***BLOGGER’S UPDATE (08/23/16): It was announced today by the Weinstein Company that they are significantly changing their release pattern for Hands of Stone. The film was originally scheduled to debut this Friday on approximately 2,000 screens. Now, it will premiere on only 800 screens with a wider roll-out on Wednesday (08/31). This forces a shift in my prediction for it. My $6.1 million estimate is now $3.9 million. That would leave it at #11 this weekend based on my projections.
****BLOGGER’S UPDATE #2 (08/25/16): Finally relenting with Don’t Breathe to give it the #1 spot at $12.4 million. That’s not as high as most prognosticators, but it basically assures it the top spot. The change is reflected below.
The 2016 summer movie season comes to a close this weekend and it does so in a manner in which most late Augusts do… with a whimper. There are three newbies debuting. None are expected to create major waves. They are: Jason Statham action sequel Mechanic: Resurrection, Sam Raimi produced horror pic Don’t Breathe, and Robert Duran boxing biopic Hands of Stone with Edgar Ramirez and Robert De Niro. You can peruse my individual prediction posts on each here:
I don’t have any of the newcomers making double digits out of the gate. I will note that my blog readers are strenuously disagreeing on that point with Don’t Breathe, it seems. A whopping 85% believe my prediction is Too Low with 11% saying Just About Right and just 4% saying Too High. Truth be told, horror movies are tough to predict (Lights Out opened considerably beyond my estimate just a month ago). My projection for Don’t Breathe takes into account the late August release and a similar comparison with You’re Next (another critically acclaimed genre title released in the same weekend three summers back). Still, it appears this might be the trendy pick to be #1 in the final summer frame.
As for Mechanic: Resurrection, it’s a pretty even split with 40% saying my forecast is Just About Right and 30% each believing it’s Too High and Too Low. With Hands of Stone, 44% each think I’m either Just About Right or Too Low with 12% saying Too High.
So what will be #1? It looks to me as if Suicide Squad has a real shot at a four-peat if none of the debuting pictures reach past $10M. When it comes to other holdovers in their second weekends, I expect Kubo and the Two Strings will have a smaller percentage drop-off than War Dogs while Sausage Party in weekend #3 may drop at about 50%. It should create an extremely close race between them.
As for Ben-Hur and its dismal weekend opening (more on that below), its drop may not be as massive as some may think (it did get an A- Cinemascore), but over 50% is quite probable. It may battle with Pete’s Dragon and Hands of Stone and Bad Moms for similar grosses.
Add all that activity up and I’ll predict a Top Ten for this final blowout (aka mild fade out) of summer ’16:
1. Don’t Breathe
Predicted Gross: $12.4 million
2. Suicide Squad
Predicted Gross: $10.6 million (representing a drop of 49%)
3. Mechanic: Resurrection
Predicted Gross: $8.5 million
4. Sausage Party
Predicted Gross: $7.6 million (representing a drop of 50%)
5. Kubo and the Two Strings
Predicted Gross: $7.5 million (representing a drop of 40%)
6. War Dogs
Predicted Gross: $7.4 million (representing a drop of 49%)
7. Pete’s Dragon
Predicted Gross: $6.6 million (representing a drop of 42%)
8. Bad Moms
Predicted Gross: $5.4 million (representing a drop of 32%)
Predicted Gross: $5.2 million (representing a drop of 53%)
10. Jason Bourne
Predicted Gross: $4.6 million (representing a drop of 43%)
Box Office Results (August 19-21)
Suicide Squad remained atop the charts for the third weekend in a row, grossing $20.8 million (slightly ahead of my $19.8M estimate) for a total of $262M. As mentioned above, the DC Comics pic has a nice shot at a fourth weekend at #1 (unless I’m wrong about Don’t Breathe… which many believe I am).
Sausage Party held in second place in weekend 2 with $15.4 million (I predicted a bit higher with $16.7M) for a pleasing 10 day total of $65M. Whether or not it reaches $100M is still in question, but this is a fine performance considering its $30M budget.
The Jonah Hill/Miles Teller action comedy War Dogs had the highest debut of the newbies with a respectable third place showing. It grossed $14.6 million, a bit above my $13.4M projection. I expect it lose almost half its audience in its sophomore frame as audiences didn’t seem too impressed with a B Cinemascore grade.
Kubo and the Two Strings garnered strong reviews, but had the weakest opening yet in fourth place for animation studio Laika with $12.6 million (under my generous $17M forecast). It could be that family audiences have simply had their fair share of pics to enjoy this season.
Speaking of underwhelming family entertainment, Disney’s Pete’s Dragon continued its unimpressive run with $11.3 million for fifth place (I predicted $12.3M). The total stands at $42M.
Now… to Ben-Hur. And, boy, is this an enormous flop for Paramount. The umpteenth remake (most notably of the 1959 Charlton Heston Best Picture winner) of the Biblical epic bombed with $11.2 million. I was kinder with a $16.3M prediction. With a reported $100 million budget, this stands as one of the largest flops of the year. Not even Morgan Freeman’s dreadlocks could save it.
Finally, outside of the top ten, the critically lauded Western thriller Hell or High Water expanded to 472 screens and had the highest per screen average of any film. It grossed $2.6 million and is expected to roll out even wider this weekend.
And that’ll do it for now, friends! Until next time…