a boom for Alvarez whose 2013 reboot of Evil Dead received a C+. Horror titles rarely receive overall A scores, and getting a B+ is akin to getting an A on the CinemaScore scale, especially with an R-rated title such as this.
Don’t Breathe started its campaign at SXSW back in March where it premiered in the Midnight slot. Pic’s digital initiatives included targeting millennials with the first ever 360 Snapchat ad for a movie (see below), which lets fans experience the blind antagonist’s basement. Movie content was delivered via mobile ads that would trigger a cell phone’s vibrate during key scares. And there was a slew of animated gifs across Twitter and Facebook.
RelishMix reports this morning that hashtags on Twitter and Instagram for #DontBreathe popped 8X since Thursday previews up to 5.8K, topping #HandsOfStone with 2.6k and #MechanicResurrection with 2.1K.
In addition there was a screening at San Diego Comic-Con with Alvarez and producer Sam Raimi in attendance. Don’t Breathe was the closing night film at Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, and the opening night title at the Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival in Chicago. There was also a Chicago Wizard World panel with Alvarez and actor Stephan Lang. Sony showed off Don’t Breathe at colleges and influencer screenings in 30 markets, and partnered with Alamo Drafthouse for a screening that featured a live-streamed Q&A with Alvarez.
Don’t Breathe was produced in-house by Steve Bersh’s Stage 6 Films. Bersh brought in the $3M War Room which launched on this exact weekend last year to $11M+ and ticked up the next weekend for the Labor Day holiday weekend to $13M.
The industry’s August champ Suicide Squad slides to second in its fourth FSS with an estimated $11.5M, -45% for a running total by Sunday of $282.3M. No title in 2016 has held the No. 1 spot for four weekends in a row. Suicide Squad was the fifth title to hold No. 1 for three weekends straight following Finding Dory, The Jungle Book, Zootopia and Deadpool.
Lionsgate’s 11th Jason Statham release Mechanic: Resurrection is approaching the middle of its $6M-$8M projection with an estimated $6.8M. Lionsgate thinks it can get it to $7M by Sunday for 5th place rung. On paper, Statham’s solo action openings don’t wow, especially if you juxtapose them with his recent ensemble work: Spy ($29M opening, $110M final), Furious 7 ($147M opening, $353M final) and heck, even the disastrous Expendables 3 ($15.9M opening, $39.3M final). And yet Resurrection isn’t Statham’s lowest for a solo action title: Those goat horns belong to the 2008 Uwe Boll-directed fantasy film In the Name of the King which opened to $2.98M and died at $4.8M.
But there’s a reason why Lionsgate, here under their Lionsgate Premiere/Summit label, continues to be in the Statham business. On home entertainment, this guy can do anywhere from 150% to 200% of domestic B.O. On the 2011 Mechanic (which was a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson movie), CBS Film acquired the Simon West movie for $5M, made $29M and sold per ComScore 1.5M copies on DVD/Blu-Ray at an average retail price of $32 a pop and another 2.1M rentals. I hear that if Resurrection ultimately does a 2 to 2.5 multiple at the domestic B.O., it will lead to certain revenue points in home entertainment and that Liongate should be fine on this. And if they weren’t making money, they wouldn’t get behind Statham. Millennium financed the sequel for $40M. Lionsgate snapped up domestic rights for a bit higher than CBS paid for The Mechanic (but lower than $9M). Lionsgate also has the UK on Resurrection, and it’s a similar revenue-generator situation over there with Statham making close to double in home entertainment versus his B.O. receipts.
What’s also interesting when you look under the hood of the exit polls, is that the moviegoers who shelled out for Resurrection love Statham. His fans turned up at 60% last night per CinemaScore, and the overall crowd gave the sequel a B+ to Mechanic‘s B-. Safe also received a B+ and turned around a 2x multiple off its $7.9M opening with a final domestic of $17M. Breaking down Resurrection‘s demos, it has a number of As: 49% female (A-), Under 18 at 12% (A), and Under 25 at 22% (A-). The 25 and above crowd (78%) and males (51%) gave it a B+.
Among those films that decided to open at the lower side of wide in 800 theaters, Roadside Attractions/Miramax/IM Global’s Barack and Michelle Obama first-date movie Southside With You is besting Weinstein Co.’s Roberto Duran biopic Hands of Stone, $3M to $1.8M. Southside was projected to have the upper hand given its appeal to African American moviegoers, plus Blue States’ fervor for the outgoing Obama presidential administration. The Richard Tanne-directed movie also boasts the best reviews out of the wider entries this weekend with a 93% Rotten Tomatoes score, with Don’t Breathe following at 87% fresh.
