Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Blair Witch’ Stumbles as ‘Sully’ Continues to Soar
Despite new challengers of all genres, budgets and backgrounds, Sully remained number one at the box office this week, fending off the likes of Blair Witch, Bridget Jones’s Baby, and Snowden. In a month not traditionally known for producing many financial juggernauts, Clint Eastwood’s drama has emerged as something of a surprise smash, surpassing most expectations and showing no signs of slowing down quite yet.
|3||Bridget Jones’s Baby||$8,240,000||$2,815||$8,240,000|
|5||Don’t Breathe||$5,600,000 (-32.1)||$1,746||$75,328,000|
|6||When the Bough Breaks||$5,525,000 (-61.1)||$2,460||$22,697,000|
|7||Suicide Squad||$4,710,000 (-17.7)||$1,719||$313,782,000|
|8||The Wild Life||$2,650,000 (-20.7)||$1,063||$6,664,000|
|9||Kubo and the Two Strings||$2,509,000 (-24.0)||$1,428||$44,240,000|
|10||Pete’s Dragon||$2,041,000 (-34.2)||$1,048||$72,805,000|
Sully fell a very small 37% from its opening weekend bow, grossing $22 million for a current total of $70 million. With a reported budget of only $60 million, that puts the film well on the track to being a monster hit. At this rate, it will cross $100 million soon enough and has a serious shot at $150 million if it doesn’t get derailed over the coming weeks. However, well-received adult fare like Sully tends to have stronger legs than the average major release, so keep your eyes on this one.
Unfortunately, Sully’s gain was Blair Witch’s loss. The sequel to the 1999 horror classic The Blair Witch Project opened with only $9 million. To put this in perspective, the original film was a monster hit, grossing $140 million at the domestic box office against a budget that was well under $100,000. Even the much-maligned first sequel, 2000’s Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, opened with $13 million before ending up a financial disappointment. The silver lining here is that Blair Witch cost only $5 million to make, so it’s not a total disaster by any means. Considering the marketing costs, it should break even when all is said and done (although this probably means the end of the Blair Witch series for at least another 16 years or so).
Speaking of belated sequels opening below expectations, Bridget Jones’s Baby opened in third place with only $8 million. This is actually in line with this series so far — 2001’s Bridget Jones’s Diary opened to $10 million and went on to gross $70 million while 2004’s Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason opened to $8 million and ultimately grossed $40 million — but an $8 million opening weekend means something different in 2016 than it did back then. The film is certainly not finished yet, especially in a year where a movie like Bad Moms can hang out in theaters long enough to become a sleeper hit, but any chance of matching the gross of the previous films will require strong word of mouth and consistency over the next few weeks. So watch this space.
That brings us to fourth place and the third new release of the week: Oliver Stone’s Snowden, which opened with only $8 million. Although the film was not tracking well and this opening is not particularly surprising, it’s still the lowest debut weekend for any Stone film opening in over 2,000 theaters.
The rest of the top 10 remained fairly consistent with last week. Don’t Breathe continued to be the rare horror movie to showcase strong legs over multiple weeks, grossing $5 million for a $75 million total after dropping only 32%. Right below it, When the Bough Breaks dropped a gigantic 61%, but this one already made its money back in its first weekend. The Wild Life somehow managed to find $2 million worth of families interested in seeing it. And finally, Pete’s Dragon and Kubo and the Two Strings both look to exit the top 10 very soon with mediocre grosses despite being two of the most acclaimed films of the year.