6TH WRITETHRU, Tuesday, updated with final actuals. So, what’s the ultimate leg factor for Sony/Screen Gems/Studio 6’s Don’t Breathe? Thanks to the Labor Day holiday, the second horror film from Fede Alvarez eased 40% for a $15.8 million second weekend and a $19.7M four-day gross. Already having bagged $55.1M, Don’t Breathe has exceeded the total box office of Alvarez’s 2013 feature directorial Evil Dead, which made a similar amount of cash during its 10-week life.
Overall, ComScore reports that the four-day Labor Day weekend is coming in at $126M, +8% over last year’s holiday. This brings the summer period from May 6-September 5 to $4.482B, which on a first weekend in May-through-Labor Day comparison is the third-best summer of all-time, behind last year’s $4.484B. Summer 2015 had the advantage of being one week longer than this year’s season.
Currently, Screen Gems’ highest-grossing horror title at the domestic B.O. is 2005’s The Exorcism Of Emily Rose at $75M, and whether Don’t Breathe takes over that record will be a close call. Those inside and outside Sony think Don’t Breathe has a shot to get into the low-$70M realm, but crossing $75M isn’t definite. Emily Rose launched to $30M during the post-Labor Day frame, which translated into a 2.5x multiple at the domestic B.O. Don’t Breathe has the potential to post a 2.7x multiple which is extremely healthy for the genre during late summer. Typically horror films do a 2x multiple at this point in time.
Don’t Breathe‘s second weekend over four days has outstripped the Labor Day debuts of several horror films, i.e., Jeepers Creepers 2 ($18.4), Jeepers Creepers ($15.8M) and As Above/So Below ($10.3M). While Don’t Breathe saw a modest decline thanks to the holiday, next weekend it’s bound to register the typical 55%-60% decline ($6M-$7M) seen with horror movies.
Box office analysts don’t really see next weekend’s horror entry The Disappointments Room as a threat to Breathe, but Lionsgate’s Blair Witch on September 16 will be. After sneaking at Comic-Con (like Don’t Breathe), Blair Witch will vie to stoke midnight crowds at the Toronto Film Festival this week.
While the distribution rule of thumb is that you can never go wrong with horror/thrillers over the slow Labor Day period, it’s a problem when you’re following the biggest slasher in the market. Such was the case with 20th Century Fox’s micro-budgeted ($6M) Morgan, which failed to find an audience with a $2M three-day and $2.5M four-day at 2,020 venues. Don’t think that Fox gets away cheap here — sources say that even low budget horror movies carry $20M P&As.
Unlike Don’t Breathe, which for a horror movie was an anomaly among critics drawing fantastic reviews, Morgan was dismissed with a 43% Rotten Tomatoes score. And the casting of such notables as Toby Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Paul Giamatti didn’t impress reviewers either. The last time in box office memory that Fox had a genre blowout was Thanksgiving’s Victor Frankenstein, which made $2.4M over FSS and $3.6M over five days, ending its run at $5.77M. Morgan drew 59% males-41% females who both gave it a C+. Based on the few who showed up, 69% told CinemaScore they bought tickets because they like thrillers. Despite having American Horror Story‘s Kate Mara in the lead, the younger set didn’t show up. Instead it was the older crowd at 67% over 25. Only 33% of those who saw Morgan would recommend it to their friends according to PostTrak, and that’s just awful.
As we observed Friday, Warner Bros’ Suicide Squad is finally crossing $300.1M in its fifth weekend at the box office. Despite all the dinging it’s received for dropping 67% in its second weekend, and possessing Batman V. Superman tendencies, the DC villain film is chiefly responsible for driving August to its second $1B haul, and jumping Warner Bros up 40% over last summer with a four-month take of $850M. Suicide Squad remains ahead of August’s previous top-grossing title Disney/Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy by 7%. That film ended its run at $333M.
Outside of genre pics this weekend, distributors tried to appeal to adult moviegoers with serious fare, with varying results.
Disney’s final DreamWorks adult release The Light Between Oceans was the second wide entry of the holiday weekend, and it can at least claim that it cracked the top 10. The pic’s revised weekend grosses slips it from sixth to eighth place with $4.77M over FSS and $6.1M over FSSM at 1,500. We’ve seen better for pics this size looking to make waves in this pre-awards frame. The Michael Fassbender-Alicia Vikander-Rachel Weisz weepy was co-financed for $20M by DreamWorks, Reliance and Participant Media. Huge older female crowd here at 72% females (A-) and 92% 25 and up (B+). Light also struck a chord with the few under-18ers who were in the theater (3%, A-) and the middle-age 35-49 folks (24%, A-).
