Weekend Box Office: ‘Suicide Squad’ Fends Off All Newcomers to Keep the Top Spot

     August 21, 2016


The weekend box office numbers are in, and Suicide Squad has done what Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Man of Steel couldn’t: stayed in the top spot for more than two weeks. The film only dropped 54% in its third weekend and came in with a three-day total of $20.2 million to bring its domestic run to $262.1 million. The film also crossed the $500 million worldwide mark earlier this week, and it will be interesting to see what kind of legs the film has now that summer is basically over. That’s not intended to be a slam towards the films we have coming up this Friday, but Don’t Breathe, Hands of Stone, and Mechanic: Resurrection are far from sure bets at the box office and then we head into the September doldrums.

The second spot went to Sausage Party, which also only dropped 54%, but that’s a respectable decrease for a second weekend, and especially for an R-rated animated comedy. While the film has courted controversy recently over its failure to properly pay its animators, audiences don’t seem to know or mind. The film pulled in $15.7 million on its second weekend to bring its cumulative domestic gross to $65.3 million. Compared to other animated films, it’s a paltry sum, but compared to this summer’s R-rated comedies like Popstar ($9 million domestic), The Nice Guys ($36 million domestic) Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates ($45 million domestic) and Neighbors 2 ($55 million domestic), it’s damned impressive.


Image via Warner Bros.

Speaking of R-rated comedies, War Dogs landed in the third slot this weekend to make it the winner among the newcomers. Although the movie only earned a ‘B’ CinemaScore, it managed to rake in $14.8 million over the weekend. That’s not great, but it’s not terrible either.

Coming in at number four is Kubo and the Two Strings, which got Laika its first ‘A’ CinemaScore. Although the film only pulled in $12.1 million this weekend, which is the lowest opening weekend ever for a Laika movie, the glowing reviews from critics and audiences bodes well for how the movie could perform in the weeks to come.

And then we come to Ben-Hur. It cost more than War Dogs and Kubo, and yet it will have to settle for fifth place, $11.4 million, and a studio reckoning over how to sell faith-based films. The studio made an attempt to reach out to religious groups, and those that did come out gave the film an A- CinemaScore. According to Deadline, “Ben-Hur was aggressively screened to leaders and 250 pieces of content were created for grassroots efforts in individual churches. TV specials were produced around the movie and there were three Christian music videos, one of which was an original song by Andra Day. At Variety’s Purpose summit last summer, Ben-Hur clips were shown with Burnett revealing that the production had 40 spiritual leaders engaged as consultants, a portion of which visited the Rome set.”


Image via Paramount and MGM

Nevertheless, studios still haven’t seen a cross over faith-based hit since The Passion of the Christ, a film that not only did outreach to the religious community, but also had the backing of Oscar-winner Mel Gibson to help sell the movie. Compare that to Noah, which did have some star power but was also made by an atheist, or to Exodus: Gods and Kings, which only got people talking over the racially insensitive casting, and it’s not a surprise that Hollywood can’t make a cross-over hit. While I thought the new Ben-Hur was alright, I can also admit that Jack Huston and Toby Kebbell aren’t big enough stars to get people to turn out.

In other box office news, Bad Moms is one of the sleeper hits of the summer. The movie came in at #7 this weekend, and it’s going to clear $100 million. Again, in a summer where most R-rated comedies have underperformed, it’s impressive to see one succeed.

As for this weekend’s limited releases, Hell or High Water performed admirably bringing in another $2.6 million at a per theater average of $5,614/screen as it expanded to 472 theaters.  Morris From America, which opened in limited release this weekend, pulled in $17,000 from two theaters.

Check out the full Top 10 estimates below via Box Office Mojo.

Rank Title Weekend Gross Total Gross
1. Suicide Squad $20,710,000 $262,283,335
2. Sausage Party $15,325,000 $65,326,019
3. War Dogs
$14,300,000 $14,300,000
4. Kubo and the Two Strings
$12,610,000 $12,610,000
5. Ben-Hur $11,350,000 $11,350,000
6. Pete’s Dragon
$11,331,000 $42,892,269
7. Bad Moms
$8,068,000 $85,800,428
8. Jason Bourne
$7,980,000 $140,883,285
9. The Secret Life of Pets
$5,770,000 $346,722,030
10. Florence Foster Jenkins
$4,300,000 $14,405,743


Image via Paramount and MGM


Image via LAIKA/Universal


Image via Warner Bros.

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