It's your typical sleepy Labor Day Weekend, and one of the true anti-box office weekends sees just two minor niche films in wide release. One of them has the vague odor of quality, but all in all it's probably a good chance to catch up on your Netflix.
Weekend Forecast for September 2-4, 2016
By Reagen Sulewski
September 2, 2016
With a slight edge on its rival, Morgan may claim top spot among new films (though not #1 overall), thanks to genre considerations. The directorial debut of Luke Scott, son of Ridley, it's a horror/sci-fi film about a genetically engineered girl named Morgan who develops at an extremely accelerated rate. Somehow, this monkeying around with the basics of humanity all goes wrong, and there's an incident at the secret facility, leading to a corporate fixer (Kate Mara) being called in, because that's never gone wrong.
And then things go wrong, as it would when you have a bioengineered human who has apparently developed super powers but with the emotional maturity of a toddler. After being provoked into anger, Morgan starts taking down everyone and everything, and it's up to Mara to stop her from escaping into the real world to start wreaking havoc.
Also starring Toby Jones, Michelle Yeoh, Brian Cox, Rose Leslie, Paul Giamatti and Anya Taylor-Joy, recently of The Witch, it's got some thematic similarities with Species, Ex Machina and The Lazarus Effect (among others), belonging to that general category of “powerful women in control of their own agency and sexuality are scary” films. A couple of those films were actually well reviewed, of course, and this one isn't. Basically, it's your garden variety fall scare flick, and there's not much to hype this outside of genre junkies. I'd look for a modest $8 million this weekend.
The Light Between Oceans comes in with some big pedigrees in terms of top-line talent, although it doesn't seem to have amounted to a lot in terms of critical success. Directed by Derek Cianfrance (of Blue Valentine and The Place Between Pines fame) the film stars Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz in a story about a childless couple who rescue and raise a baby found adrift in a lifeboat, and the child's mother's quest to find and reclaim her. One of those Serious Dramas where no one ends up happy at the end, it has the look of something reaching for Oscars, if only due to its cast. And I do mean "only" as the reviews are middling at best, putting this as a slightly higher-brow Nicholas Sparks movie. I'd expect only about $6 million this weekend.
Don't Breathe should win the weekend again after its surprise breakout to $26 million last weekend. The low-budget, high-concept horror film about a group of minor criminals who break into the wrong blind man's house leveraged some great ads to a far-from typical late August weekend. Like all horror films, it should drop steeply, though that's more than enough to win a second straight weekend, with about $12 million.
After some terrible reviews, Suicide Squad may actually be on the verge of cracking the $300 million domestic mark, a sort of backhanded compliment after its $133 million start. DC has likely squandered at least $100 million if not more based on its handling of the reshoots, and continues to highlight the difference between it and Marvel's ace treatment of its properties. Give this one $7 million this weekend.
A handful of films should come in just under the $5 million mark, as people generally avoid the cinema on this “holiday” weekend – Kubo and the Two Strings, Sausage Party and Pete's Dragon should all grab a little under that mark, while War Dogs and Mechanic: Resurrection may fall below $4 million.