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'Don’t Breathe' ends summer 2016 on a high (update)

SEPTEMBER 6 UPDATE: Screen Gems’ horror held firm at the top on an confirmed $19.7m as the four-day portion of Labor Day weekend holiday dispelled the ‘sequelitis’ blues – for now at least – to round out a solid season.

Latest figures indicate summer 2016’s $4.48bn haul will finish approximately on par with the 2015 season and around 5% down on the record summer of 2013.

That is no mean feat in an industry at the whim of inconsistent production cycles where tentpoles are released throughout the year.

Warner Bros’ Suicide Squad crossed $300m and ranks second on $300.1m after five weekends,

STX Entertainment’s Bad Moms became the studio’s first film past $100m. While the milestone does not always tell the full story, the stated $20m negative cost indicates a success and an important morale booster for the company and its investors given a largely lacklustre track record at the box office until now.

The R-rated comedy was one of 14 released in summer that grossed more than $100m and that number could rise to 15 if Sony/Annapurna Pictures’ Sausage Party crosses the milestone in the next few weeks.

While that film and Bad Moms have been hits, crossing $100m is by no means a mark of success in North America as was seen in the cases of The Legend Of Tarzan and Independence Day: Resurgence, where international grosses were required to salvage pride and investment.

Despite oft-heard complaints about ‘sequelitis’ as the likes of Alice Through The Looking Glass , Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows and Star Trek Beyond performed well below expectations — add remakes and reboots to the list of woes thanks to Warcraft, The BFG and Ben-Hur — the summer rallied well towards the end to become one of the best ever.

It was a tremendous summer for The Walt Disney Company. After the heroics of April release The Jungle Book continued into summer, Pixar’s Finding Dory finished as North American’s seasonal champion on $481.8m followed by Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War on $407.9m.

Universal’s animation smash The Secret Life Of Pets ranked third on $358.6m and counting, while Warner Bros claimed fourth place with the DC Entertainment adaptation Suicide Squad and Fox’s X-Men: Apocalypse finished fifth on $155.4m.

The superb performance of Don’t Breathe serves reminder that horror remains strong: the past three months or so have seen The Conjuring 2, The Purge: Election Year and Lights Out all deliver impressive results.

Returning to the Labor Day holiday weekend, Dreamworks’ Pete’s Dragon held well in its fourth weekend and surged three places to number three on $8.5m for $66.3m, although the family release is far from delivering the performance expected of a $64m production cost.

Another Dreamworks film, Derek Cianfrance’s award hopeful and recent Venice Film Festival world premiere The Light Between Oceans, arrived at number six via Buena Vista on a muted $6.2m in 1,500 theatres.

No doubt the film will expand if word of mouth builds and the reviews are strong. Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander star in the period romance.

CBS Films’ Hell Or High Water climbed four places to number eight in its via Lionsgate on $5.9m for $16m after four sessions. The film reportedly cost $12m to make.

Lionsgate-Pantelion’s No Maches Frida debuted well at number 13 on $4.6m from 362 sites. Fox’s sci-fi thriller Morgan starring Kata Mara and produced by Ridley Scott did not fare so well and opened at number 18 poorly on $2.5m from 2,020 venues.

Overall box office for the top 12 combined for $95.6m and gained 10.3% on the comparable session in 2015.

This week’s wide releases include Warner Bros’ drama Sully starring Tom Hanks and directed by Clint Eastwood; Screen Gems’ drama When The Bough Breaks starring Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall; Lionsgate-Summit’s animation The Wild Life; and Relativity Media’s horror The Disappointments Room.

Confirmed top 10 North America September 2-5, 2016
Film (Dist) / Conf wkd gross / Conf total to date

1 (1) Don’t Breathe (Screen Gems) $19.7m $55.1m

2 (2) Suicide Squad (Warner Bros) Warner Bros Pictures International $12.7m $300.1m

3 (3) Kubo And The Two Strings (Focus Features) Universal Pictures International $8.8m $36.6m

4 (6) Pete’s Dragon (Buena Vista) Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International $8.5m $66.3m

5 (4) Sausage Party (Sony) Sony Pictures Releasing International $6.5m $89.6m

6 (-) The Light Between Oceans (Buena Vista) Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International / Mister Smith $6.2m –

7 (7) War Dogs (Warner Bros) Warner Bros Pictures International $6.1m $36.6m

8 (12) Hell Or High Water (Lionsgate) Lionsgate International $5.9m $16m

9 (8) Bad Moms (STX Entertainment) STX International $5.8m $103.6m

10 (5) Mechanic: Resurrection (Lionsgate-Summit) Lionsgate International $5.7m $15.8m

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