Box office: Don’t Breathe succeeds where epics have failed

Box office: Don’t Breathe succeeds where epics have failed August 28, 2016

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An inexpensive horror flick succeeded where pricier movies have failed this week.

Don’t Breathe, a low-budget thriller about a blind army veteran who terrorizes three burglars after they break into his house, led the box office with an estimated $26.1 million between Thursday and Sunday nights, which is more than double the $11-12 million that the studio had predicted the film would earn this weekend.

This is the opposite of what happened to Ben-Hur last week. The studio behind that film said it would open to $20 million, but it stalled at $11.2 million instead.

Interestingly, Don’t Breathe is the second surprise hit Sony has distributed this month that links rejection of God (or “the gods”) to sexual boundary-crossing. But where Sausage Party resolves all of its tensions with a utopian orgy, Don’t Breathe puts a more sinister spin on what a man can do when he “realizes” God doesn’t exist.

The week’s other new wide release was the action sequel Mechanic: Resurrection, which earned an estimated $7.5 million and ranked fifth for the weekend. That’s one of the lower openings for a film starring Jason Statham in wide release.

Ben-Hur, for its part, fell to tenth place this week, grossing only $4.5 million for the weekend. That’s a drop of 59.6% from the film’s first week, which is similar to the second-week drops for Son of God (59.5%), Noah (61%) and Exodus: Gods and Kings (66.4%). It is also quite a bit steeper than the second-week drops for Risen (42.3%), The Passion of the Christ (36.5%) and The Nativity Story (27.2%).

Ben-Hur has earned $19.6 million in its first ten days in North America, and another $21.8 million overseas, where it will be rolling out over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, in other box-office news…

Suicide Squad earned $12.1 million and ranked second in its fourth week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $282.9 million. The film has earned another $353.1 million overseas for a global total of $636 million.

Kubo and the Two Strings earned $7.9 million and ranked third in its second week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $24.9 million. The film has earned another $2.7 million overseas for a global total of $27.6 million.

Sausage Party earned $7.7 million and ranked fourth in its third week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $80 million. The film has earned another $8.7 million overseas for a global total of $88.7 million.

Pete’s Dragon earned $7.28 million and ranked sixth in its third week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $54.7 million. The film has earned another $21.5 million overseas for a global total of $76.2 million.

War Dogs earned $7.26 million and ranked seventh in its second week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $27.8 million. The film has earned another $14.9 million overseas for a global total of $42.7 million.

Bad Moms earned $5.8 million and ranked eighth in its fifth week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $95.5 million. The film has earned another $28.7 million overseas for a global total of $124.2 million.

And Jason Bourne earned $5.2 million and ranked ninth in its fifth week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $149.4 million. The film has earned another $198.5 million overseas for a global total of $347.9 million.

Now for a bit of extra data on Ben-Hur’s place among “faith-based” and Bible films:

Ben-Hur now ranks 13th among recent Bible-themed films in North America:

  • 2004 — The Passion of the Christ — $370.8 million
  • 1998 — The Prince of Egypt — $101.4 million
  • 2014 — Noah — $101.2 million
  • 2014 — Exodus: Gods and Kings — $65 million
  • 2014 — Son of God — $59.7 million
  • 2009 — Year One — $43.3 million
  • 2006 — The Nativity Story — $37.6 million
  • 2016 — Risen — $36.9 million
  • 1981 — History of the World, Part I — $31.7 million
  • 2016 — Hail, Caesar! — $30.1 million
  • 2002 — Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie — $25.6 million
  • 1979 — Monty Python’s Life of Brian — $20 million
  • 2016 — Ben-Hur — $19.6 million
  • 1980 — Wholly Moses! — $14.2 million
  • 2006 — One Night with the King — $13.4 million
  • 1988 — The Last Temptation of Christ — $8.4 million
  • 2016 — The Young Messiah — $6.5 million
  • 1985 — King David — $5.1 million
  • 2003 — The Gospel of John — $4.1 million

It also now ranks sixth among Bible-themed films of the past 20 years overseas (Box Office Mojo doesn’t have foreign figures for older Bible-themed films):

