THE 4-DAY WEEKEND ACTUALS
|Film||Weekend||Opening Weekend||Current Gross|
|Don’t Breathe||$19.707 million||$26.411 million||$55.131 million|
|Suicide Squad||$12.687 million||$133.682 million||$300.104 million|
|Kubo and the Two Strings||$8.764 million||$12.608 million||$36.625 million|
|Pete’s Dragon||$8.499 million||$21.514 million||$66.251 million|
|Sausage Party||$6.458 million||$34.263million||$89.604 million|
Labor Day weekend was a little louder than expected, primarily thanks to horror flick Don’t Breathe, but it was still, overall, one of the smallest grossing weekends, as it normally is, with no film breaching the $20 million mark. Still, Don’t Breathe nearly got there when all four days are added together and certainly ended the weekend on a high note, bringing in plenty more money than any other film. Playing in a little over 3,000 theaters, it’s one of the best showings for a film over this particular holiday weekend. With the combination of horror, animation, and few sequels that didn’t bomb (such as Captain America: Civil War), this year’s summer domestic numbers are tracking to be neck and neck with last year’s numbers, and just behind 2014, although attendance is slated to be down by 3 percent. If the numbers aren’t worse, why are this summer’s movie slate and box office results being called lackluster? Partly because quite a few films have performed dismally, but also because the numbers from this summer are primarily coming from a handful of movies, rather than movies across the board.
Such as Suicide Squad, which unsurprisingly maintained its second place positioning this weekend. There’s a lot that can be said about the film critically and that it’s unlikely to break $1 billion (it’s growing less and less week-to-week), but the fact remains that it’s still made $300 million domestically so far and is definitely a boon to the summer’s numbers. With its relatively solid intake over the 4-day weekend, the film is continuing to solidify itself as one of the strongest showing blockbusters of the year, even while still not being able to curtail Disney’s current dominating streak (but it’s rare any film will be able to do that between Disney’s own animated films, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel).
Speaking of the Mouse House, easily the biggest surprise of the weekend was Pete’s Dragon jump from sixth place to fourth place, right on the tail of Kubo and the Two Strings in third place. The film, a remake of an ill-remembered ’70s live-action and animated hybrid about a boy and his dragon, has received wonderful praise from critics but has so far seen a languid pace when it comes to box office numbers. It was likely the holiday weekend, with children either not starting school quite yet or simply having an extra day off, that boosted the film’s numbers to bring it back into the top five after having dropped off last weekend (especially given its theater count didn’t have any dramatic sort of change). With the excellent showing this weekend, the film has officially surpassed its $65 million budget and is only $5 million away from crossing the $100 million worldwide threshold. It’s not nearly as much as Disney’s other live-action remakes, but it’s made a profit and a larger one than Steven Spielberg’s ill-fated BFG (which currently only has a profit of $20 million).
Walt Disney Pictures
Jumping back up to third place, Kubo has been in the top five every week since it’s been released (three weeks now), which speaks to overall lackluster performances, given Kubo hasn’t had particularly spectacular numbers since its debut. It’s made $42 million globally on a $60 million budget and while word of mouth is clearly serving the movie well, it’s still not performing well enough to scream and shout about. It will overall likely go down as one of Laika’s best-reviewed films (it’s currently performing the best critically, with a 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes — second place is Coraline at 90 percent), but not one of its best financial performers.
A film that does have that problem is this weekend’s fifth-place taker, Sausage Party, which has now crossed $100 million worldwide on only a $19 million budget (and having decreased its theater count over the last few days). A holiday weekend is a time to do plenty of things — get out of town, have a barbecue, make some progress on your to-do list, or see the raunchy animated movie about food products, of course. It will easily go down as one of the biggest surprise hits of 2016 and that’s nothing to scoff at.
CBS Films / Lionsgate
One of the new films of the weekend performed less than expected, with the Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander romantic drama The Light Between Oceans coming in sixth place with a four-day weekend total of $6.1 million (when you don’t take into account Labor Day, it placed eighth). It was definitely a soft opening for the film, which is receiving lukewarm receptions from critics (it currently boasts 60 percent on Rotten Tomatoes). It’s worth noting it only opened in 1,500 theaters and appeals to a much narrower audience than summer blockbusters and animated films do, but it’s still a tepid outing. Still, it’s practically a gold medalist when it comes to the other newcomer of the weekend, Morgan, which astonishingly landed in eighteenth place, making only $2.5 million over the four days. It opened in just over 2,000 theaters and unequivocally flopped. It even performed worse than the one other new film opening this past weekend, No Manches Frida, an indie film that bowed in only 362 theaters and still managed to take in $4.6 million. There’s no other way around it — Morgan is a complete failure for Fox and likely won’t be able to make up for it.
The remainder of the top ten consists of mainstays War Dogs, Bad Moms, Mechanic: Resurrection, and a newcomer to the top ten in its fourth week of release, Hell or High Water, which many people are saying is one of the best films of the year. Starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster, and Jeff Bridges, it’s a modern-day western that currently has a box office total of $16 million (with a $12 million budget) and could see some awards activity as the year continues. Overall, Labor Day maintained its reputation as a quieter movie weekend, but it still had some surprises to ponder. This weekend, the Clint Eastwood-directed Sully opens, which stars Tom Hanks, Laura Linney, and Aaron Eckhart, and it’ll likely pull in some nice numbers to take down Don’t Breathe.
(Source: boxoffice.com, boxofficemojo.com. Figures represent numbers at time of writing, and may have changed.)
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor