The summer box office hoopla is coming to a close, and you can always tell by how low the grosses go. Sixty-four percent of K-12 schools are back in session, as well as close to 60% of all colleges per ComScore and the type of impact that has on the B.O. is equivalent to multiplexes closing down during a nor’easter. No joke: This weekend will be the second one since Jan. 22-24 where no title clicks past $20M. In fact, the No. 1 film this weekend will likely pull in a 3-day gross that’s lower than the $16M that The Revenant made during that fourth snowed-in weekend in January.
Sony historically has gone after the under 35 demo during this late August frame with genre and urban titles such as Takers ($20.5M), Anaconda 2 ($12.8M) and Colombiana ($10.4M), and this weekend they’re aiming at the 17-34 bunch with the R-rated Screen Gems/Stage 6 horror thriller Don’t Breathe, which marks the second title from director Fede Alvarez, who previously delivered the Evil Dead remake which opened to $25.8M and finaled at $54.2M off a $17M budget. Don’t Breathe could upset Suicide Squad‘s run at No. 1 for the fourth weekend in a row with a 3-day between $11.5M-$14M at approximately 3,000 locations, which isn’t too shabby for a film that cost under $10M. That’s a weekend take on par with other horror titles that have played the tail-end of August, read Jeepers Creepers ($13M), Sinister 2 ($10.5M) and As Above/So Below ($8.6M) The Warner Bros. DC title could ring in between $10M-$11M, and if it does hold the top spot at the box office, it will be the first to do so this year for four weekends in a row. Don’t Breathe was financed by Sony Pictures’ Stage 6 Films, headed by Steven Bersch, who worked with Alvarez on 2013’s Evil Dead. Thursday showtimes begin at 7PM at about 2,400 sites.
Sony/Annapurna’s Sausage Party in its third weekend will also be at the top of the charts with $9M. The Seth Rogen-Evan Goldberg production is close to passing the $70M at the box office.
Lionsgate Premiere will open its 11th Jason Statham action title Mechanic: Resurrection which was largely financed by Millennium Films. The label has a limited exposure on this sequel and is looking at $6M-$8M this weekend at 2,258. The Mechanic opened in January 2011 to $11.4M and finaled at $29.1M. CBS Films handled that Simon West-directed title which it acquired for $5M at the time. Mechanic: Insurrection will begin Thursday previews at 7PM.
As we reported yesterday, with a number of new titles this weekend going after Hispanic and African American moviegoers, Weinstein Co. wisely chose to duck and go wide later with their Roberto Duran bi0pic Hands of Stone with an 800 theater count launch on Friday and a 2,500 expansion on Wednesday. The plan enables them to spur word of mouth on the title in an effort to lure more adults heading into Labor Day weekend. Industry estimates have Hands of Stone opening between $2.5M-$3M.
At the last minute, Roadside Attractions/Miramax announced that their Barack and Michelle Obama first date movie Southside With You is going wider than planned in 806 theaters. Given the outgoing beloved presidential administration, coupled with African American audiences, the Richard Tanne movie is expected to overperform, and potentially outflank Hands of Stone. Miramax acquired Southside With You from IM Global for about $2M with a mid-seven-figure P&A during Berlin.