  • 2014 — Noah — $261.4 million
  • 2004 — The Passion of the Christ — $241.1 million
  • 2014 — Exodus: Gods and Kings — $203.2 million
  • 1998 — The Prince of Egypt — $117.2 million
  • 2016 — Hail, Caesar! — $33.1 million
  • 2016 — Ben-Hur — $21.8 million
  • 2009 — Year One — $19.0 million
  • 2014 — Son of God — $11.1 million
  • 2016 — Risen — $9.2 million
  • 2006 — The Nativity Story — $8.8 million

So it now ranks tenth among Bible-themed films of the past 20 years worldwide:

  • 2004 — The Passion of the Christ — $370.8 + 241.1 = 611.9 million
  • 2014 — Noah — $101.2 + 261.4 = 362.6 million
  • 2014 — Exodus: Gods and Kings — $65.0 + 203.2 = 268.2 million
  • 1998 — The Prince of Egypt — $101.4 + 117.2 = 218.6 million
  • 2014 — Son of God — $59.7 + 11.1 = 70.8 million
  • 2016 — Hail, Caesar! — $30.1 + 33.1 = 63.2 million
  • 2009 — Year One — $43.3 + 19.0 = 62.4 million
  • 2006 — The Nativity Story — $37.6 + 8.8 = 46.4 million
  • 2016 — Risen — $36.9 + 9.2 = 46.1 million
  • 2016 — Ben-Hur — $19.6 + 21.8 = 41.4 million

Ben-Hur also now ranks 15th among “faith-based” films in North America:

  • 2004 — The Passion of the Christ — $370.8 million
  • 2014 — Heaven Is for Real — $91.4 million
  • 2015 — War Room — $67.8 million
  • 2016 — Miracles from Heaven — $61.7 million
  • 2014 — God’s Not Dead — $60.8 million
  • 2014 — Son of God — $59.7 million
  • 2011 — Soul Surfer — $43.9 million
  • 2006 — The Nativity Story — $37.6 million
  • 2016 — Risen — $36.9 million
  • 2011 — Courageous — $34.5 million
  • 2008 — Fireproof — $33.5 million
  • 2014 — When the Game Stands Tall — $30.1 million
  • 2002 — Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie — $25.6 million
  • 2016 — God’s Not Dead 2 — $20.8 million
  • 2016 — Ben-Hur — $19.6 million
  • 2005 — The Gospel — $15.8 million

And now for a bit of extra data on the year’s top-grossing animated films:

In North America, The Secret Life of Pets still ranks ninth among animated films:

  • 2016 — Finding Dory (Pixar) — $479.6 million
  • 2004 — Shrek 2 (DreamWorks) — $441.2 million
  • 1994 — The Lion King (Disney) — $422.8 million
  • 2010 — Toy Story 3 (Pixar) — $415.0 million
  • 2013 — Frozen (Disney) — $400.7 million
  • 2003 — Finding Nemo (Pixar) — $380.8 million
  • 2013 — Despicable Me 2 (Universal) — $368.1 million
  • 2015 — Inside Out (Pixar) — $356.5 million
  • 2016 — The Secret Life of Pets (Universal) — $353.2 million
  • 2016 — Zootopia (Disney) — $341.3 million

Overseas, Finding Dory now ranks 18th, The Secret Life of Pets now ranks 30th, and Ice Age: Collision Course now ranks 37th:

