Sully: Eastwood’s Mid-Range Box Office Success

Clint Eastwood’s Sully, starring Tom Hanks, won the weekend’s domestic box office with about $25 million at around 3,400 locations.

Warner is opening “Sully” about seven years after Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger successfully landed a damaged US Airways jet in the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from La Guardia Airport.

Clint Eastwood directed from a script by Todd Komarnicki, based on the autobiography “Highest Duty” by Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow.

“Sully” premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on Friday and has received positive largely reviews with a current 77% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Anna Gunn, Autumn Reeser, Holt McCallany, Jamey Sheridan, and Jerry Ferrara are in supporting roles. This marks the first time that Hanks and Eastwood have collaborated.

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Box office trackers are expecting “Sully” to launch in the same range as two titles — Hanks’ 2012 hostage drama “Captain Phillips,” which opened with $25.7 million on its way to a domestic total of $107 million; and Denzel Washington’s 2013 airline drama “Flight,” which launched with $24.9 million and grossed $93 million domestically.

Hanks’ most recent major release was last fall’s “Bridge of Spies,” which opened with $15 million for Universal.  Spielberg’s espionage drama showed solid staying power with a $72 million total.

“Sully” has a production budget of about $60 million, so it will need to show holdover strength in the following weekends to make it into profitable territory. Village Roadshow Pictures is a co-producer and co-financier with Warner Bros.

Three other titles are opening this weekend — Sony-Screen Gems’ “When the Bough Breaks” at about 2,200 sites; Lionsgate’s animated family comedy “The Wild Life” at 2,200 locations; and Relativity Media’s horror film “The Disappointments Roof” at about 1,500 screens.

“When the Bough Breaks” will probably lead the trio, based on forecasts in the $10 million to $12 million range. That’s a decent start, given its modest $10 million production budget.

Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall portray a couple who desperately wants a baby and decides to hire a surrogate, played by Jaz Sinclair, who develops a psychotic fixation on the husband as the pregnancy progresses.

“When the Bough Breaks” is directed by Jon Cassar from a script by Jack Olsen. Former New Line toppers Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne are producing through their Unique Features production company.

“The Wild Life” is a Belgian-French adventure-comedy based on “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe told from the point of view of the island’s animals, including an exuberant parrot, a goat, a tapir, a kingfisher, and a chameleon.

“The Disappointments Room,” starring Kate Beckinsale and Lucas Till as a couple who moves into a rural dream house, was shot in 2014 by D.J. Caruso prior to Relativity’s bankruptcy and reorganization. The story centers on a secret room hidden within the attic. It’s the first Relativity title to hit the market since the mini-studio emerged from bankruptcy in April.

Relativity decided recently to move the film up by two months. “The Disappointments Room” has a $15 million budget.

“The Wild Life” and “The Disappointments Room” will probably finish in the single digits. Sony’s third weekend of “Don’t Breathe,” which has led in the last two frames, may wind up in second place after taking in a surprisingly strong $55 million in its first 11 days.