“Sully,” the Warner Bros. drama about the heroics of US Airways pilot Sully Sullenberger, led the box office for a second weekend, fending off challenges from several new releases, including the horror remake “Blair Witch.”
The film, which courted controversy with its take on the jet’s landing in the Hudson River in 2009, collected an estimated $21.7 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters, ComScore Inc. said Monday in a statement. A new take on “The Blair Witch Project,” a 1999 film, landed in second place, while the sequel “Bridget Jones’s Baby” placed third and “Snowden” was fourth.
“Blair Witch” and “Bridget Jones’s Baby” came to theaters more than a decade after their previous installments. Both also under-performed some estimates while competing for moviegoers with “Sully,” which starred Tom Hanks.
“Blair Witch” generated $9.6 million, less than half the $20.5 million anticipated by analysts at BoxOfficePro.com. The film arrives 17 years after “The Blair Witch Project,” one of the most profitable movies of all time. The new movie was made for $5 million, according to Box Office Mojo, a tiny sum compared to today’s mega-budget films.
The new Lions Gate release also uses filming techniques that made the first “Blair Witch” famous. A young man finds a video showing his sister’s experiences in a demonic forest and heads out with friends to find her. The original movie, with its found footage, left audiences wondering if the story was real.
“Bridget Jones’s Baby” is the third installment in the series about a single British woman looking for love. In the new film, she becomes pregnant and doesn’t know who the father is. Renee Zellweger returns in the lead role, with Colin Firth back as Mark Darcy. It collected an estimated $8.6 million, compared with an projection of $12.1 million by Hollywood Stock Exchange.
The third wide release of the weekend, “Snowden,” was directed by Oliver Stone and features Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the federal employee who revealed the U.S. government’s post-Sept. 11 surveillance programs. It generated $8 million, compared with the forecast of $6 million from BoxOfficePro.com.