With the summer film season at its close, this past weekend saw the release of a few big films. The comedy-drama War Dogs, starring Miles Teller and Jonah Hill, tells the story of two young men who, after inexplicably winning a $300 million contract from the U.S. government, find themselves dealing with some extremely shady people in dangerous circumstances. Animated feature, Kubo and the Two Strings , is the story of Kubo, a young boy, on a journey with Monkey and Beetle, to save his family, after he summons a dangerous spirit. And Ben-Hur is a retelling of the classic tale of vengeance between two brothers.
So, with such a range of films, which one took the MoviePass Member Top Spot?
#1: WAR DOGS–Claiming this weekend’s #1 spot amongst MoviePass members was the Teller/Hill action comedy, War Dogs. Accounting for 22.10% of this weekend’s check-ins, the film claimed slightly less than twice the amount of this weekend’s #2 entry. Domestically, it debuted at #3, after the reigning Suicide Squad and a favorite from last weekend, Sausage Party. During its opening weekend, the comedy grossed $14.3 million at approximately, 3,258 theaters. Overall, the film’s reviews are pretty lukewarm with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 58%. Yet, despite the reviews, The New York Times states we shouldn’t analyze the movie too greatly, but rather, “just enjoy the insane ride.” Variety gave the film a glowing review, stating, “director Todd Phillips, has made his first terrific movie for grown-ups.”
#2: KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS—At #2 among MoviePass members was the Laika animation, Kubo and the Two Strings which claimed 11.86% of this weekend’s member check-ins. With a star-studded cast that includes Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, and Ralph Fiennes, the film only debuted at #4 domestically, grossing $12.61 million. Despite the film’s incredibly positive reviews, its gross was a bit softer than expected. Perhaps, Suicide Squad’s grip on the #1 spot domestically, provides somewhat of an explanation. If you’ve seen Coraline (2009), Paranorman (2012), or The Boxtrolls (2014), or even if you haven’t, you should definitely see Kubo. And if you’re that enthusiastic, here’s a glimpse at some Kubo magic.
#3: HELL OF HIGH WATER— This weekend, staking its claim in the MoviePass Member Top 5 was what Rolling Stone Magazine called this “summer’s sleeper hit,” Hell or High Water. Starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster, and Jeff Bridges, this crime drama tells the story of two brothers who go on a bank robbery spree in West Texas, in an attempt to save their property from foreclosure. The film claimed 10.19% of this weekend’s member check-ins, giving it the #3 spot amongst members. Domestically, the film ranks at #12, earning $2.65 million during its second weekend in theaters. A run in an additional 440 theaters, raised the film’s ranking seven spots, from a mere #19 in its debut weekend. In a summer filled with movies that haven’t managed to live up to expectations, Hell or High Water is certainly a welcome relief. After all, a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes, can’t be wrong.
#4: SAUSAGE PARTY—Earning this weekend’s #4 spot amongst MoviePass members was last weekend’s favorite, Sausage Party. In its second weekend, the film claimed 8.67% of member check-ins. Domestically, the film kept its #2 ranking, grossing $15.33 million. From the mind of Seth Rogen and featuring the talent of Kristen Wiig, James Franco, and Jonah Hill, the film is the definition of “adult comedy,” yet surprisingly, in Sweden, the film was deemed suitable for children.
#5: BEN-HUR—Rounding out the MoviePass Member Top 5 is the 2016 remake of the biblical tale, Ben-Hur. During its opening weekend, the film claimed 8.03% of member check-ins. Domestically, it had a soft opening, debuting at #5 with a gross of $11.35 million. Unfortunately, mostly negative reviews, dealt the film a tough blow. Despite its $100 million budget, the film failed to attract a large audience this weekend; however, The Wall Street Journal does cite praise from religious audiences for a rather accurate retelling of the tale.
Now that the summer movie season has ended, it’s time to look ahead. And this weekend’s selection is the perfect way to bid summer “adieu.” With horror movies fairing well in recent months, we’re excited to see Don’t Breathe. Jason Statham in Mechanic: Resurrection is a nice way to wean us off of summer’s adrenaline. And for a little drama, we’re looking forward to the Robert DeNiro headlined, Hands of Stone.