BySean Gallen, writer at
The pen is mightier than the sword but is ultimately useless in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Filmmaker, filmlover, MP staff writer.
Sean Gallen

As the summer comes to an end, so too does the blockbuster season, the box office was relatively quiet this weekend and saw a few new releases that failed to make a big splash — apart from Sausage Party, which surpassed predictions to take a swipe at Suicide Squad's crown. In this week's box office round up, we take a look at the implications behind Suicide squad's dip, the growing success of animated blockbusters, and the state of remake culture today.

1. Suicide Squad Dips

Despite the flood of bad reviews, Suicide Squad was riding high on an impressive opening weekend, grabbing the title for the biggest August opening ever. Raking in a humongous $135.1 million, it seemed that Ayer would have the last laugh and the fans who paid to see it twice or thrice were justified in defending their beleaguered heroes. Unfortunately, predictions of an almost 70 percent drop were confirmed when Joker and co. collected a disappointing $43.7 million, bringing their total US box office earnings to $222.8 million.

Check out some scenes that didn't make the cut:

Suicide Squad ranks only eleventh amongst 2016 releases, which perfectly represents the tug-of-war this film went through: Critics were almost unanimously slating the film, which compelled the die-hard fans to see it more, just to prove them wrong. In most cases, the sheer willpower of the fans would have won out, but it seems like the critics have had too much sway over the average movie-goer this time.

2. Sausage Party Starts With A Bang

An epic story of hotdog love / Sony
An epic story of hotdog love / Sony

The self-proclaimed first ever R-rated animated film had a surprisingly solid opening weekend, taking in $33.6 million. Despite the stellar cast led by Seth Rogen, and the tantalizing trailer, studio expectations were low but a timely release and a very attractive Rotten Tomatoes score of 82 percent helped steal some thunder from Suicide Squad.

Check out Seth Rogen playing with his food:

With a reported budget of only $19 million, Sausage Party can pop the champagne as it has exceeded expectations. However, many are comparing its success with that of Ted 2, which had a steep drop off in the second weekend. The success of Sausage Party is great news for adult-themed animation, which has seen a very gradual rise in critical reception on TV with incredible shows like BoJack Horseman. The cost of creating animated films make them attractive when they pay off big this way, so we can expect a sequel or two in the works for sure.

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3. Pete's Dragon Takes Off Timidly

Pete's Dragon / Disney
Pete's Dragon / Disney

Coming in third is Disney's remake of the 1977 film about a young orphan who has survived in the woods with the help of his dragon friend. They are discovered by a park ranger (Bryce Dallas Howard), but things get heated when authorities see the dragon as a threat and hunt it down. Despite getting a warm critical reception, Pete's Dragon earned an estimated $21.5 million, which would put it in line with Disney's earlier release last month, The BFG. If that's anything to go by, Pete's Dragon is looking to score a total of $65 million, which would just about match their reported budget.

Check out the trailer below:

Disney was relying heavily on the nostalgia factor with both Pete's Dragon and The BFG, remakes that would hopefully appeal to parents and their children alike. Both seemed like winning formulas on paper, with stellar casts, great directors (Spielberg behind BFG and impressive new comer David Lowery directing Pete's Dragon) and the marketing force of the Disney empire behind them. Obviously, the Disney machine can afford to absorb some underwhelming results, but these two releases definitely underestimate the desire to see original stories and a general fatigue amongst audiences in regard to remakes.

We can expect a bigger dent in Suicide Squad's success, if not a total dethroning, by the late summer blockbuster Ben Hurwhich looks like a muscular epic — and War Dogs, a fast-paced political thriller starring Jonah Hill and Miles Teller. The success of Ben Hur will also be a good indicator of how audiences appreciate remakes and whether it's time to think outside the reboot box.


Do you think remakes can still make a splash at the box office?


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