Box office: R-rated animated film beats Disney family film

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An R-rated animated movie beat a Disney family film at the box office this week.

Sausage Party — a raunchy and violent cartoon about wieners, buns, bagels, tacos and other grocery-store items that learn to throw off the shackles of religion (they think the humans who buy them are “gods”) so that they can explore their sexuality — earned an estimated $33.6 million between Thursday and Sunday nights.

That’s easily the best opening ever for an R-rated animated film. Prior to this, the record probably belonged to South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, which opened to $11.3 million in 1999 — and that film, of course, was based on a hit TV show.

If the estimate holds, Sausage Party will also mark the second-best opening of any film with Seth Rogen in a lead role, behind the original Neighbors.

Sausage Party also had the fourth-best opening for an R-rated film this year — behind Deadpool, The Conjuring 2 and The Revenant — as well as the best opening of any animated release in August, beating Disney’s Planes (2013, $22.2 million).

Meanwhile, Disney’s remake of Pete’s Dragon, about an orphan who hangs out with a magical creature in a forest, landed in third place with $21.5 million.

And Florence Foster Jenkins, which stars Meryl Streep as a wealthy woman who can’t sing but gets an audience anyway, landed in eighth place with $6.6 million while playing on less than half the screens that the other two films were playing on.

Notably, all three of this week’s new wide releases were produced fairly inexpensively — so they are arguably in better financial shape than many of the year’s so-called blockbusters, which earned more money but had many more bills to pay.

Sausage Party and Florence Foster Jenkins both cost under $30 million, while Pete’s Dragon had a price tag of $65 million. Sausage Party has a particularly low budget for an animated film of its calibre; Pixar films typically cost $200 million to make, and films like The Secret Life of Pets still have budgets in the $75 million range.

Last week’s box-office champ Suicide Squad was #1 again this week, but it grossed only $43.8 million — a drop of 67.3% from its record-setting opening last week. That’s similar to the steep second-week drops that X-Men: Apocalypse and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had earlier this year (65.3% and 69.1% respectively).

Suicide Squad, budgeted at $175 million, has earned $222.9 million in North America so far and another $242.5 million overseas, for a global total of $465.4 million.

Meanwhile, in other box-office news…

Jason Bourne earned $13.6 million and ranked fourth in its third week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $126.8 million. The film has earned another $119.4 million overseas for a global total of $246.2 million.

Bad Moms earned $11.5 million and ranked fifth in its third week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $71.5 million. The film has earned another $13.6 million overseas for a global total of $85.1 million.

The Secret Life of Pets earned $8.8 million and ranked sixth in its sixth week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $335.9 million. The film has earned another $256.7 million overseas for a global total of $592.6 million.

Star Trek Beyond earned $6.8 million and ranked seventh in its fourth week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $139.7 million. The film has earned another $71.6 million overseas for a global total of $211.3 million.

Nine Lives earned $3.5 million and ranked ninth in its second week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $13.6 million. The film has earned another $796,919 overseas for a global total of $14.4 million.

And Lights Out earned $3.2 million and ranked tenth in its fourth week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $61.1 million. The film has earned another $36.9 million overseas for a global total of $98 million.

Now for a bit of extra data on the year’s top-grossing animated films:

In North America, The Secret Life of Pets now ranks 11th among animated films:

  • 2016 — Finding Dory (Pixar) — $476.8 million
  • 2004 — Shrek 2 (DreamWorks) — $441.2 million
  • 1994 — The Lion King (Disney) — $422.8 million
  • 2010 — Toy Story 3 (Pixar) — $415.0 million
  • 2013 — Frozen (Disney) — $400.7 million
  • 2003 — Finding Nemo (Pixar) — $380.8 million
  • 2013 — Despicable Me 2 (Universal) — $368.1 million
  • 2015 — Inside Out (Pixar) — $356.5 million
  • 2016 — Zootopia (Disney) — $341.3 million
  • 2015 — Minions (Universal) — $336 million
  • 2016 — The Secret Life of Pets (Universal) — $335.9 million
  • 2007 — Shrek the Third (DreamWorks) — $322.7 million

Overseas, Zootopia still ranks fifth:

  • 2013 — Frozen (Disney) — $875.7 million
  • 2015 — Minions (Universal) — $823.4 million
  • 2012 — Ice Age: Continental Drift (Fox) — $715.9 million
  • 2009 — Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox) — $690.1 million
  • 2016 — Zootopia (Disney) — $681.9 million
  • 2010 — Toy Story 3 (Pixar) — $648.2 million
  • 2013 — Despicable Me 2 (Universal) — $602.7 million
  • 1994 — The Lion King (Disney) — $564.7 million
  • 2003 — Finding Nemo (Pixar) — $555.9 million
  • 2012 — Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (DreamWorks) — $530.5 million

And worldwide, Finding Dory now ranks ninth (but it’s still only 22nd overseas):

  • 2013 — Frozen (Disney) — $400.7 + 875.7 = 1276.5 million
  • 2015 — Minions (Universal) — $336.0 + 823.4 = 1159.4 million
  • 2010 — Toy Story 3 (Pixar) — $415.0 + 648.2 = 1063.2 million
  • 2016 — Zootopia (Disney) — $341.3 + 681.9 = 1023.1 million
  • 1994 — The Lion King (Disney) — $422.8 + 564.7 = 987.5 million
  • 2013 — Despicable Me 2 (Universal) — $368.1 + 602.7 = 970.8 million
  • 2003 — Finding Nemo (Pixar) — $380.8 + 555.9 = 936.7 million
  • 2004 — Shrek 2 (DreamWorks) — $441.2 + 478.6 = 919.8 million
  • 2016 — Finding Dory (Pixar) — $476.8 + 420.6 = 897.4 million
  • 2009 — Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox) — $196.6 + 690.1 = 886.7 million

Next week brings us War Dogs, Kubo and the Two Strings and, yes, Ben-Hur.

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