While Hands of Stone doesn’t even come close to ranking on the list of worst wide openers, many B.O. analysts feel it’s not a good start for a movie with so many national ads. But keep in mind, the film’s real opening day is this Wednesday when it breaks into 2,000 theaters and TWC has certainly shown to leg out an adult title at the B.O. There was a lot of heart put into this movie directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz with Duran and his family heavily involved in production. Critics pained Hands of Stone with a 46% Rotten Tomatoes score, but audiences are pummeling back with positive reactions. Per CinemaScore, Hands of Stone earned an A with audiences 18-34 giving it an A+. Males turned up at 54% with 46% females. 64% of the audience attended because of the subject matter and 42% bought tickets to watch Edgar Ramirez, Usher and Robert De Niro.
ERM Research shows an 84 top two box score with a definite recommend of 70, with males over 35 rating the film with a top two of 90 and a definite recommend of 77 and females over 35 rating the film with a top two of 97 and a definite recommend of 88. Audience was 60/40 male-female split. Unlike other boxing films, which are a shoo-in with guys, women also love Hands of Stone.
Among second weekends for last week’s crop, it’s hard for adult-skewing titles to keep up this late in the summer, especially when there isn’t a groundswell of awesome reviews for them: Warner Bros.’s War Dogs is down an estimated -56% with $6.5M in seventh place while MGM/Paramount’s $100M bomb Ben-Hur is bottoming out in tenth place with an estimated $4.4M, -61% with a 10-day total by Sunday of $19.4M. Kubo looks OK at -42% for a potential third place slot despite the fact that previous Laika titles have seen better second weekend holds.
Below are the results for the weekend of Aug. 26-28 as of Friday night:
1). Don’t Breathe (SONY), 3,051 theaters / $10M Fri (includes $1.9M previews)/ 3-day cume: $22.4M / Wk 1
2). Suicide Squad (WB), 3,582 theaters (-342) / $3.3M Fri.(-47%)/ 3-day cume: $11.5M (-45%) /Total cume: $282.3M/ Wk 4
3). Kubo and the Two Strings (FOC), 3,279 theaters (+19)/ $1.94M Fri (-52%)/ 3-day cume: $7.2M (-42%)/Total cume: $24.1M/ Wk 2
Sausage Party (SONY/APP), 3,135 theaters (+32) / $2.3M Fri (-54%) / 3-day cume: $7.2M (-53%)/Total cume: $79.5M/Wk 3
5). Pete’s Dragon (DIS), 3,244 theaters (-458)/ $1.8M Fri. (-42%)/ 3-day cume: $6.8M (-40%)/Total cume:$54.2M/Wk 3
Mechanic: Resurrection (LG), 2,258 theaters / $2.57M Fri (includes $390K previews) / 3-day cume: $6.8M / Wk 1
7). War Dogs (WB), 3,258 theaters (0) / $1.98M Fri (-64%) / 3-day cume: $6.5M (-56%) /Total cume: $27M/Wk 2
8). Bad Moms (STX), 2,565 theaters (-246)/ $1.7M Fri. (-33%)/ 3-day cume: $5.4M (-32%)/Total cume: $95M/ Wk 5
9). Jason Bourne (UNI), 2,445 theaters (-442) / $1.4M Fri. (-38%) /3-day cume: $5M (-38%)/Total cume: $149.1M/ Wk 5
10). Ben-Hur (PAR/MGM), 3,084 theaters / $1.3M Fri. (-68%)/ 3-day cume: $4.4M (-61%) /Total: $19.4M/ Wk 2
Hell or High Water (CBS/Lionsgate), 909 theaters (+437) / $988K Fri. (+33%) /3-day cume: $3.4M (+26%)/Total Cume: $8.2M/ Wk 3
Southside With You (RSA/MAX/IMG), 813 theaters / $1M Fri (includes $75K previews) / 3-day cume: $3M / Wk 1
Hands of Stone (TWC), 810 theaters / $626k Fri (includes $100K previews)/ 3-day cume: $1.8M / Wk 1
The Hollars (SPC), 4 theaters / $12,5k Fri /PTA: $10,4K/ 3-day cume: $42K/ Wk 1
Mia Madre (MUSIC), 2 theaters / $6k Fri /PTA: $10k/ 3-day cume: $35k / Wk 1
4th UPDATE, Friday midday: Whatever bit of summer is left at the box office, Sony Pictures is going to squeeze it out this weekend. Its Screen Gems/Stage 6 film Don’t Breathe is putting its $11M-$14M projections to sleep with a revised industry weekend projection of $21.5M-$24M — a stellar result for a horror film at this point in August. Today alone, the second feature from Fede Alvarez looks to grab $9M inclusive of that $1.875M preview cash from last night. Prior to this weekend, only five horror thrillers have opened to more than $20M in August, and Don’t Breathe raises that count to six. How high this goes hinges on late-night traffic.
