Weekend Box Office (August 26 - 28, 2016)
THIS WEEKEND Summer comes closer to the end with a handful of titles rushing into North American multiplexes trying to grab whatever money they can in a contracting marketplace. Leading the way is the fright film Don't Breathe which has a good shot at booting Suicide Squad from the number one spot.
Horror has been a consistently popular - and profitable - genre all summer. Good concepts sell too and this one has that with a story of crooks breaking into a blind man's house only to have the tables turned on them in the dark. Scary movies historically have done well in late August which is also a time when a good share of college and high school students go back to class. Sony will release this R-rated title in over 2,900 theaters and may find itself with around $14M.
Jason Statham had a banner year in 2015 taking his career into new directions with great success starring as the villain in Furious 7 and then as a comedy buffoon in Spy. But this year it's business as usual as the action star headlines Mechanic: Resurrection which is not likely to sell beyond the core male crowd that comes out to many of his past action titles. Overall interest is low for Lionsgate's R-rated entry and most fans will catch it later on home entertainment platforms. Attacking over 2,200 locations, the Mechanic sequel might collect about $6M.
Boxer Roberto Duran gets his life on the big screen in the new sports pic Hands of Stone starring Robert De Niro, Edgar Ramirez, and Usher. The R-rated film has earned mixed reviews and should appeal to an older audience. Mature adults have other options as well during this time period when overall spending shrinks so potential will be limited. The Weinstein Co. rolls into 810 theaters with Hands of Stone and could take home about $3M.
Also entering a similar amount of theaters in a last ditch effort to grab some end-of-summer cash is the Obama love story Southside With You which has been earning plenty of critical praise. The PG-13 film has not had a long lead-up of advertising ahead of its release but quick-breaking social media buzz will help it open. It also hopes to reach a wider audience over Labor Day weekend next week. Opening in 807 sites from Roadside Attractions and Miramax, Southside With You might debut to about $3M this weekend.
Chugging onwards towards the triple century club, Suicide Squad would love nothing more than to hold the number one spot for four straight weeks. Erosion will get in the way but the weekend may still see it in double digit millions. A 50% slide may be in order putting the DC bad guys at about $11M for the frame and $281M overall.
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Watch the trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
LAST YEAR For a third weekend, Straight Outta Compton topped the box office this time grossing $13.1M. Sony scored a late summer faith-based hit with War Room which debuted to $11.4M with a sturdy $10,000 average on its way to a $67.8M final. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation followed with $8.2M while No Escape opened in fourth with only $8.1M heading to a $27.3M final take. Sinister 2 rounded out the top five with $4.7M in its sophomore scare.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: August 25, 2016 at 8:45AM ET
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