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BO Aug 26

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Sony’s subsidiary distributors, Screen Gems, should be congratulated on their timing as the latest horror flick to demonstrate the current commercial virility of the genre, Don’t Breathe, dominated the box office this weekend with no other releases offering any substantial competition. The returns for Don’t Breathe have already nearly tripled its production budget thanks to positive reviews and good word of mouth. An overall gross of somewhere around the 60 million mark seems well within the release’s grasp and offers further proof that scares sell in 2016.

The other new release to break into the top 5 is the Jason Statham vehicle, Mechanic: Resurrection. The first wide release for Lionsgate Premiere was greeted with predictable sneers and jeers from critics earning itself a very rotten 24% on Rottentomatoes but the target audience for such meatheaded action clearly don’t care as it notched up a healthy opening for such a modestly budgeted production.

Elsewhere in the top 5, in what’s been a quiet and uneventful weekend release wise, it’s all about the holdovers from previous weeks:

  • Suicide Squad drops to second place in its third week and again felt the effects of another substantial drop off in revenue, however, thanks to better-than-expected global returns it actually looks on course to reach the $700 million mark Warners set for it.
  • Kubo and the Two Strings showed that having the critics on your side can equate to box office staying power as it only took a 37% drop in takings and seems to be collecting its reward for a quality production in cash as well as prestige.
  • And the summer’s surprise hit, Sausage Party, continues to bring in the coin and looks set to be one of the most profitable films this year in terms of ROI in what was uncharacteristically risky gamble for Sony Pictures in the adult animation genre.

On the south side of the top 10, we have the beleaguered Ben-Hur suffering further humiliation with a 60% drop off after an already embarrassing opening weekend last week and barely holds in 10th position. The Paramount flop has been given the thumbs down by audiences and crucified by critics, and it really would take a miracle of biblical proportions for this unwanted remake to come anywhere near breaking even now.

And finally, it’s heartening to see Disney’s well-received Pete’s Dragon finally getting close to going into the black as it finishes just outside the top 5 with a respectable take of just over $7 million in its third week.

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