Weekend Box Office: ‘Don’t Breathe’ Inhales the Box Office Bucks

The usually dormant late August box office got a jolt this weekend as the Sony feature Don’t Breathe landed in first place with strong numbers. The action sequel Mechanic: Resurrection was in need of servicing in fifth place while the Obama first date drama Southside with You and the boxing drama Hands of Stone both sputtered outside the top ten.

Don’t Breathe -a thriller produced for under $10 million- scored $26.1 million from 3,051 theaters in its first three days. Directed by Evil Dead remake helmer Fede Alvarez, Breathe turned out to be that rare instance where a horror film was not just a hit with audiences looking for one last summertime scare, but also critics. The nation’s scribes bestowed the film with an 87% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 71/100 on Metacritic.

After ruling the box office roost for three weeks, Warner’s Suicide Squad stepped aside to make way for Don’t Breathe. The action flick had its best weekend hold to date –a decrease of 42% in business- as it earned an estimated $12.1 million from 3,582 theaters. After one month of release, Suicide Squad has earned $282 million. The film should pass the $300 million mark within the next two weeks en route to finishing close to $310 million. Overseas, the film has brought in $353 million.

Positive word-of-mouth from families helped Focus Features’ Kubo and the Two Strings sustain itself in its second weekend of release on 3,279 screens. The acclaimed animated feature eased only 37% to earn an estimated $8 million. After ten days, the total for Kubo is $25 million. Should viewer feedback remain strong, Kubo could finish its domestic run between $45-50 million.

An animated feature of a much different kind, Sausage Party, landed in fourth place in its third go around on 3,135 screens. The R-rated Seth Rogen cartoon earned an estimated $7.6 million this weekend –down 50%- which brought the overall domestic total for the $19 million production up to $80 million. Should the movie get a boost from Labor Day weekend crowds, Sausage Party could reach the $100 million mark.

You all remember the 2011 Jason Statham remake of The Mechanic, right? No? That’s okay, neither do I. Still, that didn’t stop Lionsgate and Summit Pictures from going ahead with making a sequel to it. Mechanic: Resurrection became the latest 2016 sequel that no one asked or showed up for. The Lionsgate release, which stars Statham, Jessica Alba and Tommy Lee Jones, opened on 2,258 screens Friday where it kicked and shot its way to an estimated $7.5 million, good enough for fifth place. Critics, not surprisingly, were less than enthused with the sequel.

Outside the top five:

6. Pete’s Dragon (Disney) $7.2 million (-36%); $54.7 million

7. War Dogs (Warner) $7.25 million (-51%); $27.7 million

8. Bad Moms (STX) $5.8 million (-27%); $95 million

9. Jason Bourne (Universal) $5.2 million (-35%) $149 million

10. Ben-Hur (2016) $4.5 million (-60%); $19.5 million

Next weekend sees the final two wide releases of the summer, the horror film Morgan and the adult drama The Light Between Oceans. Morgan has a shot at the number one spot over the Labor Day weekend depending on how big of a drop Don’t Breathe encounters in its sophomore session.

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