Box Office: ‘Sully’ Flies Over Newcomers

(SEPTEMBER 16 – SEPTEMBER 18, 2016 estimates)

  1. Sully (Week 2) – $22,000,000
  2. “Blair Witch” (Opening) – $9,650,000
  3. “Bridget Jones’s Baby” (Opening) – $8,240,715
  4. Snowden (Opening) – $8,023,329
  5. Don’t Breathe (Week 4) – $5,600,000
  6. “When the Bough Breaks” (Week 2) – $5,525,000
  7. Suicide Squad(Week 7) – $4,710,000
  8. “The Wild Life” (Week 2) – $2,650,000
  9. “Kubo and the Two Strings” (Week 5) – $2,509,000
  10. Pete’s Dragon(Week 6) – $2,041,000

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  • Sully, Telluride Film FestivalThe miracle on the Hudson prevailed yet again. “Sully” was able to decimate the newcomers in its second weekend, dropping only 37 percent from its strong opening weekend. That drop is almost identical to how “Captain Phillips” performed back in 2013. That film was able to quadruple its opening weekend by the end of its run. If “Sully” continues to perform the same, that could bring its domestic total to around $140 million. Currently, the film stands at $70 million domestic and $93 million worldwide.
  • It turns out not every horror movie can be a runaway success. Revisiting “Blair Witch” didn’t inspire moviegoers to flock back to theaters. The film was projected to give “Sully” a race for the top, but ended up wildly underperforming, only making $9 million. This was low even compared to 2000’s ill fated sequel “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch.” Even more dire were the reactions from audiences. The film earned a toxic D+ Cinemascore from Friday audiences. Such poor audience reactions could mean the film might not even make it to $20 million once all is said and done, which was the number people originally thought it could hit in its opening weekend. Still, the film only cost $5 million, so it will remain profitable despite being a disappointment.
  • “Blair Witch” wasn’t the only underperforming film of the weekend. “Bridget Jones’s Baby” the third chapter in the Bridget Jones saga had its lowest opening yet, despite opening in 2,927 theaters, the widest opening in the series’ history. While the other films enjoyed strong multipliers over the course of their run, that was mostly because they were expanding from a modest opening theater count. This newest installation had solid enough reviews and audience reactions, but that will only carry it so far, to a domestic total around $25 million. It’s a whole other story, overseas, however. The film’s worldwide opening weekend was a strong $38 million. This includes an $11.3 million opening in the U.K., the biggest launch for a romantic comedy in that country. This should help the $35 million production become a hit overall.
  • The third film opening wide this weekend was Oliver Stone’s “Snowden.” The film, which chronicles the NSA employee’s leak of information, opened around projections with $8 million. While in line with projections, that’s not to say the movie was a success. This was the lowest performing Oliver Stone film that opened above 2,000 theaters. With strong opinions on the film from both critics and audiences, it might stick around for a few weeks to have a final total around $25 million. That’s not good news for a film that carries a $40 million production budget.
  • The opening of “Blair Witch” didn’t affect the horror hit “Don’t Breathe.” The film dropped 32% in its fourth week in theaters. This brought its domestic total to $75 million and carried its worldwide total above the $100 million mark. Its total currently stands at $107 million. Against a $9.9 million production budget, “Don’t Breathe” has become one of the biggest multipliers of the summer.
  • “When the Bough Breaks” was unable to catch its break in its second weekend. The poorly reviewed flick plummeted 61 percent following a solid opening weekend. Its domestic total climbed to $22 million, with prospects of going much higher than $30 million waning. Still, against a $10 million production budget, the film should make a tiny profit.
  • The lowest drop of the top 10 went to the DC superhero juggernaut “Suicide Squad.” The film lost a scant 17 percent of its business in its remarkable seventh weekend of release. Its domestic total climbed to $313 million, with a $718 million worldwide total. The success of this project helped green light Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn spin off. If there’s anything this proves, it’s that even a poorly reviewed superhero film can be a runaway hit if it’s part of the DC/Marvel canon.
  • With no competition for the family market, “The Wild Life” was able to have a scant second week drop of 20 percent. Its domestic total currently stands at $6 million and worldwide total at $27 million. Despite a poor opening weekend and less than stellar reviews, the dearth of family entertainment has kept this film alive.
  • Laika’s “Kubo and the Two Strings” was also able to take advantage of the lack of new movies for the family. The well-reviewed stop motion animated adventure eased 24% in its fifth weekend. This brings its domestic total to $44 million and worldwide total to $54 million. It will be interesting to see if the film can save some ground as it continues to expand into other foreign markets.
  • Rounding out the top 10 is another August family holdover, “Pete’s Dragon.” Disney’s latest dropped 31 percent, bringing its domestic total to $72 million and worldwide total to $113 million. This is a stealthily solid total for a film that many wrote off after a lukewarm debut. With a $65 million price tag, it’s not a huge money maker, but a solid performer.

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  • There didn’t seem to be much faith in Hillsong this weekend. The faith based concert film “Hillsong – Let Hope Rise” debuted outside the top 10 with $1.3 million. Opening wide in 816 theaters, the film only managed a $1,593 per theater average. The film should peter out around $2 million over the next week or so.
  • Another concert film took the highest per theater average of the week. “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years” opened in only 85 theaters, grossing $615,000 over the weekend. This was strong enough for a $7,243 per theater average. It’s a signal for how underperforming this week was that this was the highest per theater average.
  • screen-shot-2016-08-11-at-81519-pm-222685f9-fde7-4d61-a6c2-4b64c28c3e8eThe final flop of the weekend belonged to Eddie Murphy’s dramatic turn. The drama “Mr. Church” only grossed $407,000 from 354 theaters. This resulted in a terrible per theater average of $1,150. This stunts any hope of expansion for the film.

What did you see this weekend? Let us know in the comments.