After a week that started with director David Ayer's controversial remarks and a spate of negative reviews, Warner Bros. Suicide Squad still managed to break box office records anyway. This DC Comics adaptation took in $133.6 million in its opening weekend, slightly down from Sunday's estimates of $135.1 million, but still good enough to shatter Guardians of the Galaxy's August opening weekend record of $94.3 million. This weekend, DC's supervillains take on three very different movies, Disney's family adventure Pete's Dragon, Sony's R-rated animated comedy Sausage Party and Paramount's inspiring drama Florence Foster Jenkins. Even with a massive second weekend drop, Suicide Squad should still repeat atop the box office with $59.3 million.
When the estimates came out on Sunday, Suicide Squad just barely secured the third-highest opening weekend this year, beating Finding Dory's $135 million, but the actual figure of $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) and Warner Bros./DC's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($166 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.
Unlike last weekend, all of the new releases are heading into their debuts with rave reviews. Florence Foster Jenkins is sporting an impressive 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, followed by Sausage Party with 92% on RT and Pete's Dragon with 86%. Last weekend's newcomers, Suicide Squad (26%) and Nine Lives (4%) were demolished by the critics before their debut in theaters, so perhaps this wave of positive reviews could lead to bigger box office totals.
Our $59.3 million prediction represents an approximate 55% drop for Suicide Squad, which is par for the course for most big-budget tentpoles. Given the negative reviews for this big screen adventure, featuring the villains who make up Task Force X, it may drop even more than that, but we don't know for sure. Still, it should be enough to take down Pete's Dragon, which, according to Box Office Mojo, will have the highest theater count of the three new releases, opening in approximately 3,400 theaters. Sausage Party is expected to open in over 2,800 theaters, with Florence Foster Jenkins opening in roughly 1,500 theaters. We're predicting that Pete's Dragon will debut in second place with a solid $43.1 million, followed by Sausage Party in third place with $28.5 million, Florence Foster Jeknins in fourth place with $14.4 million and holdover Jason Bourne ($11.4 million) rounding out the top 5.
Pete's Dragon is a remake of Disney's beloved 1977 classic that featured a hybrid of live action and animated elements. For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales...until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliott. And from Pete's descriptions, Elliott seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham's stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon.
Sausage Party is a raunchy animated movie about one sausage's quest to discover the truth about his existence. After falling out of a shopping cart, our hero sausage and his new friends embark on a perilous journey through the supermarket to get back to their aisles before the 4th of July sale. The stellar voice cast is lead by Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and James Franco, also featuring Edward Norton, Michael Cera, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Kristen Wiig and Salma Hayek.
Set in 1940s New York, Florence Foster Jenkins is the true story of the legendary New York heiress and socialite (Meryl Streep) who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer. The voice she heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was hilariously awful. Her "husband" and manager, St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), an aristocratic English actor, was determined to protect his beloved Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall, St. Clair knew he faced his greatest challenge.
The top 10 is rounded out by Bad Moms ($7.2 million), The Secret Life of Pets ($6.2 million), Star Trek Beyond ($5.4 million), Nine Lives $3.1 million and Lights Out ($2.8 million). Also opening in limited release this weekend Bleecker Street's Anthropoid, Independent's Beyond Valkyrie: Dawn of the Fourth Reich and Edge of Winter, The Orchard's Ghost Team, GVN Releasing's The Fight Within, Lionsgate's Hell or High Water, Brainstorm Media's The Model, CJ Entertainment's Operation Chromite, Film Movement's My King and Abramorama's The Girl of the Golden West. We don't know quite yet if any of these films will be expanding in the weeks and months to come.
Looking ahead to next weekend, three more wildly different movies hit theaters as the summer movie season winds down. Warner Bros. will release War Dogs, starring Jonah Hill and Miles Teller, while Focus Features will unveil their animated adventure Kubo and the Two Strings alongside Paramount's epic remake of Ben-Hur. Also debuting in limited release is Independent's Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy: XV, 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, Cohen Media Group's The People Vs. Fritz Bauer and Strand's Spa Night. Be sure to check back on Sunday for the box office estimates, and again on Tuesday for next week's predictions. Until then, take a look at the predictions for the weekend of August 12.