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Sully remains on top in US as Bridget Jones's Baby bombs


Story by Jack Foley

CLINT Eastwood’s real-life drama Sully has remained on top of the US box office for a second weekend with an impressive $22 million but Bridget Jones’s Baby has flopped.

Sully, which stars Tom Hanks as Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberg, the pilot who made a forced water landing on the Hudson River when his US Airways jet was disabled, continues Eastwood’s current hot streak at the box office as a director, coming off the back of one of the biggest films of his career with American Sniper.

Its $22 million on its sophomore weekend marks a drop of only 37% from its opening tally – which set a September record.

But Sully‘s success came at the expense of a trio of new releases, the most high profile of which was undoubtedly Bridget Jones’s Baby.

The film, which had been seeking to attract female audiences, and which reunites Renee Zellweger with Colin Firth and introduces Patrick Dempsey to the series, could only manage $8.2 million and a third place finish – some way behind the $15-$20 million pre-weekend projection.

Given that original film Bridget Jones’s Diary became a cultural phenomenon when it opened 15 years ago, this film’s performance was all the more disappointing and continued a generally disappointing summer for reboots and remakes.

Likewise, horror sequel Blair Witch also came in at the lower end of expectations. The film did open in second spot but took only $9.7 million – also well below the high teen predictions.

That said, Blair Witch isn’t a financial disaster, having cost only $5 million to make. Directed by Adam Wingard, the movie stars James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson and Valorie Curry.

Opening in fourth spot, meanwhile, was Oliver Stone’s political drama Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as infamous NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The film, which is hoping to become an awards contender, opened to $8 million but also drew positive feedback from those who saw it.

Indeed, the exit ratings prompted Open Road marketing president Jonathan Helfgot to issue the following statement on the film’s performance: “Snowden is a smart and provocative thriller that connected strongly with audiences.

“While we’d like to have seen a slightly bigger number for the opening weekend, we are very encouraged by the A Cinemascore and exit polls and we expect the movie to thrive for several more weeks.”

Rounding out the US top five, meanwhile, was horror title Don’t Beathe, which took a further $5.6 million to add to its $75.3 million haul.

Going back to Bridget Jones’s Baby, the news was better for the film overseas, where it opened to a rousing $29.9 million from 38 markets, including a first-place finish in 24 of those countries.

Leading those was the UK with a record-breaking $11.3 million, the biggest launch ever for a romantic comedy and the biggest opening to date for Working Title.

Australia followed with $4.2 million, while the film also did well in Spain ($1.7 million). It means the film should easily recoup its $35 million production costs to turn a profit.

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