Box office predictions: Pete's Dragon leads diverse crop of newcomers
Warner Bros.' 'Suicide Squad' should take No. 1 for the second week in a row
As Suicide Squad faces a steep dive across its second weekend, three new titles enter wide release to soften the blow.
Each film opening wide on Friday has enough critical backing to warrant a strong showing at the domestic box office. Pete’s Dragon, Sausage Party, and Florence Foster Jenkins might be gunning for different demographics, but they have one thing in common: they’re all sitting pretty with scores of 85 percent or higher on Rotten Tomatoes. While the week’s newcomers stand on a solid foundation, at this point nothing seems poised to threaten Suicide Squad‘s reign.
Here’s what the Aug. 12-14 box office results might look like:
1. Suicide Squad – $45 million
Suicide Squad shattered August records when it opened to $133.7 million last weekend, and it might come close to breaking another record over its sophomore frame — for biggest second weekend drops.
Just as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice tumbled nearly 70 percent from week one to week two, Suicide Squad‘s lofty debut will give way to a second weekend haul of just under $50 million. Comic book adaptations tend to be front-loaded across the board, generally falling around 50-65 percent (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse) from week to week, and with scathing critical reviews and an average B+ grade on CinemaScore, Suicide Squad certainly won’t buck the trend.
2. Pete’s Dragon – $26 million
A far less expensive gamble than Disney’s $140 flop, The BFG, Pete’s Dragon could prove to be a sleeper success for the studio as its budget clocks in at a soft $65 million. Tracking suggests an opening in the mid-$20 million range for the remake, though seeing as it’s the newest family-oriented film in wide release, that number could push a little higher as it plays against older-skewing movies like Suicide Squad and Sausage Party.
3. Sausage Party – $20 million
Though the studio remains cautiously optimistic with regards to projections (tracking suggests an opening in the mid-teens), there’s plenty of room for Sausage Party, an R-rated, uber-violent, foul-mouthed animated title to overperform this weekend as it hits approximately 3,100 North American theaters.
High profile, R-rated animated films have traditionally grossed less than $12 million across opening weekend (South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, Team America: World Police), though they typically don’t feature an all-star voice cast that include Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Edward Norton, and Paul Rudd. In rounding up the usual suspects of contemporary comedy, Sausage Party‘s familiar brand of humor actually aligns itself more with the box office trajectories of films like This Is the End ($20 million opening in 2013) and Pineapple Express ($23 million opening in 2008).
Critical reviews have thus far been extremely positive (the film holds an 85 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) for the relatively inexpensive $19 million title, while its marketing campaign worked wonders earlier this year (the film’s trailer has been viewed over 182 million times to date). That, coupled with Sausage Party‘s inherently funny concept (animated, personified food items fight for their lives as humans attempt to consume them), should be enough to push the comedy over the $20 million mark by Sunday.
4. Jason Bourne – $10.5 million
Jason Bourne took a nasty spill last week as it dropped 62 percent from its impressive $59 million debut, and the Matt Damon-starring action sequel could fall in upwards of 50 percent after its third go-round, likely finishing the upcoming weekend in fourth place with a number in the $9-11 million range. Its worldwide totals already stand at just under $200 million, solidifying the $120 million production as a modest success.
5. Bad Moms – $7.2 million
The ladies of Bad Moms continued to impress at the box office last weekend, dipping just over 40 percent to a second weekend gross of $14 million. This weekend, the modestly-budgeted film ($20 million) should shed around 50 percent of its audience for a fifth-place finish in the $7 million range, bringing its already-impressive total closer to crossing the $70 million mark.
Outside the top 5, look for Paramount’s Meryl Streep vehicle, Florence Foster Jenkins, to perform well with older demographics as it debuts on around 1,500 screens.
Streep’s films often perform better with their target audience late in the summer season, as 2009’s Julie & Julia (Aug. 7) amassed $94 million total, while Hope Springs (Aug. 8) accumulated $63 million over its entire run in 2012. While it’s unlikely to do numbers that high, Florence Foster Jenkins should coast atop long legs thanks to good word-of-mouth (it stands at 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and the time-tested strength of Streep’s name when it comes to appealing to mature audiences.