Weekend Box Office: Sully Stays On Top

A trio of turkeys couldn’t unseat Warner’s Sully from the top spot at the North America box office. The Tom Hanks drama had no problem holding off the dismal debuts of Blair Witch, Bridget Jones’s Baby and Snowden as the box office took an early fall movie season nap.

Descending a mere 37% in business, the Clint Eastwood-directed Sully scored an additional $22 million from 3,525 theaters. After ten days of release, Sully’s total stands at a solid $70 million. With continued strong word-of-mouth among adult ticket buyers, Sully could wind down around $125 million, which would make it Hanks’ biggest live-action hit since 2009’s Angels and Demons.

A trio of films people could have cared less about occupied the next three spots in the top five. Landing in second place with a thud was Lionsgate’s low budget reboot Blair Witch, which scared up a meek $9.7 million from 3,121 theaters. The second sequel to the 1999 box office smash The Blair Witch Project was neither a hit with critics (37% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes) or with the public, who bestowed the $5 million production with a “D+” CinemaScore rating. With any luck, there won’t be a fourth Blair Witch feature.

Another sequel no one was asking for landed in third place: the Universal romcom Bridget Jones’s Baby. Not to be confused with Rosemary’s Baby, the third cinematic opus for the British singleton, played once again by Renee Zellweger, received decent reviews from critics but not much love from the public. The Sharon Maguire feature opened on 2,927 screens Friday and could only muster $8.2 million.

The opening for Baby is slightly below the $8.6 million earned back in 2004 from Bridge Jones: The Edge of Reason, which opened on roughly one fifth of the screens the new chapter did. Baby’s debut was also 30% lower than the $10.7 million earned 15 years ago by Bridget Jones’s Diary. Baby did bag an impressive $30 million from foreign markets this weekend, which means fans may eventually get Bridget Jones’s Funeral before long.

The third dud of the weekend was Oliver Stone’s Snowden, which sputtered with an estimated $8 million from 2,443 theaters. The Joseph Gordon-Levitt headliner about Edward Snowden met with mixed notices from critics -58% approval on Rotten Tomatoes- and a collective shrug from the public. The Open Road feature was originally set for release in late 2015.

Rounding out the top five was Sony’s durable suspense thriller Don’t Breathe with $5.6 million from 3,208 theaters, a decrease of only 32%. After one month of release, Don’t Breathe has inhaled $75.3 million in ticket sales. A final haul around $85 million is possible.

6. When the Bough Breaks (Sony) $5.5 million (-62%); $22.7 million

7. Suicide Squad (Warner) $4.7 million (18%); $313 million

8. The Wild Life (2016) (Lionsgate) $2.65 million; $6.6 million

9. Kubo (Focus) $2.6 million (-24%); $44.2 million

10. Pete’s Dragon (2016) (Disney) $2 million (-34%); $72.8 million

Sully should abdicate the box office throne next weekend as the remake of The Magnificent Seven rides into town. The Denzel Washington-led western will be joined by the Warner animated feature Storks.

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