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Clint Eastwood's Sully lands best ever US opening for adult drama in September


Story by Jack Foley

CLINT Eastwood’s true life drama Sully has landed the best ever opening for an adult drama in September in the US.

The film stars Tom Hanks as Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, the real-life pilot who crash-landed a US Airways jet on the Hudson River on January 15, 2009, saving the lives of all 155 aboard.

Its opening figure of $35.5 million represented Eastwood’s second best nationwide start behind American Sniper, which debuted to $107.2 million over the four-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend in 2014, not accounting for inflation. And it marked a recent best for Hanks, whose previous film Bridge of Spies, helmed by Steven Spielberg, opened to $15.4 million on its way to becoming a solid performer. Captain Phillips, another of Hanks’ weighty dramas, opened to $25.7 million in 2015.

Commenting on the film’s performance, Warners domestic distribution chief Jeff Goldstein told The Hollywood Reporter: “We’re so proud of Clint Eastwood and the performances in this movie.”

He added that the studio had also debated whether to open Sully on the same weekend as the 15th anniversary of 9/11 but concluded: “[But we] decided this is a real story of hope.”

Elsewhere at the US box office, surrogate thriller When The Bough Breaks, starring Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall, opened in second place with $15 million.

The film follows a childless couple who become caught in a deadly game after hiring a surrogate.

Horror sensation Don’t Breathe remained high in the chart in its third weekend, coming in third with an estimated $8.2 million for a US total of $66.8 million.

While Warners’ anti-superhero movie Suicide Squad placed fourth in its sixth weekend with $5.7 million for a US haul of $307.4 million.

The Wild Life, a Belgian-French animated film, rounded out the top five with a soft $3.3 million opening. The family film is loosely based on Robinson Crusoe, but is told from the point of view of the island’s animals.

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