The Star Trek franchise proved it still has some box office firepower last weekend by winning with $59.2 million. While, admittedly, it was the lowest debut since filmmaker J.J. Abrams rebooted the franchise in 2009, it received glowing reviews and it may have more longevity in theaters than its predecessors. This weekend, it went up against Universal's Jason Bourne, STX Entertainment's comedy Bad Moms and Lionsgate's Nerve. As predicted, Jason Bourne easily came out on top with an estimated $60 million.
The original Bourne movie trilogy is one of the few to have a bigger box office performance each time out, with many franchises increasing with the second movie and dropping with the third. 2007's The Bourne Ultimatum earned $69.2 million in its opening weekend, en route to a franchise best $227.4 million domestic and $442.8 million worldwide, from a $110 million budget. While Universal tried to keep the franchise alive by going in a somewhat different direction with 2012's The Bourne Legacy, it's still been nine years since Matt Damon has been back as Jason Bourne, and its possible that the long absence between movies could have either an adverse or an advantageous effect on its box office performance.
Box Office Mojo reports that Jason Bourne, which was produced on a $120 million budget, opened in 4,026 theaters this weekend, for a per-screen average of $14,903. This theater count was far greater than Bad Moms' 3,215 theaters and Nerve' 2,538 theaters. Both Jason Bourne and Nerve got middling reviews from critics, with both movies at 56%, while Bad Moms fared a bit better with 64% on RT. The top 5 is rounded out by Star Trek Beyond ($24 million), Bad Moms ($23.4 million), The Secret Life of Pets ($18.2 million) and Lights Out ($10.8 million).
Matt Damon himself revealed last year that the Jason Bourne story is set in the "post-Snowden world", referencing former NSA analyst Edward Snowden, who leaked thousands of classified documents that exposed how the government was spying on the American public. The movie will be exploring the nature of spy agencies and civil liberties. The actor also teased that Bourne is set in Europe, with the production shooting in several locations such as Greece and Las Vegas.
In this new comedy Bad Moms from the writers of The Hangover, Amy (Mila Kunis) has a seemingly perfect life - a great marriage, over-achieving kids, beautiful home and a career. However she's over-worked, over-committed and exhausted to the point that she's about to snap. Fed up, she joins forces with two other over-stressed moms on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities - going on a wild, un-mom-like binge of long overdue freedom, fun and self-indulgence - putting them on a collision course with PTA Queen Bee Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) and her clique of devoted perfect moms.
Nerve follows industrious high school senior, Vee Delmonico (Emma Roberts), who has had it with living life on the sidelines. When pressured by friends to join the popular online game Nerve, Vee decides to sign up for just one dare in what seems like harmless fun. But as she finds herself caught up in the thrill of the adrenaline-fueled competition partnered with a mysterious stranger, the game begins to take a sinister turn with increasingly dangerous acts, leading her into a high stakes finale that will determine her entire future.
The top 10 will be rounded out by Ice Age: Collision Course ($10.5 million), Ghostbusters ($9.8 million, Nerve $9 million), Finding Dory $4.2 million) and The Legend of Tarzan ($2.4 million). Also opening this weekend in limited release is Sony Pictures Classics' Equity, which earned $80,729 from four theaters for a $20,182 per-screen average. Open Road Films' documentary Gleason earned $129,223 from nine theaters for a $14,358 per-screen average, while IFC's The Land earned $12,040 from two theaters for a $6,020 per-screen average. No box office data was given for A24's Into the Forest, Dimension Films' Viral and Roadside Attractions' Indignation. We don't know for sure if any of these movies will expand nationally in the weeks or months ahead, so stay tuned.
Looking ahead to next weekend, Warner Bros. will finally unveil their long-awaited Suicide Squad adaptation, which will go up against EuropaCorp's Nine Lives. The Weinstein Company was initially set to debut The Founder, starring Michael Keaton as McDonald's founder Ray A. Kroc, but they recently pushed the movie into awards contention with an Oscar qualifying run starting December 16 and a nationwide expansion January 20, 2017. Also opening in limited release is Independent's The Brooklyn Baker, Citizen Soldier and The Remains, Rialto's Elevator to the Gallows, FilmRise's Five Nights in Maine, Strand's Front Cover, Magnolia's Little Men and Janus Films' Multiple Maniacs. Be sure to check back on Sunday for the box office estimates, but until then, take a look at our projected top 10 for the weekend of July 29.