Box Office: ‘Ben-Hur’ Tanks, ‘Suicide Squad’ Stays in 1st

Jack Huston and Morgan Freeman in Ben-Hur
Jack Huston plays Judah Ben-Hur and Morgan Freeman plays Ilderim in ‘Ben-Hur’ (Photo © 2016 Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.)

Hollywood, please pay attention: ticket buyers are tired of remakes. Ben-Hur‘s just the latest in a long string of remakes/reimaginings/revamps and all of those other ‘re’ words to bomb at the box office. Ringing up just $11 million over its first three days of domestic release, the latest take on Lew Wallace’s classic novel didn’t have the star power of its predecessor nor did it arrive in theaters when swords and sandals epics are wanted or in demand. With a $100 million budget, Paramount’s PG-13 rated action/drama could leave theaters without earning its money back.

The weekend’s other two big studio theatrical releases – War Dogs and Kubo and the Two Strings – didn’t fare much better than Ben-Hur. Teaming Jonah Hill and Miles Teller for an action/comedy inspired by true events, Warner Bros’ War Dogs from The Hangover‘s Todd Phillips is currently sitting at just 59% fresh on RottenTomatoes. And, according to CinemaScore, audiences were also less than enthusiastic, with the R-rated film averaging a B grade (Ben-Hur earned an A-). The weekend’s family friendly offering, LAIKA’s latest stop-motion animated film Kubo and the Two Strings, opened to the lowest first weekend to date of any release from that production company.

Box Office Top 10: August 19-21, 2016

  1. Suicide Squad – $20,710,000
  2. Sausage Party – $15,325,000
  3. War Dogs – $14,300,000
  4. Kubo and the Two Strings – $12,610,000
  5. Ben-Hur – $11,350,000
  6. Pete’s Dragon – $11,331,000
  7. Bad Moms – $8,068,000
  8. Jason Bourne – $7,980,000
  9. The Secret Life of Pets – $5,770,000
  10. Florence Foster Jenkins – $4,300,000