Suicide Numbers Plummet; Sausage Parties
By John Hamann
August 14, 2016
Over the weekend, Sausage Party dimmed a bit, as expected, but was still very strong. It earned $33.6 million from 3,103 screens, a huge gross for this type of film. Often, these types of films are embraced by the fanbase over the first few days, but after that, the scope of the required audience is very small, making it hard to sell tickets without very strong word-of-mouth. South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut, earned $20 million over its first five days (it opened on Wednesday), and then topped out at $52 million, but it did pick up $30 million overseas back in 1999. Sausage Party was adored by critics – it carries an 83% fresh rating, but the Cinemascore was lower at a B (I would imagine some people saw a movie they didn’t know anything about). The South Park Movie was essentially the same – well reviewed at 81% fresh, but then struggled with the Cinemascore (B-). It will be really interesting to see if this holds up next weekend.
Pete’s Dragon opens in a decent third and is my pick for the leggiest flick for the month of August. Following excellent reviews, Pete’s Dragon, a remake of the trippy 1977 live action/animation combo, could be one of those quieter openers that grows if it catches on with kids. This version removes the weirdness, and instead creates more of a live-action How To Train Your Dragon type of film. The move appears to have worked for Disney, but their film is going to need some legs, and show up overseas. Pete’s Dragon earned a decent $21.5 million from 3,702 venues this weekend, right around where estimates had it.
Disney has gotten very good and remaking/reimagining their classics. Reviews for Pete’s Dragon were very good (85% fresh at RottenTomatoes), and the film had the best Cinemascore of the weekend with an A, which should give Disney great hope for its future. These Disney remakes have also done well overseas, from Cinderella to Maleficent to The Jungle Book. Pete’s Dragon cost Disney $65 million to make, and should work out for the studio in the long run. The family film will have direct competition next weekend, but I am not sure how well Kubo and the Two Strings will work.
Jason Bourne recovers from the Suicide Squad drubbing it took last weekend, when it fell 62% against its opening frame. This time around, things are better, as Jason Bourne earned $13.6 million, dropping a much improved 39%. The Matt Damon film still has a long way to go to get to profitability, as it cost $120 million to make. It has earned $126.8 million stateside and crossed the $120 million mark overseas this weekend. It will need to see $375 million worldwide to be a hit for Universal.
Bad Moms has a huge hold this weekend, and could be turning into We’re the Millers, one of those August comedies that never stops. After opening to $23 million and dropping 41% in its second frame, Bad Moms earned another $11.5 million in its third frame, and dropped a tiny 18% this weekend, an absolutely fabulous hold. The Millers opened to $26.4 million before falling 32% in weekend two and 27% in weekend three, eventually taking in $150 million domestically. Bad Moms is a small, $20 million comedy from upstart distributor STX Entertainment that has now earned $71.5 million domestically and is starting to pick up steam overseas.