Box Office: Sully Puts Blair Witch In A Corner, Repeats As No. 1

It seems like it was only a month ago when audiences were raising hell on how critics rated Suicide Squad. Yet, here in its second weekend we have a film that doesn’t feature superheroes (but does feature heroism); has received positive reviews from critics; and completely dominated three new releases, including sequels for properties that haven’t had sequels in more than a decade.

The combination of Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks was too good an offer for audiences to pass up so once again Sully gets the lion’s share of the box office receipts with an estimated haul of $22 million. That’s a pretty strong hold for a drama in its second weekend, only registering a 37.2% drop in attendance.

Spots two through four were occupied by new releases Blair Witch, Bridget Jones’s Baby, and Snowden. Adam Wingard’s take on the witch in the Black Hills Forest generated little in the way of buzz, despite being developed as the movie The Woods before it was revealed a few months back it was actually a sequel to 1999’s The Blair Witch Project. $5 million to produce, the found-footage horror flick registered $9.65 million. Not bad, but don’t expect it to do the business the original did. Bridget Jones’s Baby is a sequel to 2004’s Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Probably nine years too late in sequel years, it did make nearly as much as Edge of Reason did its opening weekend. However, the difference in theater count has the 2004 comedy opening on 530 screens vs. BJB opening on 2,927. Yeah, per-screen averages took quite a dip.

Open Road’s Snowden made $8 million vs. a $40 million budget. Oliver Stone’s political thriller about patriot/villain Edward Snowden is tailor made for general audiences who missed the documentary CitizenFour or found it to be too boring with technical jargon that made it a slog to watch (not me).

Don’t Breathe continues to be a thrilling hit for Screen Gems as it has spent a month in the top ten and has made an impressive $75 million. Screen Gems’ other release, When the Bough Breaks dropped from second place to sixth in weekend No. 2 as it added another $5.5 million to its $22.6 million total.

Oh, and the best animated film of the year, Kubo and the Two Strings finished its fifth weekend in the top 10 with $2.5 million.

Notable titles opening in limited release included Ron Howard’s documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years ($615k at 85 theaters), Eddie Murphy’s Mr. Church ($407k at 354 theaters)), and the Compaq computer documentary Silicon Cowboys ($5k at 12 theaters).

On tap for the weekend we have Antoine Fuqua’s remake of The Magnificent Seven starring Denzel Washington vs. the animated release Storks. Denzel is typically good for a $22 to $27 million opening so expect it to dethrone Eastwood and Hanks and claim the top spot.

Complete top ten below.

01. Sully – $22 Million ($70.5m)
02. Blair Witch – $9.65 Million
03. Bridget Jones’s Baby – $8.2 Million
04. Snowden – $8 Million
05. Don’t Breathe – $5.6 Million ($75.3m)
06. When the Bough Breaks – $5.5 Million ($22.6m)
07. Suicide Squad – $4.7 Million ($313.7m)
08. The Wild Life – $2.65 Million ($6.6m)
09. Kubo and the Two Strings – $2.5 Million ($44.2m)
10. Pete’s Dragon – $2 Million ($72.8m)

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