Box Office Prediction: Sully vs. Don't Breathe

Sully Movie Box Office Dont Breathe

Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend to offer readers a rough estimate of how new releases (and returning holdovers) will perform in theaters.

For a recap of last week's box office totals, read our box office wrap-up from Morgan's opening weekend and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our previous picks measured up.

Full disclosure: Box office predictions are not an exact science. We acknowledge our picks may not always be correct. For the sake of offering a jumping off point for discussion, here are our picks for the weekend of August September 9 - 11, 2016.

This weekend, Sully opens in 3,525 theaters, When the Bough Breaks plays in 2,246 locations, The Wild Life plays in 2,200 theaters, and The Disappointments Room debuts in 1,554 locations.

#1 - Sully

Our choice for the top spot is Sully, Clint Eastwood's biopic of Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the man behind the Miracle on the Hudson from 2009. The news story generated much attention when it happened, and people will probably be interested to see its dramatization on the big screen. Early reviews have been positive, and the film is seen as one of the (very) early candidates for Best Picture and Best Actor at the Oscars. That word-of-mouth should prove to be a benefit, encouraging moviegoers to check the drama out as fall season heats up.

It also helps that both Eastwood and Hanks remain viable commercial forces at the box office. Eastwood's last film, American Sniper, became the highest-grossing film of 2014 by posting $350 million domestically. It's true that Sully probably won't reach those numbers, but it's proof that his name still sells after all these years. Hanks has consistently posted solid numbers over the last handful of years, headlining works like Captain Phillips ($107.1 million) and Bridge of Spies ($72.3 million). The two will most likely draw in decent crowds. The projected opening weekend is $30 million, which would be a nice start.

Tom Hanks Sully Trailer

#2 - When the Bough Breaks

Coming in second should be When the Bough Breaks, a new drama about a surrogate mother who develops a dangerous attachment to the would-be father. It's a premise that has found some success at the box office before, and some pieces are in place for this one to score healthy figures. The film stars Morris Chestnut, who was in last year's The Perfect Guy, which surprised many by earning $25.8 million last September. He was also part of the Best Man Holiday ensemble back in 2014, which was another commercial success. While his films don't break any records, Chestnut is still a reliable draw this time of year.

However, there are some red flags. For starters, as of this writing there are no early reviews available, which typically does not bode well for its potential quality. The film has also had a minimal marketing campaign, meaning that awareness might be an issue. Distributor ScreenGems is still riding off the success of Don't Breathe and may be reluctant to push another horror/thriller film so soon. Chances are When the Bough Breaks will be able to perform well within its niche, but it may not be a huge hit. Tracking indicates an opening weekend of $17 million.

#3 - Don't Breathe

Look for last week's champ, Don't Breathe (read our review), to fall to third in its third weekend. The horror flick has done very well in the early course of its run, grossing $57.6 million in the States so far. However, with the arrival of a few new movies, the demand for it won't be as high as it once was. Don't Breathe should have another nice weekend for itself, but it will be tough for it to beat its competition. Last weekend, it made $15.8 million, which is lower than the projected debuts for Sully and When the Bough Breaks, so the odds seemed stacked against it.

Daniel Zovatto and Stephen Lang in Don't Breathe

#4 - Suicide Squad

Coming in fourth should be Suicide Squad (read our review), which is still going strong after five weekends in theaters. Business has been slowing down somewhat for the DC Extended Universe installment, but it remains a go-to option for moviegoers during a typically slow time of year. Given how well it's been holding up, it should remain in the top five for at least another week.

#5 - The Wild Life

Rounding out the top five should be The Wild Life, which is a new animated family film. It's never smart to bet against a movie that fits this mold, but this is the exception to the rule. It's received very little promotion, and its target demographic has been well-served recently. It'll make some money, but it certainly won't leave a dent.

Last Week's Recap

Our Predictions:

  1. Don't Breathe
  2. Suicide Squad
  3. Kubo and the Two Strings
  4. Morgan
  5. The Light Between Oceans


  1. Don't Breathe
  2. Suicide Squad
  3. Kubo and the Two Strings
  4. Pete's Dragon
  5. Sausage Party


Next Week: Snowden, Bridget Jones' Baby, Blair Witch, and more!

Sources: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule), Box Office Opening Weekend Projections)

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