  • 2013 — Frozen (Disney) — $875.7 million
  • 2015 — Minions (Universal) — $823.4 million
  • 2012 — Ice Age: Continental Drift (Fox) — $715.9 million
  • 2009 — Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox) — $690.1 million
  • 2016 — Zootopia (Disney) — $682.0 million
  • 2010 — Toy Story 3 (Pixar) — $648.2 million
  • 2013 — Despicable Me 2 (Universal) — $602.7 million
  • 2003 — Finding Nemo (Pixar) — $559.5 million
  • 1994 — The Lion King (Disney) — $545.7 million
  • 2012 — Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (DreamWorks) — $530.5 million
  • 2010 — Shrek Forever After (DreamWorks) — $513.9 million
  • 2015 — Inside Out (Pixar) — $501.1 million
  • 2011 — Kung Fu Panda 2 (DreamWorks) — $500.4 million
  • 2004 — Shrek 2 (DreamWorks) — $478.6 million
  • 2007 — Shrek the Third (DreamWorks) — $476.2 million
  • 2013 — Monsters University (Pixar) — $475.7 million
  • 2006 — Ice Age: The Meltdown (Fox) — $465.6 million
  • 2016 — Finding Dory (Pixar) — $449.5 million
  • 2014 — How to Train Your Dragon 2 (DreamWorks) — $444.5 million
  • 2009 — Up (Pixar) — $442.1 million
  • 2014 — Big Hero 6 (Disney) — $435.3 million
  • 2008 — Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (DreamWorks) — $423.9 million
  • 2008 — Kung Fu Panda (DreamWorks) — $416.3 million
  • 2007 — Ratatouille (Pixar) — $414.3 million
  • 2011 — Puss in Boots (DreamWorks) — $405.7 million
  • 2013 — The Croods (DreamWorks) — $400.0 million
  • 2010 — Tangled (Disney) — $391.0 million
  • 2016 — Kung Fu Panda 3 (DreamWorks) — $376.4 million
  • 2004 — The Incredibles (Pixar) — $371.6 million
  • 2016 — The Secret Life of Pets (Universal) — $371.2 million
  • 2011 — Cars 2 (Pixar) — $370.7 million
  • 2014 — Rio 2 (Fox) — $368.6 million
  • 2007 — The Simpsons Movie (Fox) — $343.9 million
  • 2011 — Rio (Fox) — $341.0 million
  • 2005 — Madagascar (DreamWorks) — $339.1 million
  • 2008 — WALL-E (Pixar) — $309.5 million
  • 2016 — Ice Age: Collision Course — $306.7 million
  • 2015 — Hotel Transylvania 2 — $303.5 million
  • 2012 — Brave (Pixar) — $303.2 million
  • 2011 — The Adventures of Tintin — $296.4 million

And worldwide, Finding Dory now ranks eighth, while The Secret Life of Pets still ranks 18th:

  • 2013 — Frozen (Disney) — $400.7 + 875.7 = 1276.5 million
  • 2015 — Minions (Universal) — $336.0 + 823.4 = 1159.4 million
  • 2010 — Toy Story 3 (Pixar) — $415.0 + 648.2 = 1063.2 million
  • 2016 — Zootopia (Disney) — $341.3 + 682.0 = 1023.2 million
  • 2013 — Despicable Me 2 (Universal) — $368.1 + 602.7 = 970.8 million
  • 1994 — The Lion King (Disney) — $422.8 + 545.7 = 968.5 million
  • 2003 — Finding Nemo (Pixar) — $380.8 + 559.5 = 940.3 million
  • 2016 — Finding Dory (Pixar) — $479.6 + 449.5 = 929.1 million
  • 2004 — Shrek 2 (DreamWorks) — $441.2 + 478.6 = 919.8 million
  • 2009 — Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox) — $196.6 + 690.1 = 886.7 million
  • 2012 — Ice Age: Continental Drift (Fox) — $161.3 + 715.9 = 877.2 million
  • 2015 — Inside Out (Pixar) — $356.5 + 501.1 = 857.6 million
  • 2007 — Shrek the Third (DreamWorks) — $322.7 + 476.2 = 799.0 million
  • 2010 — Shrek Forever After (DreamWorks) — $238.7 + 513.9 = 752.6 million
  • 2012 — Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (DreamWorks) — $216.4 + 530.5 = 746.9 million
  • 2013 — Monsters University (Pixar) — $268.5 + 475.7 = 744.2 million
  • 2009 — Up (Pixar) — $293.0 + 442.1 = 735.1 million
  • 2016 — The Secret Life of Pets (Universal) — $353.2 + 371.2 = 724.4 million
  • 2011 — Kung Fu Panda 2 (DreamWorks) — $165.2 + 500.4 = 665.7 million
  • 2006 — Ice Age: The Meltdown (Fox) — $195.3 + 465.6 = 660.9 million

Next week brings us Morgan and The Light Between Oceans.

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