While we’ve seen the devoted older female crowd flock to STX’s Bad Moms, which crossed $100M this weekend, it’s questionable how far Light will leg out. Post Track shows only 53% of the total audience willing to pass on good word of mouth, and that’s meh. One key indicator that there’s some positive word-of-mouth was that Light grew brighter between Saturday and Friday, +25%. Sunday was down 11%, but at $1.5M, it still bested the pic’s $1.3M opening day. Disney selected the Labor Day launch to sync with the pic’s Venice Film Festival premiere. It’s not unusual to open a serious adult title over Labor Day. In the past, we’ve had The Constant Gardener, The Debt, The American and last year’s A Walk in the Woods. Constant Gardner made $11M over its FSSM and landed four Oscar nominations including a best supporting actress win for Weisz.
Along with Morgan, Weinstein Co.’s Hands of Stone goes down in the record books with one of the worst openings at 2,000-plus theaters with $1.26M over FSS, and $1.6M over FSSM. The film had fantastic A exit polls, but the boxing drama is just another example of how reviewers this summer held more sway over the B.O. than moviegoers’ word of mouth. This Roberto Duran biopic can’t lick the wound of a 44% Rotten Tomatoes score, plus there’s bigger adult dramas coming down the pike (i.e. Clint Eastwood’s Sully which already has an 80% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score). In an expansion to 1,303 venues, CBS/Lionsgate’s Hell or High Water was a true destination for adults with $5.9M, busting into the top 10, and taking its total cume through four weekends to $16M. For a western landing a platform release in a crowded August, many are impressed by Hell or High Water‘s longevity. CBS/Lionsgate ensured that this title, which launched at the Cannes Film Festival, wasn’t buried and they’ve clearly nurtured it. It’s a cutthroat fall, so will Hell or High Water find more screens? Word is that given the pic’s $4,300 theater average, the plan is now to cycle the picture into the hundreds of theaters it hasn’t played in yet.
Final Labor Day weekend 2016 actuals courtesy of ComScore:
1). Don’t Breathe (SONY), 3,051 theaters / 3-day cume: $15.8M (-40%)/ 3-day per screen: $5,190 /$4-day: $19.7M/ Per screen avg.: $ /Total cume: $55.1M / Wk 2
2). Suicide Squad (WB), 3,292 theaters (-290) / 3-day cume: $9.9M (-19%) / Per screen: $3,010 /4-day: $12.7M/ Total cume: $300.1M/ Wk 5
3). Kubo and the Two Strings (FOC), 2,985 theaters (-294)/ 3-day cume: $6.4M (-19%)/ Per screen: $2,136 /$4-day: $8.8M/ Total cume: $36.6M/ Wk 3
4). Pete’s Dragon (DIS), 3,272 theaters (+28)/ 3-day cume: $6.3M (-15%)/ Per screen: $1,941 /4-day: $8.5M/ Total cume: $66.3M/Wk 4
5).Sausage Party (SONY/APP), 2,766 theaters (-369) /3-day cume: $5.2M (-31%)/ Per screen: $1,878 /4-day: $6.5M/Total cume: $89.6M/Wk 4
6). War Dogs (WB), 2,848 theaters (-410) /3-day cume: $4.8M (-31%) / Per screen: $1,690 /4-day: $6.1M/Total cume: $36.6M/Wk 3
7). Bad Moms (STX), 2,306 theaters (-259)/ 3-day cume: $4.77M (-14%)/ Per screen: $2,067 /4-day: $5.8M/Total cume: $103.6M/ Wk 6
8). The Light Between Oceans (DIS/DWA), 1,500 theaters /3-day cume: $4.77M / Per screen: $3,177 /4-day: $6.1M/ Wk 1
