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Box office hits and misses: ‘Suicide Squad’ stays on top as ‘Ben-Hur’ flops

This weekend’s box-office report was a mixed bag for the biggest movies, with Suicide Squad remaining on top and leveling off a bit from its prior downward trajectory, and the big-budget remake of Ben-Hur flopped in epic fashion.

Sandwiched between those two films were a pair of new releases that didn’t exactly light up the box office (but didn’t bomb, either), and a raunchy comedy that’s proving to be one of this summer’s surprise hits.

Basically, it was a weird weekend at the movies.

Related: ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ beautifully raises the bar for animated storytelling

Raking in $20.7 million in its third weekend in theaters, supervillain team-up movie Suicide Squad managed to only drop 52 percent from last weekend and remained at the head of the domestic box-office rankings for a third week — one week longer than its predecessor, Warner Bros. Pictures’ superhero universe, Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Despite similarly negative reviews, Suicide Squad now appears to have slightly more staying power at the box office than Dawn of Justice, which dropped 54.5 percent in its third weekend in theaters when it was knocked out of the top spot by the comedy The Boss.

Could things be turning around for Suicide Squad? Only time will tell.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Suicide Squad $20.7M $262.2M $572.6M
2. Sausage Party $15.3M $65.3M $71.3M
3. War Dogs $14.3M $14.3M $20.8M
4. Kubo and the Two Strings $12.6M $12.6M $13.5M
5. Ben-Hur $11.3M $11.3M $22M
6. Pete’s Dragon $11.3M $42.9M $57M
7. Bad Moms $8M $85.8M $106.4M
8. Jason Bourne $7.9M $140.8M $278.7M
9. The Secret Life of Pets $5.7M $346.7M $674.5M
10. Florence Foster Jenkins $4.3M $14.4M $14.4M

In second place was one of two “R”-rated comedies in the weekend’s top ten films that have outperformed expectations: Seth Rogen’s animated adventure Sausage Party.

The fantastically raunchy feature has now earned more than $71 million worldwide to go along with rave reviews from critics, and is well beyond earning back its $19 million production cost after just two weekends in theaters.

Of the weekend’s three new releases, wartime comedy War Dogs and stop-motion animated feature Kubo and the Two Strings both had moderately good debuts with $14.3 million and $12.6 million, respectively. The opening weekend for Kubo was the lowest of all the stop-motion films produced by animation studio Laika (Coraline, The Boxtrolls) so far, but the universal acclaim the film has received should help its theatrical run, and will almost certainly earn the studio yet another Academy Award nomination (and possibly a win).

The outlook was far more certain — and negative — for director Timur Bekmambetov’s remake of Ben-Hur, however, with the $100 million project earning just $11.3 million in its opening weekend. Sour reviews certainly didn’t help its case, and now the only question is how much Paramount Pictures can recover from the film’s run before it’s pushed out of theaters.

As for the rest of the weekend’s films, Bad Moms continues to be the other raunchy, “R”-rated comedy that’s exceeding projections at the box office. The film, which stars Christina Applegate, Kristen Bell, and Mila Kunis, has earned more than $106 million worldwide after four weekends in theaters — which isn’t too shabby for a movie that cost just $20 million to make.

This upcoming weekend isn’t expected to offer any surprises at the box office, with no high-profile new releases making their debut and no major challengers to the incumbent box-office champs. The thriller Don’t Breathe is the most mainstream movie of the bunch, with only Jason Statham’s action sequel Mechanic: Resurrection likely to join it in next week’s top ten films. Bet on another good weekend for Suicide Squad and Sausage Party, and you probably won’t be disappointed.