US Box Office Report: 12/08/16 – 14/08/16

People hope that it’s their last time with Suicide Squad, nobody is left unsatisfied by the Sausage Party, Pete’s Dragon camouflages itself from the public, audiences come Hell or High Water, and other Box Office News.

In a development that could only have been foreseen by those who actually watched Suicide Squad last weekend, the viewing public at large have deserted Suicide Squad in massive droves now that the novelty of watching that mess for themselves has decidedly worn off.  The film plummeted 67% in its second weekend which admittedly is better than Batman v Superman’s 69% second weekend collapse from back in April, and not as expectedly horrific as the drops suffered by last year’s Fantastic 4 or Fifty Shades of Grey, but that’s like trying to claim that being crippled by a car isn’t that bad cos at least it’s better than being shot dead.  Hell, if it weren’t for the whole “being open on 4,000+ screens” business, it may have even relinquished the top spot to our second place movie based on per-screen averages.  As it stands, Suicide Squad is still no. 1 with $43.7 million and is currently the 11th highest grossing film of the year worldwide because it’s been that kind of year, folks.

In much happier news, Seth Rogen & Even Goldberg have managed to pull off what Trey Parker & Matt Stone and even height-of-his-box-office-powers Adam Sandler could not: open a non-G/PG-rated animated feature to actual money!  Yes, Sausage Party managed to demolish everybody’s expectations by storming to a $33 million opening weekend, even holding relatively firm from Friday to Sunday, with that Friday opening having actually beaten Suicide Squad’s Friday by inches.  That’s more than Team America: World Police managed to make domestically, and more than Eight Crazy Nights (a film you deservedly forgot about until now) made worldwide.  Whether or not this leads to more studios footing the bill for further adult animation will likely depend on how well it holds next weekend – for, if this Summer has showcased anything, it’s that opening weekends now don’t mean shit – but I’ve got a good feeling about this!  Of course, I don’t have a good feeling about the adult animation that would get funded if this remains strong, since television is still trying to mine the South Park/Family Guy well a good 10 years after it went dry, but let’s try and remain optimistic in this column for once, eh?

Meanwhile, Disney’s bold strategy of doing jack shit to advertise the release of the new Pete’s Dragon has turned out precisely the result that one would have expected, opening in third with just $21 million.  That’s rather close to the $18 million opening of Disney’s own The BFG (of which Pete’s Dragon is very similar to in terms of tone and feel) from July 4th weekend, including a Cinemascore that’s slightly higher than Spielberg’s film (“A” compared to BFG’s “A-“) that’s gonna end up meaning very little what with the whole “low opening and zero advertising in a competitive market” thing.  Between this, BFG, that Alice movie that came out this year no for real it was actually this year look it up, and the fact that they have a drama starring both Lupita Nyong’o AND David Oyelowo out in a month that they’ve done dick to inform prospective viewers about, I’m pretty damn certain that Disney are drunk on their own power and glory and genuinely do not care if they make any more money this year.  It’s rather impressively ballsy, I must admit.

In Non-Wide Release news, as I have now had to rechristen it cos this is getting ridiculous, Stephen Frears’ perfectly fine until it’s not Florence Foster Jenkins finally made the passage across the Atlantic in order to showcase to potential viewers, through a now heartbreakingly old-looking Hugh Grant, that Age and Death will come for us all.  From just over 1,500 screens, it regaled a super-mediocre $6.5 million worth of people for eighth place.  Anthropoid, a War Drama that also doubles as Film’s latest attempt to make Jamie Dornan a thing, was deserted on the box office battlefield and could only scrounge together $1.2 million from 452 screens.  Finally, Hell or High Water, the new film from David Mackenzie of Starred Up and written by Taylor Sheridan of Sicario AND TAKE ALL OF MY MONEY NOW, got off to a great start with $592,000 from 32 screens for a per-screen average of $18,500.

Oh, and Zootopia officially crossed $1 billion worldwide at some point recently.  Give that film a round of applause, why don’t you?


Pete's Dragon

This Full List is still… DEAD!  ON!  AR-RI-VAL!