Warner Bros’ Suicide Squad looks to settle with $10M-$12M in its fourth weekend, down 47% for a running cume by Sunday on the high end of $283M.
Lionsgate Premiere’s Mechanic: Resurrection at this point looks to file an estimated $2.5M today for a $6.75M weekend, just under Jason Statham’s previous solo action project Safe ($7.9M). Film largely was financed by Millennium. Roadside Attractions/Miramax/IM Global’s Southside With You is looking at a $1M Friday inclusive of a $75K Thursday night for a $3M weekend at 813 theaters. The Weinstein Company’s boxing biopic Hands Of Stone is looking at $650K today, per industry estimates, including an estimated $100K from last night, for a three-day opening of $1.8M at 810 sites.
3rd Friday AM UPDATE: Sony’s Screen Gems/Stage 6’s R-rated horror film Don’t Breathe drew $1.875 million from previews last night starting at 7 PM, which is fantastic this late in the summer given that a majority of kids are back in school. We’re hearing this morning from B.O. trackers and non-Sony sources that Don’t Breathe has a very good shot to clear $20M this weekend, given these powerful numbers, and easily will kick Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad out of No. 1 after three weeks.
Couple this with the intel that Fandango advance ticket sales for Don’t Breathe are out-clicking such previous horror thrillers as Lights Out ($21.7M opening) and The Visit ($25.4M), and it makes sense that the Screen Gems/Stage 6 film (which cost under $10M) is heading for a solid weekend. The DC holdover is looking at $10M-$11M this weekend. Essentially, East Coast matinees for the Fede Alvarez horror movie are 10% behind The Purge: Election Year, but that title had a powerful Thursday with $3.64M. Don’t Breathe‘s previews inch out the $1.8M earned by both last month’s Lights Out and Alvarez’s previous movie, the 2013 reboot of Evil Dead.
Evil Dead would go on to post a $25.8M opening, largely fueled by the franchise’s fervent fan base. Sony as of now sees Don’t Breathe‘s business at a more modest level, in the spirit of other late-August horror openers that have posted in the midteens, but too many people are telling us that the horror film will hit $20M. Again, it’s still early. The other advantage with Don’t Breathe is that its core audience comes out at night (of course).
Among other newcomers this weekend, Lionsgate, under its Lionsgate Premiere, has the distributor’s 11th Jason Statham movie this weekend, the sequel Mechanic: Resurrection. It made $390K on 1,800 screens Thursday and is poised to bank $7M-$9M for the weekend. Statham’s previous non-ensemble feature for Lionsgate, 2012’s Safe, loaded a $7.9M opening and a final cume of $17.1M.
Roadside Attractions’ Obamas first-date movie Southside With You and The Weinstein Company’s Roberto Duran biopic Hands of Stone, both platform releases, will not release Thursday numbers and will fold those takes into their Friday data.
Meanwhile, Don’t Breathe marks the second collaboration between Alvarez and producer Sam Raimi following Evil Dead three years ago.
Typically with an R-rated horror film, the hard-core, older-male-skewing genre fans turn up on Thursday night. Sony premiered Don’t Breathe at SXSW and kept the buzz going with screenings at Comic-Con. From 78 reviews, it counts a Rotten Tomatoes score of 90%. Don’t Breathe carries an estimated production cost that’s under $10M.
Suicide Squad, which made $1.67M yesterday, saw its three-week cume climb to $270.8M. This weekend, the David Ayer supervillain film is expected to bring in an estimated $10M-$11M, and if it does wind up slashing Don’t Breathe, it will be the first title this year to hold the No. 1 spot four weekends in a row. Currently, Suicide Squad is outpacing August’s previous comic book hit Guardians of the Galaxy (final B.O. $333M) by 16%.
Roadside has been ticking up the theater count for Southside With You to 813. Many expect this movie, which was financed and produced by IM Global for under $5M, to pop at the B.O. this weekend with a three-day take between $3M-$5M. Miramax, with Roadside as a partner, bought the movie at Sundance for about $2M with a mid-seven-figure P&A commitment.
Given the fierce competition this weekend for Hispanic and African-American moviegoers, the Weinsteins are opting to go wide with Hands of Stone on Wednesday, August 31. Today the Roberto Duran biopic starring Edgar Rodriguez and Robert De Niro is playing at about 800 venues and is looking at an opening of $2.5M-$3.5M per industry tracking.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.