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Weekend Estimates: Pete’s Dragon and Suicide Squad Soft, Sausage Party Firm

August 14th, 2016

Suicide Squad

A precipitous drop from last weekend won’t be enough to knock Suicide Squad off its perch at the top of the box office chart, according to studio estimates released on Friday. But a 67% fall is steep, even by modern standards. On the bright side, it is less than Batman v Superman’s 69% decline in its second weekend earlier this year, at least according to the estimates. A weak Sunday would put the two films basically neck-and-neck on that front, and it looks increasingly likely that Suicide Squad will end with less than $300 million domestically.

That puts more pressure on the film internationally, where it is doing fairly well, having picked up $242.5 million so far, slightly ahead of its $222.9 million domestic haul. That takes the DC Extended Universe to nearly $2 billion worldwide after three films, which is no slouch. It’s worth remembering that the Marvel Cinematic Universe took five films to pass $2 billion worldwide, albeit several years ago when international markets were smaller. It wasn’t until The Avengers and Iron Man 3 (the sixth and seventh films) that the franchise really hit its stride. The DC Universe still has time.

Sausage Party is sitting pretty in second place this weekend with a projected $33.6 million. That’s the best opening for an R-rated comedy this year, and a sign that being even slightly creative can pay dividends when so many wide releases are remakes, reboots and sequels. The same might be said for Bad Moms, which will be down only 18% in its third weekend to $11.45 million, and has grossed $71.46 million to date.

Pete’s Dragon is suffering a much worse fate, with Disney projecting a $21.5 million weekend. That’s just a fraction more than the $18.8 million earned by The BFG on its opening weekend, and sadly highlights the dilemma studios face when making family films. Aiming for a pure family audience just doesn’t seem to pay off. Disney will happily add Pete’s Dragon and The BFG to their TV and video library, and can afford to take a bit of a financial hit on the films, but even they can’t ignore that fact that The Jungle Book, which aimed more for the “four quadrant” heart of the movie-going demographic, has racked up $363 million domestically, and almost $1 billion worldwide. Getting a more diverse array of films into theaters seems unlikely when the financial justification just isn’t there.

To be fair, while more interesting films might not make it into the top tier financially, there are a few of them doing OK this weekend. Florence Foster Jenkins will make about $6.6 million this weekend from 1,528 theaters for a decent average of $4,300. Good reviews and an older demographic should give it good legs. Anthropoid should open with $1.2 million from 452 theaters, for a more disappointing $2,700 average. It will be touch and go whether it can hold on to enough theaters to get a good run. Hell or High Water, meanwhile, will earn almost $600,000 this weekend from just 32 theaters for an impressive average of $18,500. It’ll be one to watch as it expands over the next few weeks.

- Weekend estimates

- Pete’s Dragon comparison chart
- Sausage Party comparison chart
- Florence Foster Jenkins comparison chart
- Suicide Squad comparison chart
- DC Extended Universe at the box office
- Bad Moms comparison chart

Bruce Nash,

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Sausage Party, The BFG, Suicide Squad, Florence Foster Jenkins, Pete’s Dragon, Bad Moms, Hell or High Water, Anthropoid, Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Extended Universe