Weekend Projections: ‘Sully’ Maintains Altitude at $22.3M; ‘Blair Witch’ ($9.9M), ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ ($9.0M), & ‘Snowden’ ($8.6M) Open Softly

Saturday Update: Warner Bros. reports this morning that Sully grabbed another $6.57 million on Friday, bringing its eight-day domestic tally to an impressive $55.1 million. The Tom Hanks-led bio-drama from director Clint Eastwood continues to ride a wave of strong of word of mouth and critical reviews in the post-summer market. The film will easily repeat in first place this weekend with a projected $22.3 million.

Unfortunately though, the post-summer market’s dark side reared its ugly head as this weekend as two key openers fell sharply below expectations and industry tracking. Blair Witch scored just $4.067 million on Friday, and while the low-budget horror sequel will still likely end up profitable in the long run, it will end up close to a projected $9.9 million this weekend after strong pre-release signals of a potential debut close to $20 million. The film’s mixed-to-poor reviews surely had some effect.

Meanwhile, Bridget Jones’s Baby also came in somewhat below expectations with a $3.04 million first day. The sequel to the dormant rom-com franchise is counter-programming to an under-served audience (namely middle-aged women), but theatrical demand was clearly more limited than social media buzz and tracking had indicated. The film should net around $9 million this weekend.

Snowden also proved to be a lukewarm opener yesterday with $3.035 million, although that fell in line with expectations coming into the weekend. Look for a weekend around $8.6 million.

Don’t Breathe capped off the top five yesterday with another $1.65 million, giving it a new sum of $71.4 million. The original thriller continues to thrive on the heels of excellent word of mouth and reviews.

Last but not least, Hillsong – Let Hope Rise earned $628,000 yesterday and should bring in around $1.7 million this weekend.

Our key projections for the weekend are below. Studio estimates will be posted on Sunday.

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Sully $22,300,000 -36% 3,525 0 $6,326 $70,841,351 2 Warner Bros.
2 Blair Witch $9,900,000 3,121 $3,172 $9,900,000 1 Lionsgate
3 Bridget Jones’s Baby $9,000,000 2,927 $3,075 $9,000,000 1 Universal
4 Snowden $8,600,000 2,443 $3,520 $8,600,000 1 Open Road
5 Don’t Breathe $5,600,000 -32% 3,208 -176 $1,746 $75,328,781 4 Sony / TriStar
6 When the Bough Breaks $5,300,000 -63% 2,246 0 $2,360 $22,472,732 2 Sony / Screen Gems
7 Suicide Squad $4,600,000 -20% 2,740 -363 $1,679 $313,672,332 7 Warner Bros.
8 Kubo and the Two Strings $2,600,000 -21% 1,757 -578 $1,480 $44,331,974 5 Focus
9 The Wild Life (2016) $2,500,000 -25% 2,493 0 $1,003 $6,514,269 2 Lionsgate / Summit
10 Pete’s Dragon (2016) $2,100,000 -32% 1,948 -737 $1,078 $72,864,525 6 Disney
11 Hell or High Water $2,000,000 -19% 1,505 60 $1,329 $22,800,531 6 CBS Films / Lionsgate
12 Bad Moms $1,800,000 -31% 1,486 -402 $1,211 $110,044,928 8 STX Entertainment
13 Sausage Party $1,200,000 -49% 1,181 -890 $1,016 $95,334,861 6 Sony / Columbia
14 The Secret Life of Pets $1,200,000 -22% 1,005 -405 $1,194 $363,356,360 11 Universal
15 Jason Bourne $1,050,000 -40% 1,008 -502 $1,042 $160,359,915 8 Universal
16 The Light Between Oceans $770,000 -58% 1,133 -367 $680 $11,170,776 3 Disney / DreamWorks

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Hillsong – Let Hope Rise $1,700,000 816 $2,083 $1,700,000 1
2 War Dogs $1,000,000 -51% 902 -879 $1,109 $41,650,185 5 Warner Bros.
3 Star Trek Beyond $623,000 -33% 508 -240 $1,226 $157,556,686 9 Paramount
4 Florence Foster Jenkins $360,000 -58% 567 -495 $635 $26,522,682 6 Paramount

Friday Report: The weekend is off to a fairly soft start as Blair Witch came in significantly below expected results on Thursday evening. The horror sequel earned an estimated $765,000 last night, falling well short of the $1.02 million earned by The Visit last September despite the former boasting potential for a bigger upfront audience due to the brand name. The film’s poor reviews are likely to blame, as well as perhaps general burnout from horror sequels after a year filled to the brim with successful originals in that genre.

Oliver Stone’s Snowden took in $390,000 last night, besting the $290,000 of Steve Jobs in its wide expansion last October. It remains to be seen how front-loaded the film will prove to be over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Bridget Jones’s Baby pulled a respectable $364,000 as its earning positive reviews from critics. The counter-programmer aimed toward middle-aged women bested the $130,000 Thursday showing of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 and came in shy of Hot Pursuit‘s $450,000. Notably, it also fell well short of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2‘s $1.02 million.

Early figures for Hillsong – Let Hope Rise were not available at the time of publishing.

In the mean time, Sully is expected to easily run away with first place again this weekend following its excellent debut last week and subsequently strong word of mouth. Check back on Saturday morning for key weekend projections based on official Friday estimates.

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