Studio Weekend Estimates: ‘Suicide Squad’ Smashes August Opening Record w/ $135.1; ‘Nine Lives’ Dies w/ $6.5M

Warner Bros.’ hugely hyped Suicide Squad overcame terrible reviews to launch with a tremendous $135.1 million estimated opening weekend. The dark ensemble film starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Jared Leto as a team of misfit superheroes who battle the Joker claims the second-highest opening weekend of the summer behind May’s Captain America: Civil War. It also destroys the previous highest August opening, when Guardians of the Galaxy bowed to $94.3 million in 2014, as well as 2001’s Rush Hour 2 with its previous inflation-adjusted record $103.1 million August opening.

Compared to other superhero films this year, Suicide Squad starts 24.5 percent behind the $179.1 million opening of Captain America: Civil War and 18.6 percent behind the $166.0 million opening of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, that’s actually not far behind considering those films were sequels containing some of the most recognizable superhero characters ever, while this was a first installment whose characters were comparatively new to audiences outside the existing comic book fandom. Squad also starts 2.0 percent ahead of the Deadpool $132.4 million opening and more than doubles the $65.7 million opening of X-Men: Apocalypse.

It also marks a return to box office gold for Will Smith, who for about a solid decade from the mid-’90s to mid-2000s was by some measures the single biggest box office draw in Hollywood. Arguably Smith’s last huge hit had been Hancock in 2008 and since then he’d starred in such low-grossing films as After EarthFocus, and Concussion, none of which earned more than $70 million. (Men in Black III made good money in 2012 but also earned by far the trilogy’s lowest domestic gross, virtually ensuring that their won’t be a fourth installment.)

Suicide Squad started with $65.26 million on Friday including $20.5 million from Thursday night previews, dropped 40.5 percent to $38.8 million on Saturday, and declined another 20.0 percent to $31.0 million on Sunday. That places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.07 to 1, giving it the second-most front-loaded opening weekend of the year so far after Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Both films were highly anticipated which resulted in an elevated Friday gross, but both also received scathing reviews which created steep dropoffs on Saturday and Sunday once poor word of mouth went around. The audience for Squad was 54 percent under age 25, which also contributed to the frontloading as younger audiences are more likely to see films on opening day. These same factors mean we can probably expect a steep second-weekend drop.

Universal’s Jason Bourne, last weekend’s top film, came in second place with an estimated $22.7 million. Its 61.6 percent second-weekend drop was noticeably higher than the other previous Matt Damon-led installments in the action spy series: 44.4 percent for The Bourne Identity, 54.0 percent for The Bourne Supremacy, and 52.5 percent for The Bourne Ultimatum. While some of the steep drop can be attributed to the competition from Suicide Squad, mixed reviews and word of mouth were also significant factors. With $103.4 million earned through 10 days, Jason Bourne is running 37.5 percent and 24.9 percent behind the inflation-adjusted grosses of Ultimatum and Supremacy through the same points.

STX Entertainment’s Bad Moms came in third place with an estimated $14.2 million. The R-rated comedy’s 40.4 percent second-weekend decline was about in line with those of other recent female-centered R-rated comedies, including the 42.6 percent drop for Trainwreck and 46.3 percent for Spy. Bad Moms has now earned $51.0 million through two weekends.

Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets continued its durable run with a fourth-place estimated $11.5 million finish, maintaining its strong showing throughout the summer with a 38.9 percent decline. Its $319.5 million total through five weekends is running 4.3 percent ahead of Inside Out and 16.0 percent ahead of Zootopia through the same points.

Paramount’s Star Trek Beyond held onto the top five with fifth place and an estimated $10.2 million, but continued its sharp drops with a 58.8 percent plummet, almost identical to its decline last weekend. Both its second- and third-weekend drops were larger than the second- and third-weekend drops for previous installments Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek, which declined 55.0 percent and 46.8 percent respectively in their third weekends. Beyond has earned $127.9 million to date, which is 27.4 percent and 30.6 percent behind Into Darkness and Star Trek through the same points.

In sixth place was the other new wide release besides the one at the top: EuropaCorp’s Nine Lives. The comedy starring Kevin Spacey as a man who turns into a cat was always a bit “out there” as a premise, and audiences didn’t take to it with a weak estimated $6.5 million opening. The film started with $2.36 million on Friday, declined an almost-nonexistent 2.5 percent to $2.30 million on Saturday, and dropped another 20.0 percent to $1.84 million on Sunday. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.75 to 1.

The top 12 films this weekend made an estimated cumulative $223.9 million, up 24.6 percent from last weekend and a stunning 86.6 percent over the same weekend last year, when Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation held onto the top spot for the second straight weekend.

Overseas Update:

Suicide Squad absolutely dominated overseas just as much as it domestically, opening with an amazing estimated $132.0 million in 57 markets. This sets the new record for highest August opening internationally, in addition to its aforementioned August domestic opening record. The movie was led by $13.9 million in the United Kingdom, $11.3 million in Russia, $11.3 million in Brazil despite competition from the hometown Rio Olympics, $10.7 million in South Korea, $10.6 million in Australia, and $10.4 million in Mexico despite not being shown on one of the country’s largest theater chains after a dispute with the distributor. This puts its global total at a humongous $267.1 million after only its opening weekend.

