Friday Box Office: ‘Sully’ Dominates; ‘Blair Witch’ and ‘Bridget Jones’ Stumble

     September 17, 2016


Sequel malaise continues to dictate the 2016 box office. Two of this week’s high-profile debuts, Blair Witch and Bridget Jones’s Baby, both surprised on Friday night with disappointing returns. Meanwhile, Clint Eastwood‘s Tom Hanks-led biopic Sully is poised to land another weekend in the top spot in its second frame.

Lionsgate’s’ Blair Witch fell far behind projections with a $4.1 Million Friday night haul from 3,202 locations, which puts the sequel to the iconic 1999 horror film on track to take #2 spot for the weekend with an estimated $9.7 M. Internal numbers had placed the opening weekend somewhere in the mid-teens, while outside distributors predicted up to $23 M. Modestly budgeted at $5M, the found-footage sequel has been met with mixed reviews (though the folks over at Collider Nightmares were fans while Matt found it middling) and a subpar CinemaScore of D+ could point to poor word-of-mouth showing.


Image via Universal Pictures

The weekend’s other long-delayed sequel, the British romantic comedy Bridget Jones’s Baby, which finds Renee Zellweger stepping back into the spotlight with one of her most beloved characters, also fell short of similar mid-teens predictions with a $3 M Friday night haul. That puts the film on track for a weekend total around $9 M from 2,927. However, there’s a silver lining for Bridget Jones (isn’t there always) — the film is faring much better at the international box office, where it opened in 39 territories in addition to the U.S. and Canada this weekend. So far, the film has grossed $13 M internationally, including a record-breaking $4M in the U.K. alone, where it has earned the titles of both biggest comedy and biggest romantic comedy opening day of all time.

While Bridget Jones’s Baby and Blair Witch are neck and neck for the second spot, Oliver Stone’s biopic Snowden make for a surprise third contender in this week’s box office race. The drama starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the NSA whistleblower earned an estimated $3M on Friday night and is poised for a $9 M opening weekend in 2,443 theaters, with an A CinemaScore suggesting it could have strong legs at the box office.

As expected, the weekend’s big winner is expected to be Eastwood’s Sully, which stars Tom Hanks as the titular heroic pilot that miraculously landed a passenger plane in the Hudson River. Sully topped the Friday box office with a $6.6 M haul, putting the film on track for an estimated $22 M weekend — a sum that would put the film’s total gross northward of $70 M.

Check out the Top 5 below and check back tomorrow for a full rundown of the weekend estimates.

Rank Title Friday Total
1. Sully $6,570,000 $55,111,351
2. Blair Witch $4,067,000 $4,067,000
3. Bridget Jones’s Baby $3,040,000 $4,040,000
4. Snowden $3,035,000 $3,035,000
5. Don’t Breathe $1,650,000 $71,378,781

Image via Open Roads


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