Box Office: ‘Ben-Hur’ Bombs as ‘Suicide Squad’ Hits No. 1 for Third Week
Suicide Squad is the No. 1 film in America for a third straight weekend. However, the big story is MGM and Paramount suffering a massive bomb in the form of Ben-Hur, a remake of the 1959 Best Picture winner (which, itself, was a remake of the 1925 silent film adapted from the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by General Lew Wallace. It’s remake and adaptations all the way down, people!).
From director Timur Bekmambetov, Ben-Hur debuted with an abysmal $11.4 million to land at No. 5. For a movie that cost close to $100 million, this is a disaster — and yet, it’s not surprising, considering the relative lack of promotion and lack of big name stars to anchor the film. It’s a shame though, because I caught the film over the weekend and actually enjoyed it quite a bit. The movie was ravaged by critics, as Ben-Hur failed to achieve the success of The Bible and Son of God, two other successful projects from Ben-Hur producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. Although Paramount got help from MGM, which put up 80 percent of the financing, the studio is still going to take a massive loss on this one. Considering the loss they’re already likely to suffer on other underperformers such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Zoolander 2, and even Star Trek Beyond, which is a modest hit, but performing far below the other entries in the franchise. It’s expected that Paramount could lose as much as $350 million this year.
However, the news was much more positive with Warner Bros., as Suicide Squad hit No. 1 for a third consecutive weekend with $20.7 million, to bring its North American total to $262.3 million. Internationally, the movie has surpassed $300 million thanks to its $38 million gross from this weekend. So far, Suicide Squad has raked in $572.7 million worldwide. Falling just behind Suicide Squad was Sausage Party, which earned $15.3 million for a second-place finish in its second weekend.
Meanwhile, other, non-Ben-Hur newcomers came to make a run at the box office crown. And some, naturally, did better than others. On the one hand is the true story of two Florida men who became arms dealers; on the other hand is a family film about a young boy on a quest to fulfill his destiny. You’d think the family film would win out, considering how more adult-oriented films are crowding the top of the box office. But you’d be wrong. War Dogs, which is the first film by director Todd Philips since The Hangover trilogy, opened at No. 3 with $14.3 million, while the critically-acclaimed Kubo and the Two Strings landed at No. 4 with $12.6 million.
But how did the rest of the Top 10 do at the weekend box office? Check out the full Top 10 below:
TOP 10 AT THE WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: 08/22/2016
1. Suicide Squad ($20.7 million)
2. Sausage Party ($15.3 million)
3. War Dogs ($14.3 million)
4. Kubo and the Two Strings ($12.6 million)
5. Ben-Hur ($11.4 million)
6. Pete’s Dragon ($11.3 million)
7. Bad Moms ($8.1 million)
8. Jason Bourne ($8 million)
9. The Secret Life of Pets ($5.8 million)
10. Florence Foster Jenkins ($4.3 million)
What, if anything, did you see at the theaters this weekend, and what do you want to see at the movies in the weeks to come? Sound off in the comments!
And for more on the weekend in entertainment, find out which Disney Channel star has landed the female lead role of Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Homecoming!