'Sully' soars over 'Blair Witch,' 'Bridget' at box office

Sep 19, 2016, 00:54

Warner Bros. true-to-life drama "Sully" made $6.6 million on Friday from 3,525 locations - and will easily win the box office in its second weekend, with three-day estimates now set to top $20 million.

In a year when producers and studios are having trouble selling films based on star quality, Hollywood vets Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks release Sully easily. Instead it finished with the worst opening of the franchise despite opening in 1,316 more theaters than the 2001 original, which opened with $10.7 million, and almost 2,400 more theaters than 2004's Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, which opened with $8.6 million.

Coming in at No. 4 with an estimated $8 million is Oliver Stone's Snowden, fresh from its screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival. For months, the movie was given the fake title The Woods to obscure its connection to the Blair Witch franchise.

"Bridget Jones's Baby", $29.9 million. The biopic stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the titular role of Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who publicly leaked classified information from the U.S. National Security Agency in 2013. Sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason followed in 2004.

Pulling in third, and also delivering a disappointing domestic opening, is Universal's Bridget Jones's Baby with an estimated $8.2 million.

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. The horror film about a house's haunted past stars Kate Beckinsale and cost roughly $15 million to produce. A solid showing in the United Kingdom was expected given the character's popularity in that market, said Duncan Clark, Universal's president of global distribution. Shailene Woodley, Zachary Quinto, Melissa Leo and Tom Wilkinson also star in the film, which cost a pricey $40 million to make, a pricey number for an independent film.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at USA and Canadian theaters, according to comScore.

In general, it's been a quiet start to September compared to previous year. Open Road is distributing the film domestically, and if it continues to attract some awards heat, it's possible it could chug along to a respectable gross. The cheap horror flick settles way behind Sully at No. 2 with an estimated $9.7 million from 3,121 theaters, significantly lower than its 1999 forerunner's $29.2 million opening.

Mr. Church, marking Eddie Murphy's first turn on the big screen since 2012, opened to $407,151 from 354 theaters for a paltry location average of $1,150.

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