Long Range Forecast: ‘Ben-Hur,’ ‘Kubo and the Two Strings,’ & ‘War Dogs’

Three films will debut on the fringe of summer this August 19  with a remake of the classic historical drama Ben-Hur from Paramount going head to head with the animated feature Kubo and the Two Strings from Focus, while the comedic drama War Dogs from Warner Bros. will aim to sneak in and take the crown. As a side-note, The Space Between Us had also been scheduled to open on August 19 as well but was pushed back to December as of yesterday.

Ben-Hur (Paramount)


– Charlton Heston’s remake of the same name way back in 1959 is one of the most beloved movies of all time, winning 11 Academy Awards and at the time securing the second highest box office total ever.

– Its religious story-line has the potential to reach a very broad audience-base, including many who might otherwise not be interested in the typical summer offerings.

– With the 2016 Summer Olympics taking place between August 5 and 21 that should be a prime opportunity for the film to reach a large target audience with its marketing drive.


– Social media has largely shunned the film so far, with less than 85,000 likes on Facebook being a glaring deficiency for a summer tentpole.

– It has been publicly stated that the film will be a re-imagining of the source material, a fact which might turn away fans of the original films.

– The third weekend in August traditionally signals a downward slide in terms of opening potential and as such many studios generally stay away from it with their blockbusters.

Kubo and the Two Strings (Focus)


– The film is from the acclaimed production company Laika who are the most successful stop motion animation company ever with a long string of hits including CoralineParanorman and The Boxtrolls.


– After a long summer of family-targeted releases the market might be saturated by the time August 19 rolls around, especially considering that Pete’s Dragon would have opened to a very similar target demographics just the week before.

– Its social media numbers are lagging behind Laika’s last film The Boxtrolls which had more than double the likes on Facebook the same distance from release.

War Dogs (Warner Bros.)


– Director/writer/producer Todd Phillips is a legendary name in the comedic industry with numerous very profitable films including the wildly successful Hangover trilogy.

– Jonah Hill has proven his worth in the comedic genre as well and should be an additional selling point to attract viewers.


– The competition will be very hot on August 19 for this target demographic of men with Ben-Hur and holdovers Sausage Party and Suicide Squad all keenly competing for a slice of the box office pie.

Check out our complete long range forecast in the table below.

Title Release Date Distributor Opening Weekend Cumulative
Ben-Hur Aug 19, 2016 Paramount $19,000,000 $55,000,000
Kubo and the Two Strings Aug 19, 2016 Focus $13,500,000 $52,000,000
War Dogs Aug 19, 2016 Warner Bros. $19,000,000 $58,000,000
Pete’s Dragon Aug 12, 2016 Disney $33,000,000 $117,000,000
Sausage Party Aug 12, 2016 Sony / Columbia $25,000,000 $60,000,000
Florence Foster Jenkins Aug 12, 2016 Paramount $10,000,000 $45,000,000
Suicide Squad Aug 5, 2016 Warner Bros. $98,000,000 $275,000,000
The Founder Aug 5, 2016 Weinstein Company $8,500,000 $32,000,000
Nine Lives Aug 5, 2016 EuropaCorp $9,000,000 $33,000,000
Jason Bourne Jul 29, 2016 Universal $65,000,000 $195,000,000
Bad Moms Jul 29, 2016 STX Entertainment $21,000,000 $70,000,000
Nerve Jul 27, 2016 Lionsgate $7,500,000 $20,000,000
Star Trek Beyond Jul 22, 2016 Paramount  $56,000,000 $159,000,000
Ice Age: Collision Course Jul 22, 2016 Fox  $39,000,000 $133,000,000
Lights Out Jul 22, 2016 Warner Bros.  $10,000,000 $25,000,000
Ghostbusters Jul 15, 2016 Sony / Columbia $63,000,000 $178,000,000
The Infiltrator Jul 13, 2016 Broad Green Pictures $6,000,000 $20,000,000
The Secret Life of Pets Jul 8, 2016 Universal $69,000,000 $277,000,000
Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates Jul 8, 2016 Fox $12,000,000 $32,000,000
The BFG Jul 1, 2016 Disney / DreamWorks $31,000,000* $85,000,000
The Legend of Tarzan Jul 1, 2016 Warner Bros. $23,500,000* $50,000,000
The Purge: Election Year Jul 1, 2016 Universal $21,000,000* $42,000,000

* indicates a prediction for a four-day holiday weekend.

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