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Box office hits and misses: ‘Suicide Squad’ reigns, and ‘Sausage Party’ celebrates

It’s deja vu all over again for Warner Bros. Pictures’ superhero movie universe, with Suicide Squad topping the box office for the second week in a row much like Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice did earlier this year, but also suffering a massive week-to-week drop, as the much-maligned Dawn of Justice also did.

The supervillain team-up movie dropped more than 67 percent in weekend ticket sales after its record-breaking debut — a week-to-week performance that echoed the 69-percent drop that Dawn of Justice suffered after its own record-breaking opening weekend. At this point, front-loaded films are quickly becoming the hallmark of WB’s attempts to bring the DC Comics superheroes to the big screen, with all three films so far (the two aforementioned movies and 2013’s Man of Steel) doing big business on their opening weekends, only to see their ticket sales drop off precipitously in subsequent weeks.

Related: ‘Sausage Party’ is gory, raunchy, ridiculous … and exceptionally clever

It wasn’t all doom and gloom at the movies, though, as the second- and third-place films in the weekend rankings both outperformed expectations in a big way.

The “R”-rated, animated comedy Sausage Party managed to earn an impressive $33.6 million for its opening weekend, giving it the best debut of all time for an animated movie in August. Given the film’s $19 million budget, it’s also a major win for studio Sony Pictures and the film’s creative team — particularly co-writers and co-producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who played a big role in getting the film made. (Rogen also voiced the film’s main character.)

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Suicide Squad $43.7M $222.8M $465.3M
2. Sausage Party $33.6M $33.6M $36.2M
3. Pete’s Dragon $21.5M $21.5M $26.6M
4. Jason Bourne $13.6M $126.7M $246.1M
5. Bad Moms $11.4M $71.4M $85M
6. The Secret Life of Pets $8.8M $335.9M $592.6M
7. Star Trek Beyond $6.8M $139.6M $211.2M
8. Florence Foster Jenkins $6.5M $6.5M $6.5M
9. Nine Lives $3.5M $13.5M $13.5M
10. Lights Out $3.2M $61.1M $98M

Coming in third for the weekend was Pete’s Dragon, which outperformed predictions to the tune of $21.5 million, and though it’s still well short of its $65 million production cost, the film earned the sort of rave reviews from critics and audiences alike that should serve it well going forward.

The only other new release to make it into the weekend’s top ten was the biopic Florence Foster Jenkins, which earned a respectable $6.5 million — mostly attributed to the presence of star Meryl Streep in the title role. The award-friendly film is already doing better than expected, and while it isn’t the sort of film that generates big box-office numbers, the drama, based on the life of the infamous American socialite and amateur operatic soprano is still doing respectable numbers for the studio.

Things continue to go swimmingly for Finding Dory, too. The animated sequel is probably nearing the end of its theatrical run, but it moved up a spot in both the all-time domestic and worldwide box-office rankings over the weekend. Domestically, it overtook Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace to become the seventh highest-grossing movie of all time in U.S. theaters, while in worldwide theaters, it moved past Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to take over 40th place.

This upcoming week isn’t expected to feature any blockbuster debuts, with the only major releases likely to make a splash being the remake of chariot-racing classic Ben-Hur and the animated feature Kubo and the Two Strings. The biggest question going into the weekend is whether the free-fall of Suicide Squad will allow Sausage Party or one of the new releases to edge the supervillain film out of the top spot after just two weeks.