The Secret Life of Pets would have been the highest grossing film overseas almost any other weekend, as it took in an also-massive $68.6 million — up more than double over last weekend — after opening in China and 19 other new markets for 41 total. The film opened in China last Tuesday and earned $28.9 million there through Sunday, coming in second place behind a local blockbuster. It’s now earned $182.6 million overseas total and $502.2 million globally.

Also doing well overseas this weekend were:

  • Jason Bourne with $20.9 million, down 58.8 percent, in 50 markets, for a $91.9 million overseas and $195.4 million global total.
  • Star Trek Beyond with $13.0 million, down 59.2 percent, in 40 markets, for a $54.8 million overseas and $182.7 million global total.
  • Ice Age: Collision Course with $11.5 million, down 42.8 percent, in 66 markets, for a $234.6 million overseas and $288.1 million global total.
  • Finding Dory with $11.5 million, down 51.2 percent, in 31 markets, for a $396.4 million overseas and $870.3 million global total.

Studio Weekend Estimates for Friday, August 5 – Sunday, August 7, 2016:

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Suicide Squad $135,105,000 4,255 $31,752 $135,105,000 1 Warner Bros.
2 Jason Bourne $22,710,000 -62% 4,039 13 $5,623 $103,416,020 2 Universal
3 Bad Moms $14,204,000 -40% 3,215 0 $4,418 $51,050,830 2 STX Entertainment
4 The Secret Life of Pets $11,560,000 -39% 3,417 -260 $3,383 $319,578,780 5 Universal
5 Star Trek Beyond $10,200,000 -59% 3,263 -665 $3,126 $127,901,364 3 Paramount
6 Nine Lives (2016) $6,500,000 2,264 $2,871 $6,500,000 1 EuropaCorp Films
7 Lights Out $6,005,000 -44% 2,581 -254 $2,327 $54,714,252 3 Warner Bros. / New Line
8 Nerve $4,900,000 -48% 2,538 0 $1,931 $26,888,794 2 Lionsgate
9 Ghostbusters (2016) $4,800,000 -53% 2,545 -507 $1,886 $116,711,936 4 Sony / Columbia
10 Ice Age: Collision Course $4,300,000 -61% 2,738 -1259 $1,570 $53,539,797 3 Fox
11 Finding Dory $1,955,000 -55% 1,122 -611 $1,742 $473,869,641 8 Disney

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Cafe Society $1,700,000 -27% 631 66 $2,694 $6,789,811 4 Lionsgate / Amazon
2 Hillary’s America – The Secret History of the Democratic Party $865,000 -65% 672 -394 $1,287 $11,055,946 4 D’Souza EntertainmentQuality Flix
3 Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie $340,000 -59% 226 -129 $1,504 $340,000 3 Fox Searchlight
4 Hunt for the Wilderpeople $327,936 -10% 176 2 $1,863 $3,461,668 7 The Orchard
5 The BFG $295,000 -36% 234 -39 $1,261 $52,791,771 6 Disney / DreamWorks
6 Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates $270,000 -81% 297 -773 $909 $45,075,620 5 Fox
7 The Jungle Book (2016) $231,000 -25% 200 -25 $1,155 $362,659,264 17 Disney
8 Captain America: Civil War $203,000 176% 174 89 $1,167 $407,193,096 14 Disney
9 Independence Day: Resurgence $180,000 -39% 165 -62 $1,091 $102,309,952 7 Fox
10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows $130,000 -41% 141 -29 $922 $81,633,349 10 Paramount
11 Alice Through the Looking Glass $93,000 -36% 126 -20 $738 $76,845,521 11 Disney

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Indignation $464,615 399% 55 51 $8,448 $604,861 2 Roadside / Summit
2 Don’t Think Twice $395,637 155% 57 52 $6,941 $701,485 3 The Film Arcade
3 Train To Busan $201,222 -12% 36 7 $5,590 $1,085,807 3 Inc. Well Go USA
4 Gleason $107,090 17% 69 60 $1,552 $241,708 2 Open Road / Amazon
5 The Innocents $66,500 -11% 48 -3 $1,385 $851,872 6 Music Box Films
6 Equity $59,546 -28% 4 0 $14,887 $177,940 2 Sony Pictures Classics
7 Now You See Me 2 $55,000 -51% 85 -50 $647 $64,689,087 9 Lionsgate / Summit
8 Love & Friendship $40,120 -36% 34 -18 $1,180 $13,889,079 13 Roadside / Amazon
9 The Music of Strangers $20,750 -44% 37 -13 $561 $1,050,907 9
10 Life, Animated $12,430 -32% 36 13 $345 $189,889 6 The Orchard
11 Multiple Maniacs $10,244 1 $10,244 $10,244 1 Janus Films
12 Five Nights in Maine $10,000 10 $1,000 $10,000 1 FilmRise
13 Miss Sharon Jones! $9,000 -13% 2 1 $4,500 $25,260 2 Starz Digital
14 The Witness (2016) $1,000 1 $1,000 $146,008 10 FilmRise
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