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Weekend Box Office: Jason is Bourne Again While Bad Moms Delivers and Nerve Struggles

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By Chris Kavan - 07/31/16 at 08:23 PM CT

It was another marvelous weekend. Even if it was down a bit from last weekend, it still showed a 27% gain over the same weekend last year. A lot of that has to do with Matt Damon's return to his signature role, one that didn't go unnoticed by movie-goers, who welcomed the return with the second-best opening for the series. That, unfortunately, met a bit drop for Star Trek. It was a good week for the new R-rated comedy but not so good for PG-13 horror. With Suicide Squad on the way, it should be very interesting to see where things go from here.


Nine years after he brought Jason Bourne to the big screen for the first time, Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass return to the franchise and audiences were more than happy to welcome them back. With a $60 million opening, Jason Bourne came in just behind The Bourne Ultimatum ($69.2 million) with the weekend win. It was far above the Jeremy Renner-led Bourne Legacy (by about $22 million). While critics gave it a lukewarm reception, audiences awarded it an "A-" Cinemascore. It seems to be following closely with the patter of Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (another well-received sequel) though matching that film's $195 million is going to be difficult, especially with hotly-anticipated Suicide Squad just around the corner. A more likely number would be at the $150-$160 million range, still very respectable. Plus, Bourne opened to the best foreign box office of the series - $50.1 million though, to be fair, all the previous films had much smaller international openings and gradually expanded as they went on. Still, this is going to be another good result for the series, for Damon and for director Greengrass. I'll have my review up this week as I thought I'd give this one a breather before checking it out.


While Bourne had a rejuvenating factor to the series, Star Trek Beyond seems to be taking a fan-only route. The newest Star Trek film took a hefty 60% drop in its second weekend, bringing in $24 million for a new total of $105.7 million. While it's good it crossed the $100 million mark, its also still a step in the wrong direction. Both the previous Star Trek films only took a 42% and 46% drop respectively. And while it's not the biggest second-week drop for a Star Trek film (Insurrection dipped 62% while the much-maligned Nemesis hit a whopping 78%), it will have to rely on international help to justify its $185 million budget. It's going to be lucky to hit the $150 million mark here. With a fourth film on the way, I'm guessing budget-wise it's going to take a step back as well. While the revitalized Star Trek may have sparked general audience interest when it first came out, I think fans are now the driving force behind the franchise and it's only going to get harder from here.


As predicted, the raunchy, R-rated comedy Bad Moms drew a largely female crowd (82%) who loved the hell out of it, awarding it an "A" Cinemascore in the process. While some weekend estimates had this going for $30 million and above, things may have been a bit premature as Bad Moms ultimately wound up with $23.4 million. The good news for the Mila Kunis/Kathryn Hahn/Kristen Bell comedy is that it has a mild $20 million budget. This means that if it plays out as the opening suggests (and winds up at the $55-$60 million range) it will be a winner. It's likely to have a solid hold on the female audience for a good while, so it has that going for it. It could reach even loftier heights should it get support, but in any case it is great news for STX Entertainment, who broke out with The Gift but has struggled as of late with the disappointing results from the likes of Hardcore Henry and The Free State of Jones. I expect this to be their biggest film to date by a large margin.


With another $18.2 million in the bank, The Secret Life of Pets dropped two places (and was down 38.5% overall) but is a hairsbreadth away from hitting $300 million. Illumination will celebrate their third straight $300 million picture in a matter of days as The Secret Life of Pets is sitting pretty at $296.1 million. That also means the film is on the verge of quadrupling its $75 million budget, making it one of the most successful films of the year. That doesn't even count its nearly $100 million overseas numbers. We'll see how far it goes from here, but it's a clear winner in the box office department already.


The hit horror film Lights Out continued to show its strength as it only fell 50% in its second weekend - a good hold for a horror film and better than the likes of Annabelle, The Conjuring 2 and Insidious Chapter 2. It earned a solid $10.8 million for a new total of $42.8 million. Did I just say Secret Life of Pets looked good with a 4x budget multiplier? Well, at just $4.9 million, Lights Out is looking at a 10x multiplier in the next few days - an ever bigger success story if we're looking at things in that light. Still, micro-budget horror films with a big bite should come as no surprise and neither should the announcement of a sequel. It doesn't take a genius to work out the numbers on this - even if the sequel makes half as much on 2x the budget, it will still be a big success.

Outside the top five: Nerve scared up some big early numbers by jumping the crowd and opening on Tuesday but it couldn't ride that wave to a very successful weekend. With $9 million ($15.05 million with the early opening factored in) Nerve fell short of expectations, with had it in the $12-$15 million range. It did earn a good "A-" Cinemascore but with most of the audience having been satisfied, it will likely top out around the $30 million range - good enough to meet its $20 million budget, but not one to be excited about.

In milestone news, Ghostbusters crossed the $100 million mark with a $9.8 million weekend (7th place) and a new $106.1 million total. It was down over 53% - losing nearly 1000 theaters and having females flock to Bad Moms. With Suicide Squad on the way to take another bite out of it, this will be lucky to hit $125 million.

Woody Allen's Cafe Society expanded to 565 theater (adding 515 total) and jumped from 17th to 12th place with a $2.25 million weekend (representing a nearly 165% jump from last weekend). Those numbers are much better than the expansion of Allen's previous two films Irrational Man and Magic in the Moonlight, though it remains to be seen if it's good enough to encourage further expansion.

Next week brings us the red-hot Suicide Squad along with the Kevin Spacey "look I'm a cat - no really" comedy Nine Lives. If that doesn't sound like the ultimate double-bill, I don't know what else would qualify.


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