9). Hell or High Water (CBS/Lionsgate), 1,303 theaters (+122) / 3-day cume: $4.44M (+25)/ Per screen: $3,408 /4-day: $5.9M/Total Cume: $16M/ Wk 4
10). Mechanic: Resurrection (LG), 2,258 theaters (0)/ 3-day cume: $4.44M (-40)/ Per screen: $1,966 /4-day: $5.7M/Total: $15.8M/ Wk 2
11). Jason Bourne (UNI), 1,976 theaters (-469)/ 3-day cume: $4M (-23%)/ Per screen: $2,005 /4-day: $5.1M/Total cume: $156.2M/ Wk 6
12). No Manches Frida (LG/PANT), 362 theaters / 3-day cume: $3.7M / Per screen: $10,155 /4-day: $4.6M/ Wk 1
13). The Secret Life Of Pets (ILL/UNI), 2,069 theaters (-22) / 3-day cume: $3.5M(-9%)/ Per screen: $1,709 /4-day: $4.8M/Total cume: $359.8M / Wk 9
14). Star Trek Beyond (PAR), 1,202 theaters (-75) / 3-day cume: $2.5M (
+9%) / Per screen: $2,052 / 4-day: $3.2M/ Total cume: $155.1M / Wk 7
15). Ben-Hur (PAR/MGM), 2,167 theaters (-917)/3-day cume: $2.2M (-52%) / Per screen: $1,016 /4-day: $2.9M/ Total: $24.5M/ Wk 3
16). Florence Foster Jenkins (PAR), 1,341 theaters (+17)/ 3-day cume: $2.1M (-29%)/ Per screen: $1,573 /4-day: $2.8M/ Total cume: $24.2M/Wk 4
17). Finding Dory (DIS), 2,075 theaters (+1,730) / 3-day cume: $2.06M (+225)/ Per screen: $991 /4-day: $2.9M/ Total cume: $482.9M / Wk 12
18). Morgan (FOX), 2,020 theaters / 3-day cume: $2M / Per screen: $996 /$4-day: $2.5M/ Wk 1
19). Southside With You (RSA/MAX/IMG), 897 theaters (+84) / 3-day cume: $1.3M (-54%) / Per screen: $1,476 /4-day: $1.7M/Total: $5.4M/ Wk 2
20). Hands of Stone (TWC), 2,011 theaters (+1,201) / 3-day cume: $1.26M (-28%) / Per screen: $628 /4-day: $1.6M/Total: $4M/Wk 1
Naam Hai Akira (FIP), 71 theaters / 3-day cume: $137K / Per screen: $1,925 /$4-day: $167K/ Wk 1
White Girl (FRR), 3 theaters / 3-day cume: $34K / Per screen: $11,353 /$4-day: $42K/ Wk 1
Klown Forever (DHF), 5 theaters / 3-day cume: $860 / Per screen: $172 /$4-day: $978/ Wk 1
The top 10 films for Labor Day weekend 2016 per studio-reported figures as compiled by Deadline’s Amanda N’Duka as of Sunday AM:
1). Don’t Breathe (SONY), 3,051 theaters / $4.2M Fri / $6M Sat. (+42%)/ $5.6M Sun. (-6%)/ 3-day cume: $15.7M (-42%)/$4-day:$19.4M/Total: $54.8M / Wk 2
2). Suicide Squad (WB), 3,292 theaters (-290) / $2.3M Fri. /$3.8M Sat. (+66%)/ $4M Sun. (+5%)/ 3-day cume: $10M (-18%) /4-day:$13.3M/Total cume: $300.8M/ Wk 5
3/4). Pete’s Dragon (DIS), 3,272 theaters (+28)/ $1.4M Fri. /$2.5M Sat. (+71%)/ $2.6M Sun. (+5%)/ 3-day cume: $6.47M (-13%)/4-day:$8.9M/Total cume: $66.7M/Wk 4
Kubo and the Two Strings (FOC), 2,985 theaters (-294)/ $1.4M Fri./ $2.49M Sat. (+75%)/ $2.5M Sun. (+2%)/ 3-day cume: $6.47M (-18%)/$4-day: $8.9M/Total cume: $36.7M/ Wk 3
5).Sausage Party (SONY/APP), 2,766 theaters (-369) / $1.38M Fri. / $1.9M Sat. (+38%)/ $2.02M Sun. (+6%)/ 3-day cume: $5.3M (-30%)/4-day: $6.7M/Total cume: $89.8M/Wk 4
6). Light Between Oceans (DIS/DWA), 1,500 theaters / $1.4M Fri / $1.7M Sat. (+27%)/ $1.9M Sun. (+11%)/ 3-day cume: $4.98M /4-day: $6.3M/ Wk 1
7). Bad Moms (STX), 2,306 theaters (-259)/ $1.3M Fri. /$1.7M Sat. (+35%)/ $1.7M Sun. (0%)/ 3-day cume: $4.74M (-15%)/4-day: $5.87M/Total cume: $103.9M/ Wk 6
8). War Dogs (WB), 2,848 theaters (-410) / $1.2M Fri./ $1.7M Sat. (+39%)/ $1.8M Sun. (+5%)/ 3-day cume: $4.7M (-33%) /4-day: $5.9M/Total cume: $36.5M/Wk 3
