"Suicide Squad", which has had a problem sliding in grosses each week, handily stayed at No. 1.
The film picked up a $20.7 million (GBP15.9 million) weekend haul to take its three-week tally to $262.3 million (GBP200.6 million). So far, Suicide Squad has raked in $572.7 million worldwide.
Animated comedy Sausage Party was also a non-mover, taking $15.3m (£11.7m) to retain its number two position. Sausage Party and War Dogs trailed close behind. Marketed to feel like The Hangover movies with guns and ammo, the comedy pulled in $14.3 million.
"Kubo and the Two Strings", an animated feature about a boy seeking his destiny in mystical Japan, grossed $12.6 million. Laika, the same studio to give us The Boxtrolls and Coraline, specialize in stop-motion animation, but their movies are not bonafide hits.
Critically acclaimed heist film Hell or High Water, from CBS Films and Lionsgate (NYSE:LGF), continued to do nice business in its limited rollout, grossing $2.7-M as it expanded from 32 theaters to a total of 472 for an early domestic take of $3.5-M. But heed my advice and make a point to see it as Kubo bedazzles.
Though the director of the new "Ben-Hur", Timur Bekmambetov ("Wanted", "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"), put a thrilling chariot race in his movie, along with a few other above-average action sequences, it's nowhere close to delivering on the dramatics or story strength of the Heston version (even with Bekmambetov's having a scene in which Jesus is crucified). It was also co-written by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, Red Tails). However, while the movie may have met the analysts predictions, it certainly came in well under the studios hope of $20 million domestically. Time Warner Inc.'sWarner Bros. released the movie. Can any of them topple Suicide Squad?
The film was meant to reach out to a religious audience, Paramount said to have screened the film to numerous pastors before release. Completing the top ten was Meryl Streep's Florence Foster Jenkins.
"Ben-Hur" didn't have a prayer at the box office.
It is the fourth big screen iteration of Lew Wallace's best-selling 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, following silent versions in 1907 and 1925, and William Wyler's 1959 opus, which won 11 Oscars.
Join us next week as a trio of new releases open, including the new horror film Don't Breathe, the sequel Mechanic: Resurrection and the boxing drama Hands of Stone.