Weekend box office: 'Sausage Party' beats 'Pete's Dragon' with $33.6M

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Did 'Sausage Party' Conquer 'Pete's Dragon' at the Box Office? | Top 5 Box Office Report

David Ayer's much-debated Suicide Squad may have stayed No. 1 in its second outing, but the true hero of the late summer box-office barbeque was Sausage Party, which came in ahead of predictions to score the best opening for an R-rated comedy in at least a year with $33.6 million from 3,103 theaters.

Originality paid off big time for Sausage Party in a season otherwise dominated by a slew of sequels and remakes that have disappointed.

Case in point: Disney's CG/live-action hybrid Pete's Dragon, an update of the studio's 1977 film, opened to a subdued $21 million-$22 million from 3,702 locations despite being the first new family offering since July. At the same time, the film cost less than most Disney offerings at $65 million.

Overall, Suicide Squad claimed the weekend crown with $43.8 million from 4,255 theaters — a 67 percent drop from the $133.7 million collected last weekend. It's one of the biggest declines for a studio superhero movie, and for Warner Bros. and DC, it's deja vu all over again after Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice tumbled 69 percent earlier this year in its second weekend.

Read more: George Lucas, Mark Hamill and Ewan McGregor Remember Kenny Baker

That doesn't mean Suicide Squad is a slouch. The movie has now earned $465.4 million worldwide, including $222.9 million domestically and $242.5 million overseas, where it took in another $58.7 million over the weekend from 62 markets, easily enough to top the foreign chart. Placing No. 2 overseas was Illumination and Universal's The Secret Life of Pets, which grossed $40 million from 47 markets for a foreign total of $256.2 million and global tally of $592.6 million.

RELATED: See photos from the "Suicide Squad" premiere:

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Margot Robbie hit a total high note in a gorgeous Alexander McQueen gown that featured a gold sequined unicorn and a single sheer polka dot sleeve. Dark lips and a loose updo completed her knockout look. Celebrity hair stylist Renato Campora achieved her chic look with the help of KMS ADD VOLUME Volumizing Spray and KMS FREE SHAPE hot flex spray.

(Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)

Jared Leto emulated The Joker in a not-so-serious calf-length embroidered Gucci jacket, cropped slacks and green loafers.

(Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)

The front of the actor's ensemble featured military-esque gold buttons, dramatic lapels and more floral embroidery.

(Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)

Cara Delevingne oozed sex appeal in a sheer mesh two-piece top held together by punk-inspired safety pins. Thigh-high heeled boots completed her killer ensemble.

(Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)

Viola Davis played it safe in a simple silver wrap dress and navy velvet pumps. She finished off her look with a swipe of red lipstick, a white clutch and cuff bracelet.

(Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Will Smith rocked a brown suit with sleek shoes and a printed gray tie.

(Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Actress Karen Fukuhara dazzled in a gorgeous semi-sheer gown with organic embroidery.

(Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

Actor Jai Courtney stunned in a steel blue suit, white shirt sans tie and sharp shoes.

(Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

Jaden Smith looked uber cool in a bold striped jacket, skinny jeans and exposed socks. and unruly 'do completed his look.

(Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Actress Corina Calderon donned simple black spaghetti strap Zara Umrigar gown with a sweetheart neckline and sheer panel that exposed her tight tummy.

(Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

Shailyn Pierre-Dixon stunned in a futuristic two-piece set with floral details and sheer cutouts.

 (Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

Singer Skylar Grey flaunted her legs under a dramatic sheer skirt.

(Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

Jim Parrack donned a simple black suit and skinny tie.

(Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

Actress Leven Rambin wowed in a fun navy midi dress with a black chiffon mermaid skit and white lace trim.

(Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Actress Clare Foley attends the 'Suicide Squad' world premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Adam Beach and Summer Tiger attend the 'Suicide Squad' premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Singer/songwriter Kehlani attends the 'Suicide Squad' world premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Singer Grace attends the 'Suicide Squad' world premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Ike Barinholtz attends the world premiere of 'Suicide Squad' at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Harley Quinn Smith and father Kevin Smith attend the 'Suicide Squad' World Premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Alessandro Michele attends the world premiere of 'Suicide Squad' at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Scott Eastwood attends the world premiere of 'Suicide Squad' at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Frank Miller attends the world premiere of 'Suicide Squad' at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Actor Jim Parrack attends the 'Suicide Squad' world premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: President of DC Entertainment Diane Nelson attends the 'Suicide Squad' world premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Rapper G-Eazy attends the 'Suicide Squad' world premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: (L-R) Daniella Deutscher and Jay Hernandez attend the world premiere of 'Suicide Squad' at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Meghan McCarthy attends the world premiere of 'Suicide Squad' at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 1: Akemi Darenogare attends The World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures and Atlas Entertainment's 'Suicide Squad' at The Beacon Theatreq on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 1: Yolonda Ross attends The World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures and Atlas Entertainment's 'Suicide Squad' at The Beacon Theatreq on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Actor David Harbour attends the 'Suicide Squad' world premiere at The Beacon Theatre on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
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Sausage Party, which cost a modest $19 million to make, is a needed boost for Sony and another win for Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures, which developed the project on behalf of producing duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (This Is the End, The Interview). Comparisons are difficult since there haven't been a slew of R-rated animated comedies; in 1999, South Park — Bigger, Longer and Uncut debuted to $11.3 million ($19.3 million when adjusting for ticket-price inflation).

"It shows that if you are really original and take risks, it can pay off really well in today's marketplace. The humor was smart and elevated," said Sony worldwide president of distribution and marketing Josh Greenstein.

Generally speaking, R-rated comedies have been in a slump. Sausage Party, a pic about a brave sausage who is determined to find out what happens to hot dogs once they leave the grocery store shelf, is an exception. Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon directed the raunchy movie, which drew strong reviews but only a B CinemaScore from audiences (considering the subject matter, the grade from moviegoers isn't a huge surprise.)

Read more: Why 'Suicide Squad' Is the Spiritual Sequel to 'Batman & Robin'

Pete's Dragon earned a glowing A CinemaScore from those who did turn out, as well as strong reviews (it boasts an 85 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to 82 percent for Sausage Party). Disney is hopeful that this will spark strong word-of-mouth before kids return to school. David Lowery directed the film, which stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley and Robert Redford.

"I know we are usually in more of the home-run tentpole business, but this is a solid single, maybe a double, pending the 75 percent of overseas business to come. If anything, this result gives us a business case to consider other library titles that warrant the singles/doubles treatment," said Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis, adding that Planes (2013), also released in the month of August, had a four multiple.

Overseas, Pete's Dragon opened to $5.1 million from its first 12 markets for a global debut of $26.6 million.

The weekend's third new nationwide entry, Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, debuted to a subdued $6.9 million, on par with last summer's Streep film, Ricki and the Flash. Florence Foster Jenkins is an adult play, so it rolled out in far fewer locations that its rivals, or 1,528 locations.

Stephen Frears directed the pic, which is based on the real-life story of a New York heiress who bought a career as an opera star only to be ridiculed. Produced by Pathe and BBC Films and distributed by Paramount, Florence Foster Jenkins, which earned an A- CinemaScore, skewed female (61 percent), while just 3 percent of ticket buyers were under the age of 25.

Read more: 'Hell or High Water': Cannes Review

CBS Films and distribution partner Lionsgate scored at the specialty box office with director David Mackenzie'sHell or High Water, the critically acclaimed heist thriller starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Gil Birmingham. Sidney Kimmel Entertainment developed, co-financed and co-produced the film with OddLot Entertainment.

The modern-day Western, opening in both traditional art house theaters in New York and Los Angeles as well as in commercial theaters in the Southwest, debuted to $592,000 from 31 locations for a stellar location average of $18,500. Hell or High Water, which got a jump on awards season by opening before the crush of fall films, boasts a 99 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Back on the top 10 chart, Universal's Jason Bourne placed No. 4 behind Suicide Squad, Sausage Party and Pete's Dragon with $13.6 million in its third weekend for a domestic total of $126.8 million.

And STX Entertainment's raunchy female comedy Bad Moms rounded out the top five, falling a slim 18 percent in its third frame to $11.5 million for a domestic total of $71.5 million (like Sausage Party, it's overcoming the R-rated comedy blues).

Read more: Critic's Notebook: Is Meryl Streep Coasting With Roles Like 'Florence Foster Jenkins'?

Read more: Weekend Box Office 8/14/16


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