Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua are enjoying one of the biggest opening weekends of their respective careers as The Magnificent Seven, based on Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic Seven Samurai, opens to a solid estimated $35 million in North America.
Opening on 3,674 screens, The Magnificent Seven earned an A- grade from audiences on CinemaScore, a decent rating for the fall blockbuster, which looks to steadily decrease atop strong legs on its way to recouping a lofty $90 million budget by the end of its run. The film notches Washington’s third largest opening since the beginning of his film career in 1981, unadjusted for inflation, while it tallies the biggest weekend debut for any title in Fuqua’s filmography.
The pair previously conjured box office magic together on 2014’s The Equalizer ($101.5 million) and 2001’s Training Day ($76.6 million), the latter of which won Washington his second Academy Award.
Debuting at No. 2 with a soft $21.8 million is Warner Bros. Animation’sStorks, a family comedy featuring the voices of Andy Samberg, Jennifer Aniston, and Ty Burrell. Though exit polling indicated general audience satisfaction (it currently has an A- grade on CinemaScore), the film stumbled in its efforts to replicate the success of the studio’sThe LEGO Movie, which made over $257 million domestically in 2014. Still, animated movies tend to sprout longer legs than their live-action counterparts, and Storks was produced on a manageable budget in the $70 million range. With an extra $18.3 million coming from around 33 international territories this weekend, Storks should clear its production costs by the middle of October.
Falling to No. 3 after leading the pack for two weeks is Clint Eastwood’s Sully, which stars Tom Hanks as Chesley Sullenberger, the US Airways pilot who successfully performed an emergency landing of an Airbus on the Hudson River in 2009. The Warner Bros. film continues to flex its muscles with older audiences, shedding a mere 36 percent from week two to week three for an estimated finish of $13.8 million. Its domestic total now stands at $92.4 million ($126 million internationally), and it should clear the $100 million mark in the U.S. and Canada in a week’s time.
Rounding out the top five are Bridget Jones’s Baby, the Renee Zellweger-starring threequel released 12 years after the Bridget Jonesseries’ previous installment, which falls 47 percent to an estimated $4.5 million, and Oliver Stone’s Snowden biopic, which loses 48 percent of its debut audience for a sophomore weekend gross of $4.1 million.
In limited release, Disney’s chess drama Queen of Katwe, which was one of the runner-ups for the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award, premieres to a muted $305,000 on 52 screens with a per-theater average of $5,865. The Mira Nair-directed film stars Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo in a fact-based tale of Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan chess prodigy who became a Woman Candidate Master following stellar showings at the World Chess Olympiad competition.
Year-to-date box office is up around 5.1 percent from the same frame last year. Check out the full Sept. 23-25 weekend box office chart below.
1. The Magnificent Seven – $35 million
2. Storks – $21.8 million
3. Sully – $13.8 million
4. Bridget Jones’s Baby – $4.5 million
5. Snowden – $4.1 million
6. Blair Witch – $4 million
7. Don’t Breathe – $3.8 million
8. Suicide Squad – $3.1 million
9. When the Bough Breaks – $2.5 million
10. Kubo and the Two Strings – $1.1 million [Joey Nolfi]