9). Hell or High Water (CBS/Lionsgate), 1,303 theaters (+394) / $1.2M Fri. /$1.63M Sat. (+41%)/ $1.7M Sun. (+5%)/ 3-day cume: $4.5M (+27)/4-day: $5.8M/Total Cume: $16M/ Wk 4
10). Mechanic: Resurrection (LG), 2,258 theaters / $1.1M Fri./ $1.6M Sat. (+%)/ $1.6M Sun. (0%)/ 3-day cume: $4.3M (-43)/4-day:$5.2M/Total: $15.4M/ Wk 2
11). Jason Bourne (UNI), 1,976 theaters (-469)/ $978K Fri./ $1.5M Sat. (+51%)/ $1.5M Sun. (+5%)/ 3-day cume: $4M (-22%)/4-day:$5.1M/Total cume: $156.3M/ Wk 6
No Manches Frida (LG/PANT), 362 theaters / $1.06M Fri /$1.2M Sat. (+17%)/ $1.35M Sun. (+9%)/ 3-day cume: $3.65M /$4-day: $4.65M/ Wk 1
Morgan (FOX), 2,020 theaters / $615K Fri /$695K Sat. (+13%)/ $650K Sun. (-6%)/ 3-day cume: $1.96M /$4-day: $2.4M/ Wk 1
Southside With You (RSA/MAX/IMG), 897 theaters (+84) / $361K Fri. /$518K Sat. (+43%)/ $544K Sun. (+5%)/ 3-day cume: $1.4M(-50%) /4-day: $1.8M/Total: $5.5M/ Wk 2
Hands of Stone (TWC), 2,011 theaters (+1,201) / $350K Fri./ $455K Sat. (+30%)/ $501K Sun. (+10%)/ 3-day cume: $1.3M (-25%) /4-day:$1.7M/Total: $4.1M/Wk 1
Yoga Hosers (IND), 140 theaters / $15K Fri /$14K Sat. (-6%)/ $14K Sun. (0%)/ 3-day cume: $44K /$4-day: $53K/ Wk 1
3RD WRITETHRU SATURDAY AM The Labor Day holiday is working in favor of Sony/Screen Gems/Studio’s 6’s Don’t Breathe which over three days will dip only -42% with an estimated $15.3M and $18.8M four-day. That’s quite impressive for a horror title as the genre typically tumbles at least 60% or more in their second outings. It took 10 weeks for Alvarez’s previous movie, the 2013 Evil Dead reboot to end its run at $54.2M, and Don’t Breathe is hitting that figure in 11 days.
Next, Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad in its fifth sesh will fly past $300M by Monday thanks to a $9.9M FSS and $13M FSSM in second. The David Ayer-directed DC villain ensemble is still pacing ahead of August’s previous highest-grossing movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, by 7%. That 2014 Marvel movie finaled at $333.2M, but grabbed a larger Labor Day four-day loot of $22.9M.
Outside of those two titles, it’s all single digits for a number of films in the top 20. Disney’s final DreamWorks live-action release before the latter takes its business over to Universal, The Light Between Oceans is currently poised to draw $4.85M over three-days, and $6.1M over four which is at the lower end of where the Derek Cianfrance film was projected. While it’s not a complete disaster for the $20M feature adaptation of M.L. Stedman’s debut novel, it’s a meh result. Why? Consider the fact that the book was a bestseller and this lush period romance is arriving to theaters in the wake of star Alicia Vikander’s (who I hear is fantastic in the movie) best supporting actress Oscar for The Danish Girl. Light has been on the shelf for more than a year as Disney and DreamWorks went back and fourth on where to date it, and how to position the movie in regards to Vikander and Michael Fassbender’s other projects. Having started production in September 2014, Light was already in the can a year ago, but Danish Girl and Steve Jobs were perceived as bigger pieces of Oscar bait for the duo.
