Last weekend's box office winner, the hit biopic Sully, squared off against three newcomers in theaters, the horror sequel Blair Witch, the comedy sequel Bridget Jones's Baby and the biopic Snowden. We had predicted that Sully would drop roughly 50% in its second weekend, allowing Blair Witch to take the top spot. That didn't happen, though with Sully dropping much less than expected, triumphing over the three under-performing newcomers to win this weekend with $22 million.
According to Box Office Mojo, Sully dropped just 37.2% this weekend, and its 3,525 theater count was still the widest release of any movie this weekend. This weekend's tally brings its domestic total to $70.5 million, with an addition $23.4 million from overseas territories for a worldwide total of $93.9 million from a $60 million budget. All three newcomers took the second, third and fourth spots at the box office, with Blair Witch taking second with $9.6 million, with a $3,092 per-screen average from 3,121 theaters.
Blair Witch was produced on just a $5 million budget, though, guaranteeing a profit in its first three days in theaters. Bridget Jones's Baby, starring Renee Zellweger, took third place with $8.2 million, with a $2,815 per-screen average from 2,927 theaters, and director Oliver Stone's Snowden in fourth place with $8 million, earning a $3,284 per-screen average from 2,443 theaters. The top 5 is rounded out by Don't Breathe, which earned $5.6 million, bringing its domestic total to $75.3 million from a $9.9 million budget.
Blair Witch, which was previously known as The Woods before it was unveiled as a secret sequel to the 1999 classic The Blair Witch Project, was looking to be a critical hit earlier this week, with a 61% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but that number dropped considerably throughout this week and the weekend, with a 37% rating. Bridget Jones's Baby dropped from an 88% rating to a 78% rating, while Snowden, actually improved, rising from a 43% rating earlier this week to a 58% rating, just under the 60% threshold needed for a movie to be considered "Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.
Blair Witch, which was directed by Adam Wingard (The Guest, You're Next) from a script by Simon Barrett (The Guest, You're Next), follows a group of college students who venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of James' sister who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods, but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence. Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined. Director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett reunite for this thriller, after working on critically-acclaimed thrillers such as The Guest and You're Next.
Oscar winners Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth are joined by Patrick Dempsey for the next chapter of the world's favorite singleton in Bridget Jones's Baby. Directed by Sharon Maguire (Bridget Jones's Diary), the new film in the beloved comedy series based on creator Helen Fielding's heroine finds Bridget unexpectedly expecting. After breaking up with Mark Darcy (Firth), Bridget Jones's (Zellweger) "happily ever after" hasn't quite gone according to plan. Fortysomething and single again, she decides to focus on her job as top news producer and surround herself with old friends and new. For once, Bridget has everything completely under control. What could possibly go wrong? Then her love life takes a turn and Bridget meets a dashing American named Jack (Dempsey), the suitor who is everything Mr. Darcy is not. In an unlikely twist she finds herself pregnant, but with one hitch...she can only be fifty percent sure of the identity of her baby's father.
Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone, who brought Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Wall Street and JFK to the big screen, tackles the most important and fascinating true story of the 21st century. Snowden, the politically-charged, pulse-pounding thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, reveals the incredible untold personal story of Edward Snowden, the polarizing figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the NSA and became one of the most wanted men in the world. He is considered a hero by some, and a traitor by others. No matter which you believe, the epic story of why he did it, who he left behind, and how he pulled it off makes for one of the most compelling films of the year.
The top 10 is rounded out by When the Bough Breaks ($5.5 million) Suicide Squad ($4.7 million), The Wild Life ($2.6 million), Kubo and the Two Strings $2.5 million) and Pete's Dragon ($2 million). Opening in limited release this weekend is Abramorama's documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years, which earned $615,632 in 85 theaters for a $7,243 per-screen average. Mr. Church, Eddie Murphy's first movie in four years, earned $407,151 from 354 theaters for a paltry $1,150 per-screen average. Pureflix's Hillsong - Let Hope Rise earned $1.3 million from 816 theaters for a $1,593 per-screen average. China Lion's thriller Cock and Bull earned $35,000 from 12 theaters for a $2,917 per-screen average, FilmRise's documentary Silicon Cowboys took in $5,250 from 12 theaters for a measly $438 per-screen average, The Orchard's comedy Miss Stevens earned $3,005 from two theaters for a $1,503 per-screen average, and The Weinstein Company's comedy adventure Wild Oats earned $18,700 from 100 theaters for a paltry $187 per-screen average. No box office data was given for Independent's thriller The Good Neighbor. We don't know if there are plans for these limited release titles to expand in the weeks and months to come.
Looking ahead to next week, two new movies arrive in wide release, Sony Pictures' Western remake The Magnificent Seven and Warner Bros.' Storks. Also opening in limited release is Strand's Closet Monster, Broad Green Pictures' The Dressmaker, Magnolia's The Lovers and the Despot, Under the Milky Way's Made in France, Indican's New World Order and Disney's Queen of Katwe, which will expand into a wide release on September 30. Be sure to come back on Tuesday for next week's predictions, and again next Sunday for the box office estimates. Until then, take a look at the box office top 10 for the weekend of September 16.
|3||Bridget Jones's Baby|
|6||When the Bough Breaks|
|8||The Wild Life|
|9||Kubo and the Two Strings|