Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks flew past the competition this weekend as Sully took the top spot at the box office. Not only was it an impressive debut, the $35 million gross ranks it amongst the five best September openings of all time. While Tom Hanks has been a box office draw for decades, Sully marks the first time in seven years the actor topped a weekend. The last time a Hanks film opened at #1 was in 2009 with Angels and Demons. Not to be outdone is director Clint Eastwood, riding a wave of box office momentum from 2014’s American Sniper. Based on the true life story, Sully had a far better than expected weekend.
The second spot also went to a new release, Screen Gems’ When the Bough Breaks. Despite a harsh critical reception (score of 8% on Rotten Tomatoes), the thriller pulled in roughly $15 million. This number was below expectations, as similar films did well over the last few years. Also worth noting is the Cinemascore of a B for voting audience members. Does this signal another divide between critics and fans like Suicide Squad? Either way, the Morris Chestnut thriller has done marginal success off of its reported $10 million budget.
Last week’s champion, Don’t Breathe, took the number three spot with an additional gross of approximately $8 million. This third weekend brings its’ domestic total to over $66 million. Unlike most Labor Day holdovers, the drop for Don’t Breathe was below expectations at around 48%. Not that it matters too much given how much it’s made off a limited budget. It’s primary horror competition, The Disappointments Room, certainly lived up to its name landing outside the top 10 on its debut weekend. With over 1,500 theaters screening the film, it only pulled in just shy of $1.5 million.
The bad guys were rolling in dough once again with the news of Suicide Squad passing the $700 million worldwide mark. Despite its release in early August, DC’s latest has had longevity amidst a wave of controversy and fan v critic backlash. Rounding out the top five is The Wild Life, which opened to a small roar of approximately $5 million. Studio Lionsgate was hoping for a gross closer to $15 million.
Next week will see the release of Blair Witch, another sequel to the 1999 cultural phenomenon. Given the very recent title reveal and the maligned Book of Shadows, it will be interesting to see how it performs among audiences. Snowden, directed by Oliver Stone and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is also opening this weekend.
Matt is a longtime film buff, writer and podcast host from Rhode Island. Ask him what his favorite films are and you will probably get a different answer every time. In addition to writing for The Nerd Stash, Matt writes for The Young Folks, which is also the home of his podcast Directors of Cinema.