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Weekend box office: Sausage Party cooks up $34.3 million

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Annapurna Pictures; Matt Klitscher; Clay Enos

Suicide Squad, which broke August records with a $133.7 million opening last weekend, takes the box office crown for the second weekend in a row despite taking a steep dive across its sophomore frame, pulling in $43.5 million for an overall haul of around $222.6million.

A tumble this large (67.4 percent) is in the film’s DNA, of course, as Warner Bros. consistently produces critically condemned DC Comics adaptations that open huge (Batman v Superman, Man of Steel) but ultimately shed a significant portion of their audience across their second weekend.

Though studio projections pegged Sausage Party for a debut in the $20-25 million range, the comedy overperforms with adults this weekend, serving up an impressive $34.3 million debut on 3,103 screens. The film’s underwhelming B grade on CinemaScore indicates audiences aren’t as impressed with the film as critics (it currently holds a 67 rating on Metacritic), but they still showed up in numbers large enough to give Suicide Squad a run for its money (Sausage Party out-paced Suicide Squad on Friday).

History shows R-rated films featuring animated characters typically open in the $10-$13 million range (South Park, Team America, Paul), though live-action comedies featuring Sausage Party‘s voice talent (Pineapple Express, This Is the End) tend to debut higher and run on longer legs. While Seth Rogen and co. have undoubtedly built a bankable familiarity with audiences, Sausage Party‘s simple concept — it revolves around personified food items fighting back against the humans who want to savagely eat them — is inherently funny enough to appeal to a wide range of people in the over-18 demo.

STX’s Bad Moms, another R-rated comedy, continues to impress after its third weekend in release with a slight 18.9 percent drop to No. 5 after pulling in $11.4 million from Friday to Sunday. The inexpensive, female-driven adult laugher carries a budget of $20 million, meaning the film is already a smashing success as its U.S. grosses alone top the $71 million mark after 15 days in wide release.

Comedies perform better between May and August (Spy, Trainwreck, The Heat, Bad Teacher), though R-rated titles featuring women typically have longer legs year-round (last December’s Sisters amassed nearly $90 million domestically), given they’re a relative rarity within a market that typically caters to men.

Pete’s Dragon, the most prominent family-oriented release of the week, earns $21.5 million on a modest (for Disney standards) budget of $65 million. While its domestic numbers might not be anything to write home about, family films often stretch lower openings longer than films in other genres. Combined with international totals, Pete’s Dragon‘s North American cumulative should ride the wave of nostalgia (it’s based on the beloved 1977 film of the same name) up and over its production costs by the end of its run.

On the international front, with both The Secret Life of Pets ($40 million from 47 territories) and Jason Bourne ($18.6 million from 59 countries) feeding the beast, Universal Pictures International crosses the $1 billion mark for the 10th consecutive year. Bourne also lands at No. 4 on the domestic chart, falling 38.2 percent to $13.8 million during its third weekend, bringing its U.S. total to $127 million.

Hitting the adult demographic in typical fashion, Meryl Streep’s Florence Foster Jenkins lands at No. 8, earning $6.6 million from 1,528 locations. The film’s $4,320 per-screen average and solid critical reviews line up with Streep’s last August outing, 2015’s Ricki and the Flash, which also grossed $6.6 million on 1,603 screens. Though the numbers are small in comparison to the film’s wide release brethren, Streep’s consistency with the mature crowd (97 percent of Florence‘s opening weekend audience was over 25) can’t be denied, and her latest outing should perform well in the coming weeks, finishing somewhere in the $28-$35 million range with strong critical reviews (86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and a decent A- grade from audiences on CinemaScore.

In limited release, CBS and Lionsgate’s crime thriller Hell or High Water averages a healthy $19,417 from 32 theaters, making its mark on specialty audiences as it lands as the week’s best-reviewed new title (99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 8.5/10). The Film Arcade’s Don’t Think Twice also continues to perform well, adding 13 theaters this weekend for a three-day gross of $365,050, a mere 2.3 percent dip from its $373,556 total last weekend. The Mike Birbiglia-directed film, which boasts some of the strongest reviews of the year thus far, has now made just over $1.2 million since debuting in July.

Check out the Aug. 12-14 box office estimates below:

1. Suicide Squad – $43.5 million

2. Sausage Party – $34.3 million

3. Pete’s Dragon – $21.5 million

4. Jason Bourne – $13.8 million

5. Bad Moms – $11.4 million

6. The Secret Life of Pets – $9.1 million

7. Star Trek Beyond – $6.9 million

8. Florence Foster Jenkins – $6.6 million

9. Nine Lives – $3.5 million

10. Lights Out – $3.2 million

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