Warner Bros.’ Sully may be about a crash landing but it didn’t crash this weekend, repeating at first place in its second frame with an estimated $22.0 million. The film fought off several newcomers, any of which could have been considered a contender to overtake Sully, but all instead suffered disappointing debuts and the Tom Hanks-led biopic experienced a reasonable 37.2 percent decline to remain on top. The film has earned $70.54 million total so far, which is 34.5 percent ahead of the $52.4 million start of Captain Phillips and 48.6 percent ahead of the $47.4 million for Flight through the same points.
In second place was Lionsgate’s horror film Blair Witch, a follow-up to 1999’s found-footage “modern classic” The Blair Witch Project, with an estimated $9.65 million opening. The film opened below expectations given the brand name recognition and pre-release tracking, coming in with only about a fifth of the original’s $49.7 million inflation-adjusted wide opening weekend in 1999. It even opened with less than half of the $21.2 million inflation-adjusted opening of 2000’s largely-forgotten sequel Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2.
Blair Witch started with $4.09 million on Friday (including $765 thousand from Thursday night previews), declined a mild 12.7 percent on Saturday to $3.57 million, and is projected to drop 44.3 percent on Sunday to $1.98 million. This puts its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.35 to 1, about in line with most horror movies.
The original’s hugely positive word of mouth gave it an incredibly mild 16.6 percent second-weekend decline in wide release, virtually unparalleled for the traditionally front-loaded horror genre. Don’t expect anything close to that next weekend for Blair Witch.
Universal’s romantic comedy Bridget Jones’s Baby took third place with an estimated $8.24 million. The third Bridget installment starred Renee Zellweger in her first film since 2010, along with Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey. To put that disappointing opening in perspective, it’s less than the openings for the previous two installments Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason — even though both those two films were released in 2001 and 2004, respectively. (Adjusted for inflation, Baby starts 50.2 percent below the $16.4 million opening of Diary and 32.4 percent below the $12.1 million opening of Edge.)
Baby received a B+ CinemaScore and appealed largely to its target audience of middle aged women, with an audience 72 percent over age 35 and 79 percent female. That female audience percentage was actually lower than the 82 percent on the opening weekend for Bad Moms earlier this summer.
Baby started with $3.04 million on Friday (including $364 thousand from Thursday night previews), increased 6.9 percent to $3.25 on Saturday, and is projected to decline 40.0 percent on Sunday to $1.95 million. That places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.71 to 1.
Open Road Films’ techno thriller Snowden opened in fourth place with an estimated $8.02 million. The real-life story of controversial NSA leaker Edward Snowden stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, and Zachary Quinto. Despite headlines on the eve of the film’s release from a U.S. House Intelligence Committee report concluding that Snowden violated national security and shouldn’t be pardoned by President Obama as many are calling for, the film wasn’t able to its overcome mediocre reviews.
Compared to another film about a controversial technology figure, Snowden starts 12.9 percent higher than the $7.1 million wide release opening for last year’s Steve Jobs. And although not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, the film opened with more than double the cumulative gross of 2014’s Snowden-themed documentary Citizenfour, which would go on to win Best Documentary at the Oscars. (To be fair, that film maxed out at 105 theaters, compared to 2,443 theaters for Snowden.)
Snowden started with $3.03 million on Friday (including $390 thousand from Thursday night previews), declined 0.3 percent to $3.02 million on Saturday, and is projected to drop another 35.0 percent on Sunday to $1.96 million. That places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.64 to 1.
Elsewhere in the box office, Pure Flix’s Christian-themed Hillsong – Let Hope Rise opened with an estimated $1.30 million. Described as “Hollywood’s first-ever theatrical worship experience,” the movie received an “A” CinemaScore from audiences — although that may at least partially be a reflection of self-selection, since really only Christian audiences would voluntarily choose to see the film in the first place.
The top 10 films this weekend made an estimated cumulative $70.94 million. That’s 29.5 percent below the $100.71 million total from last weekend, and 37.0 percent behind the $112.67 million total from this same weekend last year when Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials led the box office.
Bridget Jones’s Baby may have underperformed at the domestic box office, but it did very well overseas with an estimated $29.9 million overseas weekend. It opened in 39 markets and topped the box office in 24 of them. Notable grosses include $11.3 million in the United Kingdom, $4.2 million in Australia, $1.9 million in the Netherlands, $1.7 million in Spain, and $1.4 million in Russia.
Though it bombed domestically and is fading from theaters quickly, Paramount’s Ben-Hur notched its best overseas weekend to date with an estimated $11.3 million, up from $8.3 million last weekend and $10.7 million upon its opening. The film has now earned a $54.9 million overseas and $80.9 million global total.