Given the fierce fall season which kicks off with Warner Bros.’ Clint Eastwood awards contender Sully next weekend, Disney decided to cast Light into theaters over the Labor Day holiday. Now that’s not a crazy distribution m.o. If there’s a dynamic drama in the marketplace that’s well reviewed, adults will come out for it during summer’s final frame. Focus Features has gone after this audience in the past with titles that smelled like awards bait early on, i.e. The Constant Gardener, The Debt, and The American. The Constant Gardener made close to $11M over the four-day Labor Day holiday on 1,346 and churned out a best supporting actress Oscar win for Rachel Weisz (who also stars here in Light) and another three noms. The Debt made $12.9M on 1,826 in its first four days and earned star Jessica Chastain a number of critics group kudos. But both Constant Gardner and Debt possessed stellar reviews, and though Light is moving older females to cry with a B+ CinemaScore, it doesn’t have all the goods for a long box office and awards season run.
20th Century Fox’s horror thriller Morgan may have cost a reported $6M, but it’s dying in 17th place with an estimated $1.9M three-day and $2.3M over four. Ouch. Aside from its awful reviews, Morgan arrives in the shadow of Don’t Breathe, and there’s no other horror title that genre fans want to see more than that right now. That’s why it’s key to space these horror thrillers out on the schedule. P&A on these low-budget wide entries are in the $20M range, so don’t be fooled by Morgan‘s low production cost here. One rival marketing executive tells Deadline, “Fox should have gone VOD with this, but they probably didn’t want to irk the film’s producer, Ridley Scott.” If you’re a frequent genre moviegoer, then you definitely caught the Morgan trailer attached to Sony’s Blake Lively shark movie The Shallows earlier this summer. So it’s not like Fox was hiding Morgan from its core demographic. Audiences covered their faces when watching Morgan with a C+ CinemaScore.
CBS/Lionsgate’s Hell or High Water has finally cracked the top 10. The Jeff Bridges-Chris Pine-Ben Foster western will rake in $6.25M over four-days taking its cume through four weekends to $16M+. Not only is Hell or High Water excelling with a $4400 per theater on 1,303, it’s cutting off Weinstein’s Co.’s 2,000-plus expansion of Hands of Stone which is making $1.28M. Together Morgan and Hands of Stone at their theaters counts are two of the worst openings since last fall’s Bill Murray offbeat comedy Rock the Kasbah which made $1.47M at 2,012 theaters.
Lionsgate/Pantelion’s Hispanic comedy No Manches Frida is making mucho money at 362 sites with a $3.5M FSS and a $4.48M FSSM. In recent years, the label has hit the sweet spot for Spanish-speaking families over this holiday frame.
Distributors are taking advantage of expanding some of their summer titles for a last hurrah, i.e. Sony’s Ghostbusters went back in 657 venues for 1,000-plus run ($1.3M four-day, $126.5M domestic). Disney’s Finding Dory jumped 1,730 locations to 2,075 for an estimated $2.5M four-day and $482.4M stateside total. Atom Tickets partnered with Lionsgate to bring teen horror thriller Nerve back into 761 theaters total. Those using the Atom app can buy Nerve tickets for $5. The Emma Roberts movie is looking at $866K over FSSM and a running cume of $37.8M. Currently, based off of 30 movies, Labor Day weekend ticket sales look to total north of $124M over four days which would easily best the $116.3M that 78 titles generated a year ago.
