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Obama First Date Movie ‘Southside With You’ Gets Stood Up at Box Office

Sony’s Screen Gems micro-budget horror thriller Don’t Breathe finally unseated Suicide Squad for a first-place finish at the box office this weekend as Obama first date biopic Southside With You faltered in limited release and Roberto Duran boxing drama Hands of Stone fared decently ahead of its Labor Day weekend expansion.

Don’t Breathe, the Fede Alvarez-directed R-rated horror pic about three juvenile delinquents who bite off more than they can chew when they break into a blind man’s house, is the latest win for Sony Pictures this summer after the success of similarly small-budgeted movies The Shallows and Sausage Party. The film earned an estimated $26.1 million and reportedly cost under $10 million to produce.

With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 87 percent and a B+ CinemaScore (rare for a horror movie), Don’t Breathe could leg out a $50M+ domestic haul by the time it ends its run, according to Box Office Mojo. The film also earned an estimated $1.9 million from seven international territories.

In other new releases, Lionsgate Premiere’s Jason Statham-starrer Mechanic: Resurrection debuted in fifth place with a ho-hum estimated $7.5 million from 3.246 locations. The critically-maligned sequel to 2011’s The Mechanic also stars Jessica Alba, Michelle Yeoh and Tommy Lee Jones.

In limited release, Obama first date biopic Southside With You took in an estimated $3 million from 813 locations. According to Box Office Mojo, the film earned the distinction of having the highest opening weekend of all the films acquired at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in January.

The Miramax/Roadside Attractions pic centers on the fateful first date between a young Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson in Chicago in the summer of 1988, when the future First Lady was still serving as his law advisor. Director Richard Tanne said in an interview this week that he hoped the film would serve as a “refresher” during this year’s contentious election season. Southside drew rave reviews from critics (93 percent Rotten Tomatoes) and is reportedly set to expand into more theaters over Labor Day weekend.

The Weinstein Co.’s boxing biopic Hands of Stone took in an estimated $1.7 million from just over 800 theaters. The film — starring Edgar Ramirez as Panamanian boxing legend Roberto Duran and Robert De Niro as trainer Ray Arcel — won an A CinemaScore and will expand into approximately 2,500 theaters over Labor Day weekend.

Meanwhile, Western heist thriller Hell or High Water outgrossed both Southside and Hands of Stone to take in an estimated $3.7 million from 909 theaters. The Jeff Bridges-Chris Pine-starrer will expand into even more theaters next weekend and currently sits at an impressive 99 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In its fourth frame, Warners Bros.’ Suicide Squad dropped 42 percent to earn an estimated $12.1 million and grabbed an additional $19.6 million overseas, bringing its global box office tally to $636 million. It is beginning to look increasingly unlikely that the film can hit the $1 billion mark.

Laika/Focus Features’ Kubo and the Two Strings and Sony/Annapurna’s Sausage Party filled out the Top 5 with third and fourth place finishes, respectively.

 

This post has been updated to reflect that Southside With You opened highest among Sundance acquisitions this year.

Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum

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