Clint Eastwood’s plane crash drama Sully saw its second weekend at number one, while three wide release newcomers all failed to break out this weekend in North America. The secret sequel-reboot Blair Witch saw a fraction of the audience that showed up for the 1999 original, while Bridget Jones’s Baby and Snowden failed to capitalize on an adult demographic already enamored by the Tom Hanks film.
Sully managed a first place weekend of $22 million, down only 37% from last weekend’s strong $35m opening. It may be hard to believe, but this is the first live-action film starring Tom Hanks to spend its second weekend in the number one spot since Road to Perdition back in 2002. And it’s the first since Cast Away in 2000 to spend its first two consecutive weekends in the top spot. So far, the well-reviewed drama has earned $70m domestically and over $93m worldwide. If the film can hold its own against a wave of adult-skewing pictures, including next weekend’s The Magnificent Seven, it may pass the final gross of Gran Torino ($148m) to become director Eastwood’s second highest grossing film after American Sniper.
The weekend wasn’t kind to new openers. Blair Witch scared up $9.6 million since its Thursday night start. The sequel to the 1999 found-footage hit masqueraded as an original picture titled The Woods for some time, before it was revealed recently that it was in fact a Blair Witch reboot. The scheme does not seem to have paid off in the way the same approach worked for 10 Cloverfield Lane earlier this year. Perhaps the demand simply wasn’t there, or more likely, the original film was a marketing success — whereas the film itself now leaves a lot to be desired. Either way, a $9.6m opening is nothing to rave about, especially compared to the $29m earned by the original on its wide opening weekend, and the $13m achieved by the sequel Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. The new iteration of Blair Witch earned an alarming D+ Cinemascore and will be lucky to see $20m by the end of its run. In a year that’s been kind to horror films, Blair Witch sadly was a franchise killer.
In third place, the belated sequel Bridget Jones’s Baby arrived below expectations. This is the third entry in the franchise and the first installment in twelve years. It opened nearly identical to the 2004 sequel The Edge of Reason, with $8.2 million. While Baby may not have lived up to some higher expectations, it did earn solid reviews and a good B+ Cinemascore. This bodes well for its potential to earn around $30m domestically. It has already managed to bank $38.1m worldwide against its $35m budget. The previous entries also earned the bulk of their grosses from overseas dollars, so Bridget Jones’s Vacation may still be in the cards down the road.
Oliver Stone’s drama-thriller Snowden also pulled in $8 million, a figure slightly better than anticipated. The film chronicling the controversial discoveries of Edward Snowden managed to earn mixed reviews from critics, but a great A Cinemascore from opening night audiences. If the film can remain an interesting options for adults, a $30m total gross could ultimately result.
Next weekend finds the Denzel Washington-Chris Pratt starring western The Magnificent Seven remake riding into theaters, as well as the animated family feature Storks.
Image: Warner Bros.