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Sony’s horror entry Don’t Breathe closed out summer 2016 in high style, earning $19.6 million from 3,051 theaters over the long Labor Day weekend, one of the best numbers ever for the holiday frame, which isn’t exactly known for being crowded at the multiplex, according to final projections.
In North America, domestic revenue for the summer is in a dead heat with last year’s $4.48 billion, which marked the second-best showing behind 2013, according to comScore. An official figure won’t be released until Tuesday. Attendance, however, looks to be down 3 percent or more, but will come in ahead of a dismal showing in 2014.
It’s been a topsy-turvy summer. Sequelitis left a trail of big misses, although a handful of franchise installments — Captain America: Civil War and Finding Dory — did mega business, while horror also helped boost the bottom line.
Don’t Breathe is the latest example of how horror is thriving. The movie has earned $55 million in its first 10 days after costing Screen Gems and Stage 6 Films under $10 million to make. Overseas, the pic has grossed $5.3 million from its first 15 markets for a global take of $65.6 million.
Labor Day revenue was up significantly over last year, or more than 7 percent, thanks to Don’t Breathe and other holdovers, including STX Entertainment’s Bad Moms, which passed the $100 million mark on Saturday to become the top R-rated comedy of the year to date in North America. (Sausage Party isn’t far behind at roughly $90 million domestically).
However, the holiday’s new nationwide offerings didn’t feel the same late-summer glow. The adult drama The Light Between Oceans struggled, while sci-fi thriller Morgan is among one of the worst wide openings ever. The Robert De Niro and Edgar Ramirez boxing film Hands of Stone, which expanded into 2,011 theaters over the weekend, also got battered.
Director Derek Cianfrance’s Light Between Oceans earned $4.9 million for the four-day holiday frame from 1,500 theaters — a relatively small footprint — putting it in a close race for the No. 8 or No. 9 spot with CBS Films and Lionsgate’s Hell or High Water, which has become the top-grossing platform release this summer with a domestic total of roughly $16 million through Monday (Love & Friendship was the previous record-holder with $14 million). The final order will be determined Tuesday.
Light Between Oceans, which made its premiere at the Venice Film Festival last week, stars Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander as a childless couple living in an isolated lighthouse who discover an infant. Rachel Weisz also stars in the movie, which earned a B+ CinemaScore. Almost half of ticket buyers were under the age of 50.
DreamWorks, Reliance and Participant Media partnered in producing and financing the $20 million specialty adult drama. Disney is distributing the pic in North America. The filmmakers had hoped for a four-day opening closer to $8 million or $9 million.
Morgan, a sci-fi horror thriller targeting younger consumers, earned a dismal $2.4 million from 2,011 theaters over the four days, putting it at No. 18. If there’s any solace, the Fox movie, which received a C+ CinemaScore, cost only $6 million to produce. Heading into the weekend, tracking had suggested a $5 million-$6 million bow.
Fox made Morgan with first-time director Luke Scott (son of Ridley Scott). Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Toby Jones, Rose Leslie, Boyd Holbrook, Michelle Yeoh, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Paul Giamatti star. The story follows a group of scientists who create Morgan (Taylor-Joy), a being with superhuman qualities.
Obama date movie Southside With You followed at No. 19 in its second outing, grossing a disappointing $1.6 million from 897 theaters (up from 813 locations) for a domestic total just north of $5 million.
The Weinstein Co.’s boxing drama Hands of Stone upped its theater count from 800 to 2,011 in its second weekend, but got knocked out. The movie earned $1.6 million over the four days for a domestic total of $4 million.
One new limited entry with a happy tale to tell was Spanish-language offering No Manches Frida, which came in a strong No. 11 with a four-day gross of $4.7 million from 362 theaters. The film marks the second-best opening for Lionsgate and Televisa’s Pantelion Films label behind Instructions Not Included. No Manches Frida earned an A CinemaScore.
At $12,845, No Manches Frida also scored the second-best theater average of the weekend behind Elizabeth Wood’s directorial debut, White Girl, which opened in three locations, grossing $43,000 over the four days for a location average of $14,333.
Back in the top 10, Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad was another strong holdover, claiming the No. 2 spot over the Labor Day holiday frame as it crossed the $300 million mark domestically in its fifth weekend. The anti-superhero film grossed $12.8 million over the four days for a domestic total of $300.2 million through Monday. Overseas, the movie earned another $11.8 million from 65 territories as it winds down for a foreign total of $375.5 million and global haul of $675.7 million.
However, the weekend’s victor overseas was Paramount’s Star Trek Beyond. The sci-fi franchise installment topped the foreign chart with $37 million from 40 markets, led by China with a strong $31.3 million debut and 107 percent ahead of Star Trek Into Darkness. Paramount has high hopes for Star Trek Beyond in the Middle Kingdom, where it has struck key partnerships. Globally, the pic has now earned $286.2 million, including $155.1 million domestically.
Back in North America, Disney’s family film Pete’s Dragon tied for No. 3 with Focus Features and Laika’s Kubo and the Two Strings. Pete’s Dragon, which has now earned $94.3 million globally, is reporting a four-day domestic gross of $8.58 million. Kubo, which has grossed $36.4 million domestically and an early $5.4 million overseas, is reporting a four-day gross of $8.53 million. Again, the order will be determined Tuesday.
Sony and Annapurna Pictures’ Sausage Party rounded out the top five with $6.5 million for the four-day frame, putting its domestic booty at $89.8 million and global total at $103.8 million.
Sept. 5, 8 a.m. Updated with four-day grosses for Labor Day weekend.
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