Most expected Warner Bros.' Suicide Squad to dominate at the box office throughout the month of August before it hit theaters three weeks ago. However, after suffering a huge second weekend drop of 67.4% last weekend, many believed that its reign would come to an end this weekend, with three new releases hitting theaters, the epic remake Ben-Hur, the animated adventure Kubo and the Two Strings and the true story adaptation War Dogs. As it turns out, all three of those newcomers underperformed leading to Suicide Squad winning for the third week in a row with $20.7 million.
Suicide Squad's $133.6 million made it the fourth-highest opening of the year. The debut falls below Marvel's Captain America: Civil War ($179.1 million), Warner Bros./DC's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($166 million) and Disney Pixar's Finding Dory ($135 million). Disney Pixar's Finding Dory is still the highest-grossing domestic release this year so far, with $473.8 million, and the R-rated Deadpool lands in the fifth highest debut spot with $132.4 million. Box Office Mojo reports that Warner Bros.' Task Force X adaptation has currently made $262.2 million domestically, the eighth-highest total this year, and $572.6 million worldwide, the 11th highest tally.
Kubo and the Two Strings was the only movie out of this trio of new releases that was a hit with critics, with a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Ben-Hur at 29% and War Dogs just barely missing a "Fresh" rating with 59%. Positive reviews haven't lead to big box office success in the past with Laika films. Coraline has an impressive 90% score on RT, but it only opened with $16.8 million and finished with $75.2 million. ParaNorman (87%, $14 million, $56 million) and The Boxtrolls (75%, $17.2 million, $50.8 million) had similar results. The hit animated comedy Sausage Party remained in second place with $15.3 million, with the three new releases rounding out the top 5, War Dogs ($14.3 million), Kubo and the Two Strings ($12.6 million) and Ben-Hur ($11.3 million).
Ben-Hur is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption. Based on Lew Wallace's timeless novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, the remake also stars Morgan Freeman and Rodrigo Santoro.
War Dogs follows two friends in their early 20s (Jonah Hill and Miles Teller) living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allows small businesses to bid on U.S. Military contracts. Starting small, they begin raking in big money and are living the high life. But the pair gets in over their heads when they land a 300 million dollar deal to arm the Afghan Military-a deal that puts them in business with some very shady people, not the least of which turns out to be the U.S. Government. The film also stars Ana de Armas (Knock Knock) and four-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper (American Sniper, American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook).
Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic action-adventure set in a fantastical Japan from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA. Clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of Game of Thrones) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato (George Takei), Akihiro (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), and Kameyo (Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro). But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey), and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen - a magical musical instrument - Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King (Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara), to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family, and fulfill his heroic destiny.
The top 10 is rounded out by Pete's Dragon ($11.33 million), Bad Moms ($8 million), Jason Bourne ($7.9 million), The Secret Life of Pets ($5.7 million) and Florence Foster Jenkins ($4.3 million). Also debuting in limited release is Independent's Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy: XV, which took in $114,000 from 24 theaters for a decent $4,750 per-screen average. Focus Features' A Tale of Love and Darkness earned $36,000 from just two theaters for an impressive $18,000 per-screen average, while Cohen Media Group's The People Vs. Fritz Bauer earned $33,781 from six theaters for a solid $5,630 per-screen average. There was no box office data released for Distrib Films' Down By Love and The Student and Mr. Henri, Magnolia's Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, Music Box Films' Mia Madre, A24's Morris From America and Strand's Spa Night. We don't know for sure if any of these films will be expanding in the weeks and months to come.
Looking ahead to next weekend, three more movies will bring the summer movie season to a close. Sony's thriller Don't Breathe will open in wide release, alongside Lionsgate's action sequel Mechanic: Resurrection and The Weinstein Company's boxing biopic Hands of Stone. Also opening in limited release is Roadside Attractions' Southside With You, Seven Clubs' thriller Black Songbird, IFC's dramatic thriller Complete Unknown, Independent's horror film Daylight's End, Sony Pictures Classics' comedy The Hollars, Magnolia's action-comedy In Order of Disappearance, FilmBuff's Level Up and Five & Two Pictures' drama Remember the Gold. Be sure to check back on Tuesday for next week's predictions. Until then, take a look at the top 10 estimates for the weekend of August 19.