It’s the final dog days of summer with studios unleashing their Hail Mary would-be blockbusters en masse. As usual with this scattershot approach, there were some big winners and box office casualties. And Ben-Hur got run off the road en route to one of the summer’s worst performances.
1. Suicide Squad. $20 million (3rd week; $262 million total) Remember that Warner Bros./DC flop that essentially killed any hope of DC having a powerful connected universe? It’s been so widely loathed by audiences that it’s now three-peated.
Its closest August comparison, Guardians of the Galaxy, had a slightly better third weekend with $25 million Worldwide, Suicide Squad has earned over $500 million. Not bad for a film that supposedly was one of the worst films ever brought to theaters.
2. Sausage Party – $15.3 million (2nd week; $65 million total) Maybe even more surprising than Suicide Squad’s sustained success is the strength of sausage. The Seth Rogen R-rated animated film carried strong word of mouth to a solid sophomore week.
3. War Dogs – $14.3 million. Jonah Hill and Miles Teller’s war comedy/drama had a lot of buzz heading into this week, but couldn’t topple the holdovers. This is the film I’m most interested in seeing how it fares next week. Word-of-mouth could help or hinder it significantly.
4. Kubo and the Two Strings – $12.6 million. Laika’s latest dazzled critics, but failed to cut up the competition. Kubo had the weakest opening of the five Laika films. With a modest $60 million budget, the film should eventually turn a profit.
5. Ben-Hur – $11.4 million. With a budget over $100 million, Ben-Hur’s weak opening weekend guarantees it will be one of the year’s biggest flops.