'Sully' Delivers Top Five September Opening with $35.5 Million
by Brad Brevet
September 11, 2016
It has been seven years since Tom Hanks starred in a live action film that opened atop the weekend box office, but Sully changes all that as the true life feature delivered one of the five best September openings of all-time. Finishing in second was another one of the weekend's new wide releases, Sony and Screen Gems' When the Bough Breaks, while Lionsgate's The Wild Life and Relativity's The Disappointments Room failed to make much of an impression. Overall, this weekend's top twelve delivered nearly $86 million, a small uptick from the same weekend last year with nearly 60% of the top twelve cumulative gross coming from the top two new releases.
Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks as Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, Sully opened at #1 with an estimated $35.5 million, the fifth largest September opening of all-time, largest September opening for Warner Bros. by nearly $12 million (The Town / $23.8m) and largest post-Labor Day opening of all-time. Add to that, this is the first time since 2009's Angels & Demons that Tom Hanks has starred in a live-action film that opened #1 at the box office. The film, which was the first Hollywood feature film to ever be shot 100% with IMAX cameras, was also the largest September IMAX opening for a wide release, pulling in an estimated $4 million from 375 IMAX locations.
Sully received an "A" CinemaScore from opening day audiences which were split 44% male vs. 56% female and 80% of the overall audience was over the age of 35. It will be interesting to see where the film goes from here as a domestic haul around $105-110 million would typically be the safest bet for an opening of this sort, but given this is a well-received, adult-targeted feature, it could climb to $130+ million and not be the least bit surprising.
Internationally, Sully debuted in 39 international markets and brought in an estimated $9.5 million. This includes $2.3 million from Australia, $925,000 in Russia and $929,000 from the United Arab Emirates. It will open in Japan in two weeks on September 24.
Finishing in second is Screen Gems' When the Bough Breaks with an estimated $15 million for its opening weekend. This is a pretty steep drop compared to previous Screen Gems releases targeting the same audience, such as last year's The Perfect Guy which opened with $25.8 and No Good Deed, which opened one year earlier with $24.2 million. The fact the budget was only $10 million helps the overall picture, but given Bough received a 0% RottenTomatoes score and a "B" CinemaScore you can look for this one to fall sharply next weekend by 60% or more.
Next is Lionsgate's P&A pickup, the animated feature The Wild Life, which delivered an estimated $3.4 million, just managing to sneak into the top five. The film fell a bit short of its $5 million expectations and won't likely be hanging around the weekend top ten for much longer. The film scored a "B-" CinemaScore.
The last of the weekend's new wide releases brings us to Relativity's The Disappointments Room which delivered on its title and failed to find a spot within the top 15, serving up an estimated $1.4 million. This is an even worse per theater average ($901 PTA from 1,554 theaters) than last weekend's flop, Morgan. The film received a "D" CinemaScore from opening day audiences and, like When the Bough Breaks, currently holds a 0% on RottenTomatoes.
Coming off Labor Day weekend it was to be expected that weekend drops would be a little heftier than normal, but a lot of films held on quite nicely beginning with the recent horror hit Don't Breathe, which dropped only 48.1% and brought in an estimated $8.2 million. The film is now up to $66.8 million domestically.
Finishing behind Don't Breathe in fourth position is WB's Suicide Squad, which brought in an estimated $5.65 million as its domestic cume now sits at $307.4 million. Suicide Squad also brought in another $10.1 million internationally this weekend including an estimated $3.6 million from its debut in Japan as its international cume now sits at $392 million for a worldwide total of $699.4 million, though keep an eye out as domestic and international actuals tomorrow afternoon could very well push it over the $700 million mark.
Elsewhere, Disney's Pete's Dragon cracked $70 million at the domestic box office after adding an estimated $2.9 million this weekend. STX's Bad Moms continues its impressive run, dropping only 40.6% this weekend and delivering an estimated $2.8 million as its domestic cume climbs to $107.5 million. After seven weekends in release Bad Moms has so far delivered a 4.51 multiplier based on its $23.8 million opening and it's still delivering solid numbers within the weekend top ten.
In limited release Focus World's Kicks brought in an estimated $32,000 from three theaters for a $10,667 PTA and Janus' Cameraperson finished with an estimated $12,897 from one theater. Additionally, Other People brought in an estimated $38,000 from 12 theaters; The Orchard's Demon finished with $13,560 from three theaters; cohen Media's Come What May brought in an estimated $10,656 from two theaters; and IFC's Dancer brought in $7,000 from one theater.
Next weekend sees the release of Lionsgate's Blair Witch in ~2,850 theaters, Universal and Renee Zellweger will bring Bridget Jones back to theaters after a 12 year hiatus with Bridget Jones's Baby in 2,900+ theaters, Open Road delivers Oliver Stone's Snowden and Pure Flix will be releasing Hillsong - Let Hope Rise.
For a look at this weekend's estimated results click here and we'll be updating the charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
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