Evidentially, Sully‘s success wasn’t a fluke last weekend. The Clint Eastwood-helmed Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger biopic soared into the number one spot once again with a respectable $22 million added to its $70.5 million domestic gross. It dropped a mere 37 percent, and it already earned back its $60 million budget. Suffice to say, Warner Bros. should be pleased with their latest picture.
Not quite as successful was this weekend’s other biopic, Oliver Stone’s Snowden, based on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, which opened to a mere $8 million in fourth place. That’s below the film’s already-low $10 million expectations, and it has now become Stone’s lowest opening for a film released in over 2,000 theaters. Granted, the movie isn’t great, but it’s also not terrible. Snowden does provide some compelling, often timely and important food for thought, and it features another great performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. In short, it’s better than Sully.
Also underperforming over the weekend was Blair Witch, the sequel-reboot to 1999’s indie smash The Blair Witch Project, which came in second place with $9.7 million. Granted, that’s not completely terrible given the $5 million budget. It should make back its modest funds. But it does come below expectations around the $15-19 million range. Though reviews were initially strong, the reception cooled down significantly before the film’s release. The Rotten Tomatoes score dipped to 37 percent in a matter of hours, and even CinemaScore wasn’t too kind. Granted, I usually don’t take much stock in that latter service, but it’s rather telling to see the new horror flick earn a rare D+, below the genre’s C average.
Trying to recreate the magic of the original Blair Witch Project as best as they could, Blair Witch came with seemingly good intentions. It hid under the title The Woods for months and kept a low profile until Comic-Con, when it revealed its true association to the popular late ’90s horror phenomenon. That said, while competently-handled, making a good Blair Witch Project sequel is damn near impossible —especially in today’s Internet climate. They gave it their best shot, but it wasn’t enough.
Speaking of underperforming sequels, Bridget Jones’s Baby also came in rather unremarkably here in the United States. It opened to $8.2 million in third place, which were also below the studio’s expectations around the $15-20 million range, hoping to match My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 ‘s $17.8 million debut earlier this spring. It’s ultimately a disappointment, but it’s not a complete loss. The film is still doing well overseas, where it earned an impressive $29.9 million. Considering its agreeable $35 million budget, it should still be in the black in no time worldwide. Though I’m sure Universal would’ve loved if it did as well as its predecessors, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, both here and abroad.
To round out the weekend, Suicide Squad is now in seventh place with $4.7 million added to its continuously-impressive $313.8 million domestic gross. Additionally, When the Bough Breaks dropped 61.1% from last week, now coming in sixth place with $5.5 million. Ouch. Also, Hillsong – Let Hope Rise opened in 816 theaters over the weekend and it came in 13th place with a commendable $1.3 million. Nice job guys.
- Sully Weekend: $22 million Domestic Gross: $70.5 million
- Blair Witch Weekend: $9.7 million Domestic Gross: $9.7 million
- Bridget Jones’s Baby Weekend: $8.2 million Domestic Gross: $8.2 million
- Snowden Weekend: $8 million Domestic Gross: $8 million
- Don’t Breathe Weekend: $5.6 million Domestic Gross: $75.3 million
- When the Bough Breaks Weekend: $5.5 million Domestic Gross: $22.7 million
- Suicide Squad Weekend: $4.7 million Domestic Gross: $313.8 million
- The Wild Life Weekend: $2.7 million Domestic Gross: $6.7 million
- Kubo and the Two Strings Weekend: $2.5 million Domestic Gross: $44.2 million
- Pete’s Dragon Weekend: $2 million Domestic Gross: $72.8 million