News

'Suicide Squad' Threepeats at #1, While 'Ben-Hur' Becomes Latest Big Budget Flop

by Brad Brevet
 

 
August 21, 2016

It's a repeat at the top of the domestic box office as Suicide Squad and Sausage Party finished one and two respectively for a second weekend in a row and serving as the third straight weekend at number one for the DC Comics adaptation. The rest of the top five is made up of the weekend's three new wide releases—War Dogs, Kubo and the Two Strings and Ben-Hur—as this weekend's top twelve was down 25% from last weekend, though, compared to last year, the top twelve is up nearly 30% with a combined gross of just over $118 million.

As already mentioned, with an estimated $20.7 million Suicide Squad took the number one spot at the weekend box office. The film's domestic cume is now up to $262.28 million, ranking fifth among all DC Comics adaptations. Internationally the film added another $38 million this weekend bringing its international total to $310.4 million for a worldwide cume totaling $572.68 million, ranking eighth among all 2016 releases.

In second, Sony's R-rated animated feature Sausage Party dropped 55% and delivered an estimated $15.3 million in its second weekend, bringing its domestic cume to $65.3 million. The film added another $2.1 million internationally this weekend from just 13 markets as its worldwide cume currently stands at $71.3 million on a $19 million budget.

Leading the weekend's newcomers, Warner's War Dogs finished third with an estimated $14.3 million and earned a lackluster "B" CinemaScore from opening day audiences suggesting this one might top out around $35 million or so domestically. The audience breakdown was 56% male vs. 44% female with 51% of the overall audience coming in under the age of 35.

Internationally, War Dogs came in at an estimated $6.5 million from 2,700 screens in 31 markets. This includes Russia where it debuted in second with an estimated $1.9 million and Australia where it opened with $1.1 million. The film releases in the UK next weekend followed by releases in Mexico (Sep 2), Brazil (Sep 8), Spain (Sep 9), France (Sep 14), Italy (Sep 15) and Germany (Sep 29).

Finishing fourth with an estimated $12.6 million is Focus and Laika's Kubo and the Two Strings, which also received a strong, "A" CinemaScore from opening day audiences. While Laika is pretty much always guaranteed an Oscar nomination at the end of the year, this is the lowest wide opening release for any of the studio's five feature films, which have shown dwindling multipliers over the course of their last three releases.

While 2009's Coraline opened with $16.8 million and went on to deliver a 4.5 multiplier, finishing its domestic run with $75.2 million, 2014's The Boxtrolls opened with $17.27 million, but only finished with just over $50 million. Should Kubo follow the Boxtrolls' path it would mean a domestic haul somewhere around $37 million.

Kubo also opened in eight international territories this weekend, bringing in an estimated $900,000. The film releases around the world over the next few months.

Narrowly finishing in fifth place, Paramount and MGM's $100 million budgeted remake Ben-Hur proved a box office bust, delivering an estimated $11.35 million. While being savaged by the majority of critics the film did score an "A-" CinemaScore with opening day audiences, though an opening number that small is unlikely to translate into any kind of long legs. The film's opening weekend demographic was 51% female vs. 49% male with 94% of the overall audience coming in over the age of 25.

Ben-Hur also launched in 23 international markets this weekend where it brought in an estimated $10.7 million. The opening includes a #1 finish in Mexico with $2.8 million, a #2 finish in Brazil with $2.5 million and $817k in Venezuela and $598k in Phillippines. The film will be released in Australia, Argentina and Netherlands next weekend and expand throughout September including releases in Germany, Austria and Spain on Sept 1; France, Russia and the UK a week later; Korea on Sept 14; Italy on Sept 29; and, finally, Japan on January 13, 2017.

Back at the domestic box office, finishing just $19,000 behind Ben-Hur in sixth position is Disney's Pete's Dragon, which dropped 47.3% in its second weekend for an estimated $11.3 million. We'll have to wait until actuals surface tomorrow afternoon to see if Ben-Hur can hold on to its narrow lead or if it will end up falling out of the weekend top five.

In seventh is another strong weekend for STX's Bad Moms, which followed up its stellar third weekend in which it dropped a mere 19% with a fourth weekend drop of only 29%. The R-rated comedy delivered an estimated $8 million this weekend as its domestic cume is now up to $85.8 million, pushing toward $100 million and a 4x multiplier.

Finishing just outside the top ten is the strong performance of CBS Films and Lionsgate's Hell or High Water. After opening in 32 theaters last weekend the film has made use of spectacular reviews (98% on RottenTomatoes) and expanded into 472 total theaters this weekend where it generated an estimated $2.65 million. The film will continue expanding into new markets in the weeks ahead, though no official theater counts have yet been revealed.

Elsewhere, New Line's Lights Out added $1.6 million domestically this weekend and another $7.3 million internationally as the James Wan-produced thriller has now generated over $110 million worldwide on a $4.9 million budget. Among the film's international weekend it debuted in the UK with $1.4 million, Spain with $1.1 million and in Brazil with $793k.

In limited release, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV debuted in 24 theaters and delivered an estimated $114,000; Natalie Portman's A Tale of Love and Darkness brought in $36,000 from two theaters; The People vs. Fritz Bauer delivered $33,781 from six theaters; and, after 30 days on DirecTV, A24's Morris from America brought in an estimated $16,000 from two theaters.

Next weekend sees the release of Fede Alvarez's SXSW standout Don't Breathe into ~2,900 theaters, Summit will release Mechanic: Resurrection into ~2,200 theaters and The Weinstein Co. delivers the boxing drama Hands of Stone starring Edgar Ramirez and Robert De Niro into ~2,000 theaters.

For a look at this weekend's estimated results click here and we'll be updating the charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo and author Brad Brevet at @bradbrevet.



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