Friday Box Office: Audiences Abandon ‘Ben Hur’

The 100M epic Ben Hur is struggling to find audiences, as predicted, this weekend, falling below the other two new entries (and two holdovers). This has to hurt for MGM, but pretty much everyone saw this coming. I don’t know who in MGM greenlit Ben Hur, but their judgment is suspect after this. It’s an unnecessary remake, with no stars, and people are avoiding it. However, the quality of the film is up for debate as audiences awarded it an A- cinemascore, versus Rotten Tomatoes critics who averaged it at 31%.

It didn’t have the highest cinemascore of the newbies. That title belongs to Kubo, who scored an A for the Laika production. It’s the lowest opener from the studio, but it might have legs, as these films end up in the Oscar conversation.

The other new release, War Dogs, actually did OK. I thought it would struggle because similar films have struggled recently, but it managed to do OK. Not an amazing gross, but the studio should feel good with 14.5M. It got a B cinemascore, so its legs might not be very strong.

Speaking of legs, Suicide Squad is dropping 56% this weekend, and Sausage Party is dropping 57%. Surprisingly, Pete’s Dragon is dropping 49% (I thought it would have stronger legs than that). The big crowdpleasers are still Bad Moms (-36%) and The Secret Life Of Pets (-38%) which are both holding well because of strong word of mouth. Also, kudos to Florence Foster Jenkins for dipping only 34% in its second week.

1) Suicide Squad- 5.7M Friday, 19.3M Weekend
2) Sausage Party- 4.6M Friday, 14.7M Weekend
3) War Dogs- 5.4M Friday, 14.5M Weekend
4) Kubo and the Two Strings- 4.1M Friday, 12.6M Weekend
5) Ben Hur- 4.2M Friday, 11.5M Weekend
6) Pete’s Dragon- 3.1M Friday, 10.9M Weekend
7) Jason Bourne- 2.1M Friday, 7.2M Weekend
8) Bad Moms- 2.1M Friday, 7.2M Weekend
9) The Secret Life Of Pets- 1.5M Friday, 5.6M Weekend
10) Florence Foster Jenkins- 1.2M Friday, 4.3M Weekend
??) Hell Or High Water- 900K Friday, 2.8M Weekend

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