Just when you thought September was going to be a slow month at the box office, Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks show up with Sully and make things interesting all over again. The feature film adaptation of the “Miracle on the Hudson” opened with huge numbers, benefiting from the pedigree of the talent involved and the lack of direct competition in the middle of a not-so-busy month.

FilmWeekendPer Screen
2When the Bough Breaks$15,000,000$6,679$15,000,000
3Don’t Breathe$8,210,000 (-48.1)$2,426$66,833,000
4Suicide Squad$5,650,000 (-43.0)$1,821$307,407,000
5The Wild Life$3,400,000$1,916$3,400,000
6Kubo and the Two Strings$3,230,000 (-49.3)$1,383$40,847,000
7Pete’s Dragon$2,938,000 (-53.7)$1,094$70,016,000
8Bad Moms$2,830,000 (-40.6)$1,499$107,526,000
9Hell or High Water$2,600,000 (-41.4)$1,799$19,823,000
10Sausage Party$2,300,000 (-55.7)$1,111$93,182,000

Sully took in $35 million in its opening weekend, an all-time best for Eastwood as a director. The film certainly won’t do American Sniper business —  that film utilized a limited roll-out to became a $350 million juggernaut  —  but this is a very strong start and the film has a definite chance of crossing $100 million sooner rather than later. If audiences like the movie (critics have been mostly kind), it could take advantage of the dead season to make it to $150 million or more. Eastwood’s films can vary wildly at the box office, with every American Sniper and Gran Torino being met with a J. Edgar and a Jersey Boys, but Sully is going to ensure his next five years’ worth of movies.

In second place, When the Bough Breaks opened with $15 million, a decent start for a modestly budgeted thriller like this. With a reported budget of only $10 million, it’s already well on its way to being profitable; if it follows the pattern of similar films, it will settle down with about $40 million in the end. And that’s perfectly okay! Hollywood needs to embrace movies that cost little and do solid business, especially after a summer with so many expensive and high profile bombs.

The third new release of the week, The Wild Life, limped into fifth place with only $3 million. If you’re scratching your head and asking “What’s The Wild Life?”, you surely know why this one arrived with a thud.

The rest of the top 10 found the usual suspects in a holding pattern. Don’t Breathe continued to perform well in third place, dropping 48% and growing $8 million. The horror movie now has $66 million in the bank and is going to end up being one of 2016’s most profitable films. Between this, Lights Out, and The Conjuring 2, the horror genre has shined brightly in a year where so many hugely expensive movies have failed.

In fourth place, Suicide Squad added another $5 million to its haul, bringing its total to $307 million. It’s going to peter out soon, but the question now is whether or not it can match the $330 million gross of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice from earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Kubo and the Two Strings and Pete’s Dragon finally started to drop off after several weeks of holding strong, grossing $3 million apiece in sixth and seventh place. When all is said and done, the former will be one of the best reviewed box office disappointments of the year and the latter will be one of the best reviewed movies to maybe, possibly, hopefully break even.

In the final stretch, Bad Moms celebrated a post-$100 million victory lap, Sausage Party continued its slow, steady climb to $100 million, and Hell or High Water knocked on the door of $20 million, a major achievement for a film like this (and a perfect example of how to roll out a smaller film to achieve maximum success).

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