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‘Ben-Hur’ crashes, ‘Suicide Squad’ stays on top for 3rd week

  • WARNER BROS. PICTURES VIA AP

    This file image released by Warner Bros. pictures, from left, Jay Hernandez as Diablo, Jai Courtney as Boomerang, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Will Smith as Deadshot, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag and Karen Fukuhara as Katana in a scene from “Suicide Squad.”

  • PARAMOUNT PICTURES VIA AP

    This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Rodrigo Santoro portraying Jesus in a scene from “Ben-Hur.” The big-budget remake of “Ben-Hur” was trampled under a herd of holdovers and new releases at the box office, the latest casualty in a bruising summer for Hollywood.

NEW YORK » A big-budget remake of “Ben-Hur” was trampled under a herd of holdovers and new releases at the box office, the latest casualty in a bruising summer for Hollywood.

The Paramount Pictures release, which cost about $100 million to make, debuted with just $11.4 million, according to studio estimates today. That makes it one of the season’s more pricy flops, albeit one that never had anything like the ambition of 1959’s Charlton Heston epic.

Instead, Warner Bros.’s much-maligned DC Comics supervillain team-up film “Suicide Squad” held the top spot for the third straight week with an estimated $20.7 million over its third weekend. It has now made $262.3 million domestically (fourth best for the summer) despite steep declines and poor reaction from critics and fans alike.

Seth Rogen’s foul-mouthed food animated comedy “Sausage Party” continued to do well for Sony Pictures. In its second weekend, it took in $15.3 million, good enough for second place, and bringing its two-week total to $65.3 million.

Two offbeat debuts slid in behind “Suicide Squad” and “Sausage Party”: the Iraq War comedy “War Dogs,” with Miles Teller and Jonah Hill; and the stop-motion animated “Kubo and the Two Strings” from Focus Features and Laika Entertainment.

“War Dogs,” the first movie after “The Hangover” trilogy for director Todd Phillips, was lambasted by critics, but it sold a decent $14.3 million in ticket sales.

“Kubo and the Two Strings,” an acclaimed fantasy about a boy in ancient Japan, debuted with $12.6 million, the weakest opening of any film from Laika, the Oregon-based animation studio behind “Coraline,” ParaNorman” and “The Boxtrolls.” ”Kubo and the Two Strings” was fashioned as Laika’s most ambitious film yet, with the company’s chief executive, Travis Knight, making his directorial debut.

But after the fifth place opening of “Ben-Hur,” the second coming of the sword-and-sandal movie appears to be attracting dwindling flocks of moviegoers.

A coproduction between MGM and Paramount, “Ben-Hur” is the third adaption of Lee Wallace’s novel, “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.” With producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey (“The Bible” miniseries), the film courted Christian moviegoers. But it was unable to turn them out as successfully as Paramount did for “Noah” (which debuted with $43.7 million in 2014) or even Fox’s less popular “Exodus: Gods and Kings” (a $24.1 million opening in 2014).

Still, fueled by “Suicide Squad” and “Sausage Party,” the box office was up more than 22 percent over the same weekend last year, according to comScore. Despite the ups and downs of individual films, the box office overall is enjoying a potentially record August — usually a sleepy month of summer stragglers.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final three-day domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Suicide Squad,” $20.7 million ($38 million international).

2. “Sausage Party,” $15.3 million ($2.1 million international).

3. “War Dogs,” $14.3 million ($6.5 million international).

4. “Kubo and the Two Strings,” $12.6 million ($900,000 international).

5. “Ben-Hur,” $11.4 million ($10.7 million international).

6. “Pete’s Dragon,” $11.3 million ($5.7 million international).

7. “Bad Moms,” $8.1 million ($3.9 million international).

8. “Jason Bourne,” $8 million ($10.7 million international).

9. “The Secret Life of Pets,” $5.8 million ($45 million international).

10. “Florence Foster Jenkins,” $4.3 million.

___

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:

1. “The Secret Life of Pets,” $45 million.

2. “Suicide Squad,” $38 million.

3. “Line Walker,” $16.5 million.

4. “Jason Bourne,” $11.3 million.

5. “Star Trek Beyond,” $11.3 million.

6. “Ben-Hur,” $10.7 million.

7. “Tunnel,” $9.6 million.

8. “Ghostbusters,” $7.9 million.

9. “Big Head Son and Small Head Dad 2,” $7.5 million.

10. “Lights Out,” $7.3 million.

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  • I’m telling you, with all the “Political Correctness”, Hollywood is suffering significant loses at the Box Office. And yet these actors ie:(Morgan Freeman) don’t get it! That and with the kids, I don’t think Biblical stories are a thing for the Urchins. They like all the “Make believe stuff” Hollywood puts out.

    This is Sad,also because parents are not teaching them His Holy words at home or going to church to find out. Family values has also diminished in the Home from the Rise of Social Media and all our techy gadgets.SAD

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