Weekend Box Office (August 19 - 21, 2016)
by Sujit Chawla
THIS WEEKEND Suicide Squad became the fifth film to take the top spot three weeks in a row this year, while a trio of new films met with decent to mediocre openings.
The top two positions were a repeat from last weekend, with the Warner Bros. collection of misfit toys, Suicide Squad, remaining at number one for a third straight week shooting up an estimated $20.7M, bringing its cume to $262.3M. Internationally it has raised $310.4M for a worldwide total of $572.7M to date. The anthropomorphic grocery store saga Sausage Party ate up an estimated $15.3M in its second weekend, a drop of 55%, bringing its cume up to $65M on a budget of around $20M which means a sequel should be right around the corner. It has an outside shot of hitting $100M but will likely fall just a bit short.
Three new opening films took spots three through five and while they were within three million dollars of each other, one of them was hugely disappointing. In third place was War Dogs, starring Miles Teller and Jonah Hill, which took in an estimated $14.3M from 3,256 theaters for a per screen average of $4,389. With a CinemaScore of a B and middling reviews, don't look for this one to last very long.
Fourth place belonged to the animated Kubo and the Two Strings which took in an estimated $12.6M from 3,260 theaters for a per screen average of $3,868. Reviews have been amongst the best of the year, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 96% positive, and a CinemaScore of an A, which means critics and audiences are digging what they're seeing. This one may have some legs over the next few weeks.
In fifth place was the critically maligned remake of a 1959 classic, Ben-Hur, which took in $11.35M this weekend, according to estimates, from 3,084 theaters for a per screen average of $3,680. Considering its estimated budget is $100M, this has to be considered a massive flop for Paramount, which they should be getting used to this year. CinemaScore was a solid A- so the people who went to see it liked it, just not enough of them were interested in going to the theaters.
Sixth place belonged to Pete's Dragon which slipped 47% in its second go around, picking up an additional $11.33M this weekend, according to estimates. Its total now stands at $43M, a rare misstep for the Disney juggernaut this year, though with four films making over $900M worldwide this year, don't feel too bad for them. Look for a final total in the $70M range.
A few Bad Moms took seventh place, dropping a very slim 29% in its fourth weekend to an estimated $8M, bringing its total up to a robust $85.8M. Eighth place belonged to Matt Damon's Jason Bourne which took in an estimated $8M, bringing its cume up to $140.9M after four weeks.
The runaway hit of the back half of the summer has been The Secret Life of Pets which landed in ninth place this weekend with an estimated $5.7M, bringing its total up to an astounding $346M, surpassing Disney's Zootopia to become the fifth highest grossing film of the year domestically. Rounding out the top 10 was Florence Foster Jenkins which fell a reasonable 35% in its second weekend to an estimated $4.3M, bringing its cume up to $14.4M.
The top 10 films grossed an estimated $111.7M, which was up 31% from 2015 when Straight Outta Compton remained at number one with $26.3M; and up 15% from 2014 when Guardians of the Galaxy jumped back into the top spot in its fourth weekend with $17.2M.
Compared to projections, War Dogs came in above Gitesh's $9M projection while Kubo and the Two Strings and Ben-Hur came in below his $16M and $10M respective forecasts.
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Watch the trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Be sure to check back on Monday for final figures and again on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Don't Breathe, Hands of Stone and Mechanic: Resurrection all open.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: August 21, 2016 at 2:30PM ET
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