Trio of Newcomers Can’t Topple Suicide Squad


You’d assume a so-called suicide squad wouldn’t last very long. I mean, an expiration date is sort of suggested by the name, right? People who take part in suicide missions understand that they’re probably not coming back.

But Warner Brothers’ Suicide Squad is the exception. It keeps coming back … to No. 1.

For the third straight weekend, DC’s critically panned but increasingly lucrative Suicide Squad won the box office title, raking in another estimated $20.7 million. Deadshot, Harley Quinn et al. have now earned $262.3 million stateside, which you’d think would be enough to bail out at least one of them. (Not that Warner Bros. will let them escape before they make a sequel or two.)

The foul food film Sausage Party took the silver medal for the second straight week—mustarding just enough to beat a trio of newcomers, but not quite enough to ketchup to Suicide Squad. Still, I’m sure that Sony is still relishing the success.

War Dogs, an R-rated … thriller? Comedy? Political think piece? Well, whatever it is, it finished third with $14.3 million. In fourth place, Kubo and the Two Strings didn’t exactly fold, but it hardly flew. The well-regarded animated movie creased its way to $12.6 million.

Ben-Hur, a movie that once again proves that there’s nothing cooler than a good ol’ chariot competition, apparently lost a horse or two before the box office race even began. Paramount spent $100 million making the thing, and it hoped that audiences—particularly evangelical Christian audiences—would flock to theaters and make this new Ben-Hur a worthy successor to the iconic, Oscar-winning 1959 classic starring Charlton Heston. Instead, it burbled to the bottom of the box office’s Top Five like a leaky Roman slave galley.

And it may sink farther yet. As of press time, studio estimates give Ben-Hur $11,350,000—just a touch higher than the $11,331,000 that Disney’s woefully underappreciated Pete’s Dragon reportedly earned. It’s very possible, though, that these two box-office disappointments could flip-flop when the official numbers come in later this afternoon. Watch for updates.

Final figures update: 1. Suicide Squad, $20.9 million; 2. Sausage Party, $15.5 million; 3. War Dogs, $14.7 million; 4. Kubo and the Two Strings, $12.6 million; 5. Pete’s Dragon, $11.3 million; 6. Ben-Hur, $11.2 million.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

charitysplace More than 1 year ago

I thought Ben-Hur was a well-acted, powerful film that focuses on the fall-out of Judah’s desire to pursue revenge, and his ultimate choice to embrace love, forgiveness, and redemption. The characters are well drawn, and acted; the script never lags, although it requires a little familiarity on the audience’s part when it comes to the zealot uprising; the cast is terrific, and the chariot race is suspenseful and brutal, without being too gory. As someone familiar with the period, I loved the costuming design, the emphasis on the Roman occupation, and how the script wove in the political upheaval of the time. The ending may seem a little optimistic under the circumstances, but I value any story that encourages belief that Christ can transform a life, bleed out into others’ emotions, and urge them to extend similar forgiveness. Don’t let the fact that it “remakes a classic” throw you off; go see it with an open mind and heart, and decide for yourself.

(My only nitpick? Pilate, what are you doing with a full beard, son? You shame your Roman ancestors! ;)