Box office hits and misses: ‘The Magnificent Seven’ wins the weekend showdown

weekend box office the magnificent seven storks 0012
There’s still a big audience for a good Western, if the opening weekend for The Magnificent Seven is to be believed.

Antoine Fuqua’s remake of John Sturges’ 1960 ensemble classic, which itself was a Western take on Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 film Seven Samurai, wrangled a tidy $35 million premiere to go along with the film’s good (but not great) reviews and an extremely positive assessment from audiences. While that was slightly less than what many pundits predicted for a film that brought Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt together on the same screen, it was good enough to put The Magnificent Seven near the top of the all-time best opening weekends for Westerns.

In the current rankings of best opening weekends for films in the Western genre, only the 2011 animated feature Rango and the 2011 live-action film Cowboys & Aliens (a hybrid of Western and sci-fi based on a comic book) rank above The Magnificent Seven. Fuqua’s film actually managed to surpass the premieres of both Django Unchained and The Lone Ranger — two films more clearly associated with the genre — in order to claim third place on the list.

As far as all-time earnings go, the current record-holder in the genre is 1990’s Dances With Wolves, which earned $184.2 million in U.S. theaters (the only market that typically matters when it comes to this genre) over the course of its 31-week run in theaters. Following close behind it is last year’s The Revenant, with $183.6 million domestically.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. The Magnificent Seven $35M $35M $59.8M
2. Storks $21.8M $21.8M $40.1M
3. Sully $13.8M $92.4M $126.9M
4. Bridget Jones’ Baby $4.5M $16.4M $83.5M
5. Snowden $4.1M $15.1M $15.1M
6. Blair Witch $3.9M $16.1M $21M
7. Don’t Breathe $3.8M $81.1M $120.3M
8. Suicide Squad $3.1M $318.1M $731.7M
9. When the Bough Breaks $2.5M $26.6M $26.8M
10. Kubo and the Two Strings $1.1M $45.9M $58.5M

Coming in after The Magnificent Seven on the weekend’s top 10 list was the animated feature Storks, which earned a respectable $21.8 million, but fell quite a bit short of expectations for a family-friendly animated movie that isn’t facing too much competition for audiences right now.

The rest of the weekend’s top 10 films were all returning movies continuing their respective runs. Among them, Suicide Squad and Don’t Breathe continued to stay strong in theaters, dropping relatively little from week to week. In contrast, the horror sequel Blair Witch took a big hit in its second week in theaters, dropping almost 60 percent in ticket sales from last week’s premiere.

Next week’s new releases include the real-world disaster drama Deepwater Horizon, Tim Burton’s adaptation of the quirky (it is Tim Burton, after all) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and the ensemble heist comedy Masterminds. It’s difficult to predict which film audiences are going to go for, as there isn’t an obvious favorite among them.

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