US Box Office Results: Friday 12th August 2016 – Sunday 14th August 2016

1] Suicide Squad

$43,770,000 / $222,874,728

Here’s that review of mine.  Look, I don’t want to hate The DC Cinematic Universe, despite how that review and my review of Batman v Superman and my constant easy bagging on everything to do with them in these and many other pieces may make things appear, because not only do I just want good films period, I want somebody to be able to snap Marvel out of their complacent slumber as even they’ve noticeably lowered their game in the last 3 flicks.  But based on this current track record, this very expensive attempt to make Man of Steel appear to look like a good film purely by showing just how worse things could have been, when rumours from disgruntled ex-WB-employees about how Wonder Woman is also a goddamn mess go around, I can’t help but believe them and continue ragging on shit.  It’s basic pattern recognition.

2] Sausage Party

$33,600,000 / NEW

I’m not surprised by the great reviews.  I know a lot of people are, but I’m not.  It’s Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.  Their partnership over the last decade – side note: sweet Jesus, it’s been a full decade since Superbad – has been almost supernaturally consistent.  You sit down to watch a film that they’ve been involved with, in whatever capacity, you’re guaranteed at least an amusing 100-or-so minutes and at best something approaching a modern classic.  So, no, I’m not in the slightest bit surprised.  These guys have earned my trust and I await September 2nd with genuine, ticklish excitement.

3] Pete’s Dragon

$21,501,000 / NEW

Saw this on Friday and I feel about it basically the same way I did about The BFG.  If I were 10 to 15 years younger than I am now, this would be one of my favourite movies.  It’s really sweet, deliberately minor, and very enjoyable, essentially a 100 minute exercise in using modern filmmaking technologies and techniques to tell a very old-fashioned family story, the kind that you could say has disappeared in recent years if it weren’t for the fact that Disney were really the only people making films like this anyway.  Worth checking out, it’s like getting a 100 minute long warm hug.

4] Jason Bourne

$13,620,000 / $126,782,345

That Bourne piece I promised last week will be up tomorrow or Wednesday, depending on whether I finish that or the Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates review first.  I’ve had a lot to deal with this past week, lay off.

5] Bad Moms

$11,450,000 / $71,461,293

Only an 18% drop!  Is $90 mil in the cards?  Do we dare to dream for $100 mil?  Do we dare to dream even further to a world where raunchy female-led-and-targeted comedies are written and directed by women instead of men trying to write and direct for women, and are also actually really good?  OK, maybe that last one is too far-fetched.

6] The Secret Life of Pets

$8,840,000 / $335,942,075

I assume we’ve all seen at least one trailer for Sing by this point, right?  Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks it looks absolutely awful?  I know that we’re supposed to be giving this one the benefit of the doubt because it’s being written and directed by Garth Jennings of Son of Rambow and the I-remember-it-actually-being-alright Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie, but… oof.  There was not one part of that trailer that made me laugh and many parts that made me actively embarrassed to be an animation fan.  Again, maybe it’ll actually be brilliant, especially since animation as a whole has a real problem with how it handles marketing right now, but currently it looks as awful as Trolls did with its legendarily horrific first trailer.

7] Star Trek Beyond

$6,800,000 / $139,679,949

Didn’t see it, in the end.  Will just have to catch up with it at year’s end.

8] Florence Foster Jenkins

$6,580,000 / NEW

Serious question: what will it take to stop Stephen Frears?  What will it take to stop that man from making movies?  Remove his funding?  Trash his equipment?  Lock him in a pit 200 feet below the Earth’s surface?  I need to know for humanity’s sake!

9] Nine Lives

$3,500,000 / $13,550,825

It’s true what they say.  Random Garfield Generator really is funnier than actual Garfield strips.

10] Lights Out

$3,220,000 / $61,134,818

And on that note, I’m off to bed.

No, I really couldn’t think of a better way to end this piece and you damn well know that.

Dropped Out: Nerve, Ghostbusters, Ice Age: Collision Course

Callum Petch don’t mean to have a big head but it’s a fact.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

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