‘Sully’ maintains box-office altitude, fends off ‘Blair Witch’ and ‘Bridget Jones’
“Sully” maintained its altitude at the top of the domestic box office, outperforming three newcomers, including “Blair Witch” and the latest “Bridget Jones” sequel, to bring in an estimated $22 million for its second weekend in release.
The Clint Eastwood-directed drama about the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in 2009 has taken in a total of $70.5 million domestically. Tom Hanks stars as Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, who safely landed the plane on the Hudson River after birds collided with the engines.
“Blair Witch,” a quasi-reboot of the 1999 indie favorite, underperformed on its opening weekend, taking the No. 2 spot in with $9.7 million. The low-budget horror release from Lionsgate cost just an estimated $5 million to make.
Universal’s “Bridget Jones’s Baby,” with Renée Zellweger reprising her role as the comically hapless British singleton, brought in $8.2 million domestically in its first weekend.
The movie saw a stronger performance overseas, especially in the United Kingdom and Ireland, where it opened in the No. 1 spot at $11.3 million. Its worldwide gross stands at $38.1 million.
The weekend’s other prominent opening was Oliver Stone’s “Snowden,” which debuted in fourth place with a little more than $8 million. The movie, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, received lukewarm reviews from critics.
“Sully” is benefiting from an older demographic “that doesn’t rush out opening weekend or day. They come out when they hear their friends talking about the movie,” said Jeff Goldstein, executive vice president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros. “I’m expecting to see a really long run.”
The movie has brought in $23.4 million overseas, bringing its worldwide gross to $93.9 million. It was released in both IMAX and regular theatrical formats.
The disappointing debut of “Blair Witch” is likely the result of the current oversaturation in the horror genre, according to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore.
Two horror releases from Sony continue to do strong business — “Don’t Breathe” brought in $5.6 million to take the No. 5 box-office spot, while “When the Bough Breaks” took in $5.5 million for the weekend.
“It’s so hard for a new horror movie to come in, even with the legacy of the [‘Blair Witch’] brand,” he said.
“Suicide Squad” grossed an additional $4.7 million during the weekend to bring its domestic haul to $313.8 million. The Warner Bros. release has taken in more than $400 million in foreign markets.
Rounding out the top 10 is a group of family films — the animated “The Wild Life,” which grossed $2.7 million in its second weekend; “Kubo and the Two Strings,” which took in $2.5 million; and Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” with $2 million.
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