Box office: Sully repeats on top, Blair Witch opens soft
Clint Eastwood’s Sully continues to fly high at the domestic box office, landing at the No. 1 spot for the second weekend in a row as overall year-to-date numbers hold strong at 5.4 percent over the same frame in 2015.
Benefitting from little competition in terms of tone and genre, Sully holds strong atop a pack of weak newcomers, dropping a mere 37 percent for an estimated $22 million haul. The film is well on its way toward becoming star Tom Hanks’ top-grossing live action film since 2009’s Angels & Demons, as its domestic total now stands at over $70 million (and counting) after just 10 days in wide release, outpacing 2013’s Captain Phillips, which finished its North American run with $107 million after grossing $52 million over its 10-day opening stretch.
The $60 million Warner Bros. picture had its world premiere earlier in September at the 2016 Telluride Film Festival, where it received positive reviews from critics ahead of opening to $35 million at the domestic box office last week.
Though it grossed almost two times what it cost to make, Adam Wingard’s $5 million Blair Witch sequel still doesn’t stack up when compared to its 2016 genre brethren like Don’t Breathe ($26.4 million in August) and The Conjuring 2 ($40.4 million in June). The inexpensive horror flick settles way behind Sully at No. 2 with an estimated $9.7 million from 3,121 theaters, significantly lower than its 1999 forerunner’s $29.2 million opening. Judging by the film’s rare — and abysmal — D+ CinemaScore grade and a poor showing with critics, audiences aren’t likely to stick around in the coming weeks.
Notching a No. 3 debut with her first major theatrical release in six years is Renee Zellweger, whose rom-com threequel Bridget Jones’s Baby scores a muted $8.2 million at the box office this weekend. The film marks the series’ first installment in 12 years, following Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, which grossed a similar $8.7 million across its first three-day window in 2004. While The Edge of Reason went on to make over $40 million domestically, don’t expect Baby to do the same; the latter hit theaters in November during the traditionally lucrative holiday season, which undoubtedly bolstered its performance throughout the season.
Still, Baby has performed well with critics (it currently stands at 78 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 6.3/10) and its target demo, with audiences giving it a decent B+ grade on CinemaScore. Internationally, Baby debuts at No. 1 in 24 markets, grossing just over $29 million from global territories — including a record-breaking run in the U.K. and Ireland, where it made $11.3 million while maintaining a 57 percent market share.
Coming in at No. 4 with an estimated $8 million is Oliver Stone’s Snowden, fresh from its screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival. The biopic stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the titular role of Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who publicly leaked classified information from the U.S. National Security Agency in 2013. The film received lukewarm reviews from critics upon its festival debut, currently holding a 58 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though audiences responded better; the film has an A grade from CinemaScore.
Rounding out the top five is Fede Alvarez’s surprise horror hit Don’t Breathe, which crosses the $75 million domestic mark after raking in an extra $5.6 million across its fourth weekend in wide release. The $9.9 million movie has made an additional $31.7 million overseas, bringing its worldwide total to $107 million to date.
Check out the top 10 films at the box office for the Sept. 16-18 weekend below.
1. Sully – $22 million
2. Blair Witch – $9.7 million
3. Bridget Jones’s Baby – $8.2 million
4. Snowden – $8 million
5. Don’t Breathe – $5.6 million
6. When the Bough Breaks – $5.5 million
7. Suicide Squad – $4.7 million
8. The Wild Life – $2.7 million
9. Kubo and the Two Strings – $2.5 million
10. Pete’s Dragon – $2 million