• Box Office

World Box Office, Aug 8-14

Pretty bad reviews and a 67% drop from opening weeks are usually sure signs that a film will be labeled a box office disaster. In the case of Suicide Squad, which suffered from both of these experiences, that label is far from applicable. Squad took first place amid a relatively weak mid-August slate, with a $43 million sophomore haul in the U.S. and Canada. Even with a B Cinemascore and an apparent general consensus among fans and critics that the film missed its mark, the picture’s inherent buzz was enough to draw in huge amounts of viewers. After all, any star-studded movie about The Joker and a cohort of similarly maladjusted villains going on a two-hour long pyrotechnical escapade will have done similar numbers in today’s pop-culture landscape. It’s tracking roughly on par with Batman v. Superman, which dropped 69% in its second week on its way to an $872 million global hall. Warner Bros.’ two most recent DC/Darkhorse Comics’ adaptations have been untouched by their critics, although many alarm bells seem to suggest it may be only a matter of time before audiences stop queuing up for these kind of spectacles.

Overseas figures were quite strong as well. Squad delivered a $58.7 million take from 62 international markets and has now reached an overseas cume of $242.5 million. New player Argentina was worth $2.5 million while Italy generated $2.2 million. Both openings were local records for star Will Smith, and tracked well ahead of both BvS and Deadpool. Its two-week run in Mexico has racked up $19. 5 million so far while Russian sales have reached $20 million. Australia is now up to $17.5 million, and Olympic host nation Brazil has netted $22.9 million for the David Ayer helmed production. Suicide Squad’s global revenue has now reached $465.3 million. Most sources are pegging the film to reach a $600 million global cume by the end of its run.

On the opposite end of the spectrum from Squad’s rehashed superhero-blockbuster clichés is Seth Rogen’s Sausage Party, which came in second and earned $33.6 million in its domestic debut. While both films end up presenting preposterous stories, Party does this from a more original angle. Rogen teamed up with longtime writing partner Evan Goldberg (Superbad, Pineapple Express, The Interview) and hit factory Annapurna Pictures to produce this R-Rated raunchy tale of love between a hotdog and a bun, and the sad realization of their fellow sentient foodstuffs that being taken home from the market is a death sentence rather than the ascension to paradise that they have collectively come to imagine it as. Overseas plays were worth $2.6 million and bring the film’s opening weekend cume to $36.2 million.

Disney has taken a rare hiatus from the top of the global charts but new release Pete’s Dragon is a success on a smaller scale for the industry-leading studio. Dragon cost just $65 million to produce, less than half the price of typical CGI-heavy blockbusters. So far it has grossed $21.5 million in the U.S. where it launched in third place. Overseas plays generated $5.1 million from 13 territories. Leader Russia put up $1.5 million, while Italy amassed $1.4 million and UK cinemas were worth $1.1 million. An A Cinemascore gives P’s D a good shot of growing in the coming weeks before kids start school again in September. Then there is Paramount’s Florence Foster Jenkins. The picture is based on the real life of a New York socialite who was a terrible opera singer. But she was full of joy, unaware of her limitations. She became a sensation. And now that Stephen Frears directed a story about her life starring Meryl Streep as the singer, Hugh Grant as her husband and Simon Helberg as her frustrated pianist, critics loved the film and so did the people who saw it last weekend. But only 3 per cent of them were over 25, so Florence debuted with just $6.9 million out of 1,500 theaters.

Next week we’ll follow the release of Timur Bekmambetov’s ambitious retelling of Hollywood classic Ben-Hur. Also debuting in domestic theatres is Laika Studios’ (Coraline, The Boxtrolls) Kubo and the Two Strings. The winner may be Jonah Hill and Miles Teller arms dealing comedy War Dogs, that opens as well along with Werner Herzog’s mediation on the Internet: Lo and Behold, Revelries of the Connected World.

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