Top 10 films for Labor Day weekend 2016, Sept. 2-5 ,based on late night industry estimates:
1). Don’t Breathe (SONY), 3,051 theaters / $4.1M (-59%)Fri /3-day cume: $15.3M (-42%)/$4-day:$18.8M/Total:$52.4M / Wk 2
2). Suicide Squad (WB), 3,292 theaters (-290) / $2.2M Fri. (-33%)/ / 3-day cume: $9.9M (-29%) /4-day: $13M/Total cume: $300.4M/ Wk 5
3). Pete’s Dragon (DIS), 3,272 theaters (+28)/ $1.4M Fri. (-26%)/3-day cume: $6.6M (-12%)/4-day: $9M/Total cume: $66.8M/Wk 4
4). Kubo and the Two Strings (FOC), 2,985 theaters (-294)/ $1.4M Fri (-28%)/ 3-day cume: $6.4M (-18%)/$4-day: $8.7M/Total cume: $36.4M/ Wk 3
5).Sausage Party (SONY/APP), 2,766 theaters (-369) / $1.35M Fri. (-41%)/ 3-day cume: $5.2M (-31%)/4-day: $6.63M/Total cume: $89.8M/Wk 4
6). Hell or High Water (CBS/Lionsgate), 1,303 theaters (+394) / $1.2M Fri. (+18%) / 3-day cume: $4.8M (+35)/4-day: $6.3M/Total Cume: $16.4M/ Wk 4
7) War Dogs (WB), 2,848 theaters (-410) / $1.2M Fri (-40%)/3-day cume: $4.9M (-30%) /4-day: $6.29M/Total cume: $36.9M/Wk 3
8/9). Light Between Oceans (DIS/DWA), 1,500 theaters / $1.4M Fri /3-day cume: $4.85M /4-day:$6.1M/ Wk 1
Bad Moms (STX), 2,306 theaters (-259)/ $1.6M Fri. (-31%)/3-day cume: $4.85M (-12%)/4-day:$6.1M/Total cume: $103.9M/ Wk 6
10.) Jason Bourne (STX), 1,976 theaters (-469)/ $976K Fri (-31%)/3-day cume: $4.26M (-18%)/4-day:$5.63M/Total cume: $156.7M/ Wk 6
11.) Mechanic: Resurrection (LG), 2,258 theaters / $1M Fri (-60%) / 3-day cume: $4.18M (-45%)/4-day: $5.35M/Total: $15.5M/ Wk 2
No Manches Frida (LG/PANT), 362 theaters / $1.07M Fri /3-day cume: $3.5M /$4-day: $4.48M/ Wk 1
Morgan (20TH), 2,020 theaters / $607k Fri /3-day cume: $1.9M /$4-day: $2.3M/ Wk 1
Southside With You (RSA/MAX/IMG), 897 theaters (+84) / $360K (-65%) Fri / 3-day cume: $1.4M (-50%) /4-day: $1.84M/Total: $5.5M/ Wk 2
Hands of Stone (TWC), 2,011 theaters (+1,201) / $352K Fri (-44%)/ 3-day cume: $1.28M (-27%) /4-day: $1.6M/Total: $3.89M/Wk 1
Yoga Hosers (IND), 140 theaters / $15k Fri /3-day cume: $65k /$4-day: $82k/ Wk 1
1st UPDATE: ‘Don’t Breathe’ Leads Last Gasp Of Summer As Season Eyes Second-Best $4.49B
If you walked into a movie theater for a matinee this afternoon, you might have found that you were the only one sitting there. That’s how low matinees figures look right now. Any moviegoing activity will register tonight, so what we’re seeing now for Sony/Screen Gems/Studio 6’s late-night horror draw Don’t Breathe –could go higher than its current $13.5M four-day holiday forecast in 3,501 locations. The Fede Alvarez movie’s three-day is on course for $11M, -58% from its opening weekend.
The new stuff currently is looking worse than anticipated, with Disney’s final DreamWorks title, The Light Between Oceans, hardly shining at 1,500 theaters with a $4.2M three-day and $5.2M four-day. The movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival last night and currently battles middling reviews at 60% fresh, which isn’t strong enough to push adults away from the house, especially with a romance drama like this. DreamWorks, Reliance and Participant jointly financed Light for an estimated $20M before P&A.
20th Century Fox’s Morgan, at 2,200 locations, is looking at $2.4M over three days and $3M over four. That’s according to industry estimates, and it doesn’t help that this star-ensemble horror thriller is coming in the wake of Don’t Breathe‘s cult success. As opposed to Don’t Breathe last weekend, which critics loved immensely (an anomaly for a horror title) they can’t stand Morgan at 43% rotten. Pic cost under $10M before P&A.
The slow action over the Labor day period ends a summer that might hit $4.49B per comScore for the calendar range of May 6-September 5. That would make it the second-best summer after 2013’s $4.75B, but it’s going to take a $141.3M in ticket sales this weekend to beat last year’s total. Summer 2015 was 130 days long starting on May 1, with this year’s season short by a week since it started on May 6. When you compare this summer to last year’s in that apples-to-oranges date range, we’re in a dead heat. But if you compare the first 118 days of each summer, we’re +3% over last year with $4.34B.
While the standard analysis blah-blah is that Labor Day weekend is never a great time at the box office, statistical history buries that hasty generalization. If the studios program lackluster fare without any oomph, then they get nothing in return, which is what we’re seeing this weekend. However, a strong genre title always can pull in the younger crowd during summer’s finale; witness the holiday’s all-time four-day opener, 2007’s Halloween at $30.6M. or even a strong holdover like Disney’s The Sixth Sense, which minted $29.3M in its fifth weekend over Labor Day 1999.
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