Some people say this is the last weekend of the summer movie season. While I still consider the Labor Day weekend part of the fun, it does feel like the end of summer is upon us — especially with this weekend’s disappointing box office numbers.
Suicide Squad is, once again, in the number one spot, but it’s hard to call its third weekend a full-out success. It earned $20.7 million, which is another steep drop for the anti-superhero WB blockbuster after earning $43.7 million last weekend. This one is plummeting, but hardcore DC fans probably just look at the number one spot and believe it’s another rousing hit. If that’s the case, then congratulations: Suicide Squad is number one again. Enjoy your cake, and eating it too.
Meanwhile, Sausage Party is in the number two spot again, but it’s celebrating some more genuine success. It earned an additional $15.3 million over the weekend, which propels it further into the black after it cleared its $19 million budget last weekend. It now holds $65.3 million in its domestic gross, which is another good win for originality. Although, it’s disappointing to hear animators now claiming that the filmmakers’ means of making such a box office smash were, well, a little sour. Or spoiled. Or rotten. Pick your food pun.
Speaking of rotten (supposedly), this weekend’s biggest loser is Ben-Hur, Paramount’s rather uninvited remake-of-a-remake hoping to win over the religious crowd through some revamped chariot races. But it was a failure of biblical proportions (as expected), as it opened in sixth place with poor reviews, audience indifference and a meager $11.4 million earned during its first weekend. With a $100 million budget, it’s safe to call this one a flop, unless it has some incredible legs these next few days. It’ll need a miracle if it wants to ascend.
Meanwhile, the weekend’s best performing newcomer was War Dogs, the latest from director Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy), which came in third place with a rather okay $14.3 million. That marks Phillips’ worst opening in ten years, behind 2006’s School for Scoundrels, but it wasn’t expected to earn the same dough as his comedy sequels. With a budget projected around $40 million, however, it’s not impossible for the Jonah Hill-Miles Teller buddy war dramedy to sneak its way into the black. Time will have to tell, however, if that’s the case for this dog.
Full disclosure: I haven’t seen War Dogs yet, so I don’t actually know if it’s a “dog.” To be honest, it looks kinda fun, and I’m looking forward to checking it out sometime in the relatively near future. But I wanted to make that joke, and here we are. Anyway, back to the box office reports. I apologize for the interruption.
Actually, the reason I missed War Dogs was because I went to see Kubo and the Two Strings instead, which I positively adored. That’s why I’m sad to see it’s not quite making a dent in the box office. It came in fourth place with a rather meddling $12.6 million, which is slightly lower than Laika’s last three releases, 2009’s Coraline, 2012’s ParaNorman and 2014’s The Boxtrolls. The key to their successes, however, were their legs, which I’m really, really, really hoping leads to Kubo‘s eventual success. It’s unquestionably one of the year’s best films, and it’s a major step up for the Oregon-based animation studio. I want nothing but good things for the stop-motion animated release. It deserves to be seen, loved and eventually cherished in the years to come.
On the brighter side, the timely, well-made modern western Hell or High Water is doing some nice business in its theatrical rollout. Expanding into 472 theaters, it earned a commendable $2.6 million, bringing its domestic total to $3.5 million. I don’t quite love it as much as some others did, but it’s definitely a taunt and engaging character drama-thriller, and I’m glad to know it’s finding its audience.
Alright, time to wrap up the weekend report. Pete’s Dragon is still doing decent enough, earning $11.3 million and making its domestic gross $42.9 million. It’s not great, but with a budget of $65 million, it’s working its way up. Just another reminder: it’s a good one. If you’ve already seen Kubo and the Two Strings, make a point to check it out.
Additionally, Bad Moms, continues to astound. It earned an extra $8.1 million, which makes its domestic gross total a healthy $85.8 million. And in limited release, Natalie Portman’s directorial debut A Tale of Love and Darkness debuted to $36,000 in two theaters within New York and Los Angeles, which an average of $18,000 per theater.
- Suicide Squad Weekend: $20.7 million Domestic Gross: $262.3 million
- Sausage Party Weekend: $15.3 million Domestic Gross: $65.3 million
- War Dogs Weekend: $14.3 million Domestic Gross: $14.3 million
- Kubo and the Two Strings Weekend: $12.6 million Domestic Gross: $12.6 million
- Ben-Hur (2016) Weekend: $11.4 million Domestic Gross: $11.4 million
- Pete’s Dragon Weekend: $11.3 million Domestic Gross: $42.9 million
- Bad Moms Weekend: $8.1 million Domestic Gross: $85.8 million
- Jason Bourne Weekend: $7.9 million Domestic Gross: $140.9 million
- The Secret Life of Pets Weekend: $5.8 million Domestic Gross: $346.7 million
- Florence Foster Jenkins Weekend: $4.3 million Domestic Gross: $14.4 million