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Weekend Predictions: The Real Work Begins

September 8th, 2016


The weekend after the Labor Day long weekend is often the worst weekend of the year. However, this year there two films opening wide that have a real shot at $20 million or more. Sully is Oscar-bait, but it is opening a little too early for that role and its reviews are a little below where they need to be. When the Bough Breaks is a thriller aimed at African-Americans and this time of year has become the perfect time to release such a film. Those two films should earn $50 million combined. Unfortunately, there are two other films coming out this week. The Wild Life is a third-tier animated film, while The Disappointments Room isn’t even opening truly wide. There’s a chance neither of them will reach the top five. The Disappointments Room likely won’t reach the top ten. This weekend last year, the top two films were The Perfect Guy and The Visit, which combined earned just over $50 million at the box office. It should be a really close race in the year-over-year competition.

Sully stars Tom Hanks as the titular Sully, the airline pilot who saved his plane by landing it in the Hudson river. The film’s reviews are just shy of 80% positive. This is great for a September release, but not great for a film that was clearly made to win Oscars. Fortunately, the buzz has grown over the past week, so it likely won’t need to win Oscars in order to be a financial hit. On the high end, it could crack $30 million over the weekend. I’m not that bullish, but I do think it will do better that $25 million. Look for a $27 million opening.

When the Bough Breaks is a thriller aimed at African-Americans. It stars Moris Chestnut, among others, who previously starred in The Perfect Guy, which opened this week last year. That film earned terrible reviews, but debuted in first place with $25.88 million. This film has no reviews and has to deal with stronger competition. I still think it will be a hit, just a slightly smaller hit than The Perfect Guy was last year. Look for an opening of $24 million.

Don’t Breathe will continue its impressive run with $8 million over the weekend pushing its running tally over $65 million. This is already enough to be considered a major hit, given its production budget. Even if it doesn’t find an audience internationally, it will break even early in its home market run.

Suicide Squad crossed $300 million on Monday, which will be the last major milestone for the film’s domestic run. This is enough to ensure it will make a profit, but not quite a record for an August release. Meanwhile, it will earn fourth place with nearly $5 million this weekend.

In order to open in the top five, The Wild Life just needs to avoid the Mendoza line. That’s not a sure thing. The film is a third-tier animated film and as Ratchet and Clank have shown, these films can bomb hard. The reviews are 42% positive, or roughly where you would expect a film like this to end up. It might be able to grab fourth place with just over $5 million, but fifth place with just over $4 million is more likely. On the other hand, should it miss the Mendoza Line, then Kubo and the Two Strings will be ready to grab fifth place.

The final new release of the week is The Disappointments Room, which is expected to be this week’s Morgan. There are no reviews, the film is playing in just 1,500 theaters and nearly every prediction I’ve read has it earning less than $3 million. There are some who think it will earn less than $1 million. Split the difference and we have a prediction of $2 million.

- Sully Comparisons
- When the Bough Breaks Comparisons
- The Wild Life Comparisons
- The Disappointments Room Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Disappointments Room, Suicide Squad, When the Bough Breaks, Kubo and the Two Strings, Don’t Breathe, Sully, Morgan, Robinson Crusoe, Tom Hanks, Morris Chestnut