Studio Weekend Estimates for Friday, September 16 – Sunday, September 18, 2016:
|3||Bridget Jones’s Baby||$8,240,000||—||2,927||—||$2,815||$8,240,000||1||Universal|
|5||Don’t Breathe||$5,600,000||-32%||3,208||-176||$1,746||$75,328,781||4||Sony / TriStar|
|6||When the Bough Breaks||$5,525,000||-61%||2,246||0||$2,460||$22,697,732||2||Sony / Screen Gems|
|7||Suicide Squad||$4,710,000||-18%||2,740||-363||$1,719||$313,782,332||7||Warner Bros.|
|8||The Wild Life (2016)||$2,650,000||-21%||2,493||0||$1,063||$6,664,269||2||Lionsgate / Summit|
|9||Kubo and the Two Strings||$2,509,000||-24%||1,757||-578||$1,428||$44,240,974||5||Focus|
|10||Pete’s Dragon (2016)||$2,041,000||-34%||1,948||-737||$1,048||$72,805,525||6||Disney|
|11||Hell or High Water||$1,925,000||-22%||1,505||60||$1,279||$22,725,531||6||CBS Films / Lionsgate|
|12||Bad Moms||$1,789,000||-31%||1,486||-402||$1,204||$110,033,928||8||STX Entertainment|
|13||Sausage Party||$1,225,000||-48%||1,181||-890||$1,037||$95,359,861||6||Sony / Columbia|
|14||The Secret Life of Pets||$1,190,000||-23%||1,005||-405||$1,184||$363,346,360||11||Universal|
|16||The Light Between Oceans||$769,000||-58%||1,133||-367||$679||$11,169,776||3||Disney / DreamWorks|
|17||The Disappointments Room||$400,000||-71%||1,554||0||$257||$2,240,775||2||Relativity Studios|
|1||Hillsong – Let Hope Rise||$1,300,000||—||816||—||$1,593||$1,300,000||1|
|2||No Manches Frida||$1,250,000||-41%||456||-9||$2,741||$9,154,109||3||Lionsgate / Pantelion|
|3||War Dogs||$1,025,000||-49%||902||-879||$1,136||$41,675,185||5||Warner Bros.|
|4||Mechanic: Resurrection||$850,000||-50%||958||-943||$887||$20,190,569||4||Lionsgate / Summit|
|5||Star Trek Beyond||$620,000||-34%||508||-240||$1,220||$157,553,686||9||Paramount|
|6||Mr. Church||$407,151||—||354||—||$1,150||$407,151||1||Freestyle Releasing|
|7||Florence Foster Jenkins||$380,000||-55%||567||-495||$670||$26,542,682||6||Paramount|
|9||Ice Age: Collision Course||$230,000||-16%||239||-70||$962||$63,455,336||9||Fox|
|11||Don’t Think Twice||$196,451||-33%||140||-35||$1,403||$3,803,307||9||The Film Arcade|
|13||The BFG||$142,000||-17%||179||-32||$793||$55,253,021||12||Disney / DreamWorks|
|14||Southside with You||$83,350||-72%||114||-330||$731||$6,190,192||4||Roadside / Miramax|
|15||Hands of Stone||$25,600||-85%||105||-998||$244||$4,665,180||4||The Weinstein Company|
|16||Wild Oats||$18,700||—||100||—||$187||$18,700||1||The Weinstein Company / Dimension|
|1||The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years||$615,632||—||85||—||$7,243||$615,632||1||Abramorama|
|2||The Hollars||$120,364||91%||97||65||$1,241||$407,332||4||Sony Pictures Classics|
|3||Cafe Society||$87,000||-40%||89||-53||$978||$10,896,567||10||Lionsgate / Amazon|
|4||Hunt for the Wilderpeople||$85,855||-9%||76||-10||$1,130||$4,900,161||13||The Orchard|
|6||The People vs. Fritz Bauer||$44,726||46%||34||13||$1,315||$237,368||5||Cohen Media Group|
|7||Cock and Bull||$35,000||—||12||—||$2,917||$35,000||1||China Lion Film|
|8||Equity||$32,676||-59%||44||-150||$743||$1,527,559||8||Sony Pictures Classics|
|9||The Jungle Book (2016)||$30,000||-42%||57||-30||$526||$363,977,184||23||Disney|
|10||Indignation||$29,050||-52%||36||-36||$807||$3,271,105||8||Roadside / Summit|
|12||A Tale of Love and Darkness||$27,000||-55%||33||-31||$818||$529,936||5||Focus World|
|13||Demon||$17,580||35%||15||12||$1,172||$37,101||2||The OrchardThe Orchard|
|14||Captain America: Civil War||$13,000||-48%||34||-20||$382||$408,080,523||20||Disney|
|16||Come What May||$7,527||—||4||—||$1,882||$22,619||2||Cohen Media Group|
|17||Command and Control||$5,385||—||1||—||$5,385||$7,430||1||American Experience / PBS Films|
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