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Weekend Box Office: Miss Peregrine Tops Deepwater Horizon While Masterminds Stumbles

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By Chris Kavan - 10/02/16 at 06:53 PM CT

While Hollywood is going in the right direction with a couple of solid openings after a September filled with diminishing returns, it still couldn't hold a candle to last year, when Matt Damon led with The Martian.The top twelve films hit $106.4 million while last year the same films brought in $142.7 million. Still, at least things are headed in the right direction, the question in whether October can continue to build or if it's going to fall back in to the same pattern as last month and be forgettable.

1) MISS PEREGRINE"S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN

Tim Burton found his rhythm once again. His return to familiar territory (dark fantasy) added up to a $28.5 million opening for Miss Peregrine. The film, based on the novel by Ransom Riggs, concerns a boy (Asa Butterfield) who finds an orphanage stuck in time run by the titular character (played by Eva Green) and featuring children with all sorts of abilities. The comparisons to X-men aside, this is very much what Burton used to be so good at. Audience gave the film an overall "B+" Cinemascore (rising to an "A-" among those 25 and under) but the Rotten Tomatoes score sits at an average 64%. That might have meant reactions were somewhat tempered, but the film is still looking at a very good chance at $100 million if it can find some decent legs. The $110 million picture has already earned $65 million worldwide and should end up on the higher end of the young adult fantasy genre, having already topped the likes of Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant ($39 million), The Seeker: The Dark is Rising ($31 million) and nearly topping The Giver ($66 million). Burton still commands a lot of respect overseas, and like so many other films, the foreign response will likely be much better than its domestic run. If it manage to ape the run of The Maze Runner, it could top the likes of Percy Jackson ($226 million) and Eragon ($245 million).

2) DEEPWATER HORIZON

The based-on-true-story account of the oil-rid fire that took the lives of nine men opened to a so-so $20.6 million. The results were likely tempered a bit as both The Magnificent Seven and Sully are targeting the same audience. The Mark Wahlberg-led ensemble cast did earn an "A-" Cinemascore with audiences, and sits higher than Miss Peregrine with an 82% Fresh rating. Still, I'm thinking many were expecting this to open higher - while the film isn't political, the real-life events following the disaster certainly are, and it may have turned some people off. Like Miss Peregrine, this film also carries a $110 million budget. But unlike Burton, Deepwater Horizon isn't going to get a great bump from overseas. It has earned $12.5 million so far. A total domestic is looking at around $75 million and, if it's lucky, another $30 million or so from overseas. It might hit its budget, but I think this one was a little too pricey up front and the returns aren't likely to cover it by much.

3) THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

Dropping a bit harder than expected was the Denzel Washington/Chris Pratt/Ethan Hawke/etc. remake The Magnificent Seven. The 54.8% drop was a bit steeper than most Washinton films (The Equalizer only hit 45%) and it added $15.7 million to its total, which now sits at $61.6 million. The $90 million films is still on track for about a $100 million total, but "good enough" seems to be the new fall standard - of which both of the new films also seem to be following - and it sets a much more dangerous precedent for studios to rely on foreign assistance. Still, I enjoyed the film with the massive body count and diverse cast, so I had hoped it would do a bit better. We'll see if this one continues to fall faster in the coming weeks or if it can smooth out its descent.

4) STORKS

The animated Storks added another $13.8 million on a fairly typical drop of a little over 35% in its second weekend. It did manage to hold better than Hotel Transylvania (off 36%) and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 ( off 38%), but its total cume of $38.8 million trails both. The $70 million production is also going to hope for better overseas numbers to give it any hope of reaching the black. Like so many early fall films, the hopes had to be higher for this one - given it is the only animated offering out there - but audiences just don't seem as enthused as we push in to the fall season. We'll see how this turns out, but it may not even reach its budget domestically before it ends its run.

5) SULLY

Rounding out the top five, and certainly one of the lone bright spots of the fall season thus far, was the Clint Eastwood/Tom Hanks collaboration, Sully. Dropping just about 38% in its fifth weekend, Sully took in $8.4 million, enough for the film to cross the century mark as it now stands at $105.3 million. It's the 19th film in Hank's career to top the $100 million mark (the 14th non-animated variety) and is the highest-grossing September release since 2002 when Sweet Home Alabama earned $127 million. I'm guessing Sully has enough in the tank to catch that one, then it will only trail Rush Hour (which nabbed $141 million way back in 1998). At least there is one solid film carrying the fall season, let's hope we can add a few more soon, right?

Outside the top five: Relativity released Masterminds and while it didn't fall as hard as The Disappointments Room, it wasn't a very good result. The film opened in 6th place with $6.6 million and the delay obviously hurt it. Despite a solid cast (Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Owen Wilson and Kate McKinnon), it couldn't find an audience. This one is probably on the lower end of cost and we'll see if it can make it to $17 million (the number of the heist in the film - not its budget).

Disney didn't fare much better with the expansion of The Queen of Katwe. After a somewhat disappointing limited opening, the film delivered a somewhat disappointing expansion. Adding 1,190 to its count (1,242 total) the film jumped 755% true, but landed in 7th place with $2.6 million. Although the film has earned praise from audiences and critics, the limited scope of the subject matter likely didn't lead to a huge crowd. The $15 million film has a light budget, so even a mild effort at home and abroad should keep it somewhat profitable.

No major milestones this week on the domestic front - but The Secret Life of Pets has earned $833 million world-wide, which topped both Inception and Independence Day to become the sixth-best "non-adapted" film (i.e. original material) of all time. Meanwhile, Disney is eyeing its third $1 billion worldwide film as Finding Dory hit $985..2 million - passing Despicable Me 2 ($970 million) to hit fifth on the all-time animated worldwide chart (all the other films on the list are Disney films as well).

Next week brings us the mystery/drama The Girl on the Train along with the controversial but still Oscar-likely The Birth of a Nation.

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