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Weekend Box Office: Sully Flies High as Bough Breaks Opens Strong, Disappointments Room Dies

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By Chris Kavan - 09/11/16 at 07:53 PM CT

It was going to be a winning combination, having director Clint Eastwood team up with legendary actor Tom Hanks, but it was an even bigger win than expected. Thanks to Sully and When the Bough Breaks both opening strong, the weekend managed to beat the same weekend from 2015 with Sully capturing some records (and near-records too). While The Disappointments Room more than lived up to its name and The Wild Life faring average, it wasn't all smiles. Still, for the post-summer box office, things got off to a good start and with plenty of adult blockbusters on the way, the fall looks to continue going strong.


It's looking the adult crowd is more than willing to help along the first post-summer blockbuster. Sully, the biography of the "Miracle on the Hudson" pilot Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger (portrayed by Hanks) got off to a great start with a $35.5 million opening weekend. That is the fifth-best September opening on record and represents the first live-action Hanks film to open in the top spot since 2009 when Angels & Demons opened in the top spot with $46.2 million. Speaking of Hanks, this is the third-largest live-action opening for the actor (behind Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code at $77 million) along with being the second-best opening for Clint Eastwood behind American Sniper ($89 million). The film is the first to be shot entirely on IMAX cameras and, fittingly, the film now holds the record for September for IMAX with a $4 million opening (or 11% of its total gross). It garnered a great "A" Cinemascore from audiences, which was 44% male and 56% female and 80% over 35. With good word-of-mouth from adult audiences, this is looking at a long run with $100 assured with $125 million likely and even $150 million not out of the question. It faces the biggest test in The Magnificent Seven remake and Deepwater Horizon in the coming weeks.


The success of Screen Gem's thrillers have been well-documented in the last several years and that means it's once again time for their annual offering. This time around Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall find themselves at the mercy of an unhinged surrogate carrying their child (Jaz Sinclair). The film didn't impress critics, as it currently sits with the dreaded 0% Rotten Tomatoes score, but audiences were more forgiving, with a good but not hearty "B" Cinemascore. Te film opened to $15 million - which is good considering its relatively modest $10 million budget, but that total is far below Screen Gems more recent The Perfect Guy ($25.8 million) and No Good Deed ($24.2 million). The film is likely to lose much of its audience next weekend, but even if it falls like a rock, it's still looking at around a $30 million showing. Not great, but good enough I'm guessing we'll see yet another iteration on this theme at some point next year.


The two-week horror movie champ took a modest drop (48.1%) for its third week and fell to third place with $8.21 million. Like When the Bough Breaks, this one has just a $10 million budget, but it's looking much better with a current total at $66.8 million. While not all horror films have been hits (see The Disappointments Room - far, far below), Don't Breathe has followed the trend this year of little horror movies that could - holding well (it's still looking at an $80 million total) as well as following Sausage Party as a late-summer smash. It's nice to see these small horror titles do so well - it's one of my favorite genres and a shot in the arm like this means we'll be getting (hopefully) better horror offerings in the future.


The devious villains-turned-heroes also slipped a couple of spots - and also took a minor audience hit at just a 43% loss (in its sixth week now) adding up to a $5.6 million weekend and a new $307.4 million total. It is now officially Will Smth's highest-grossing movie to date (inflation not-withstanding) topping the $306 million showing of Independence Day all the way back in 1996. Though it is winding down - Suicide Squad should have enough left in its tank to top both Iron Man 2 ($312 million) and the original Iron Man ($318 million) before it finally exits theaters. Worldwide, the film is just about to hit the $700 million mark (it may hit it anyway once final numbers are released). Given the overall disappointment over this and Batman v. Superman, it's still looking like DC is sitting quite well overall with their cinematic universe.


Rounding out the top five was the Belgium production of a retelling of Robinson Crusoe - The Wild Life. Lionsgate picked this one up (likely not for much) and it earned $3.4 million - a bit below expectations which had hoped for a $5 million plus opening. It did have a fantastic 4.6x weekend multiplier but the audience only gave it a "B-" CInemascore - not a very good endorsement. This is going to be around for maybe a week or two before leaving - likely with around $10 million, if that, but Lionsgate has Blair Witch and Deepwater Horizon upcoming so this isn't going to hurt them much.

Outside the top five: The Disappointments Room is the first release from Relativity since they declared bankruptcy last year. It flirted between limited release, VOD and regular release and settled on a September showing. Maybe they should have kept things low-key. The horror fllm opened to just $1.4 million on 1,554 screens (17th place). That is an even worse per-theater-average than last week's trainwreck Morgan. Oh, it also received a 0% from Rotten Tomatoes, but unlike When the Bough Breaks, audiences were more than happy to agree with critics, handing out a dreadful "D" Cinemascore. Let's hope Relativity's upcoming comedy Masterminds goes a bit better.

There were not other milestones of note this weekend so we'll have to look forward to next week when Blair Witch looks to be the scariest sequel ever (I'm not holding my breath on that one), Snowden offers up another great biopic, Bridget Jones's Baby sees the return of Renée Zellweger and Hillsong: Let Hope Rise is an inspirational faith-based documentary on the church of the same name. We'll see if Sully can command another week at the top.


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