Weekend Box Office: Matt Damon’s Return Was Worth About $22 Million For ‘Jason Bourne’

Matt Damon tried to leave the Bourne franchise in the last movie, handing Bourning duties off to Jeremy Renner in The Bourne BaBournity (actually The Bourne Legacy according to “facts”), but the studio just couldn’t let him go. And now we know why. Jason Bourne earned an estimated $60 million domestically this weekend (half the budget), way up from The Bourne Legacy‘s $38 million in 2012. The Bourne movies have thus far had openings of $27 million, for Identity, in 2002, $52 million, for Supremacy, in 2004, $69 million (nice), for Ultimatum, in 2007, and now $60 million. Worldwide, Jason Bourne added another $50.1 million from 46 markets.

 …the 13.4% drop compared to Ultimatum is just a fraction off the average 2016 sequel performance, which now has films opening 14.4% below their predecessors (excluding My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2). [BoxOfficeMojo]

So what does that mean for Bourne? Well, the short answer is that it’s mostly pretty good.

…even Bourne Legacy had a decent 2.9x weekend-to-final multiplier (the other two sequels had 3.2 and 3.3x multipliers). So if it plays like the last film we’ve got a $174 million cume which automatically makes it the second-biggest live-action movie of the summer by default. [Forbes]

Either Matt Damon is still a bigger box office draw than Jeremy Renner, or audience just couldn’t accept the idea of two totally different secret agents both getting amnesia (did Renner’s character get amnesia in The Bourne Legacy? I am not looking this up).

Jason Bourne received an A- Cinemascore, pretty standard for a Bourne movie, which range from A (Ultimatum) to B (Legacy). From critics, however, it received 57%, barely better than Legacy‘s 56%. At this point, the audience for a Bourne movie is pretty self-selecting, which may explain the audience/critic discrepancy. I didn’t see it myself, since neither shaky cam nor gravely-delivered jargon dispensed in situation rooms are really my “thing.” (Give me robots with South African accents or give me death). Good for that Matt Damon though, he seems like a nice man. 55% of Jason Bourne‘s audience was male, with 60% over 35.

In third place and bordering on surprise hit status was STX’s Bad Moms, which puked up a $23.4 million debut from 3215 locations on a $20 million budget. That makes it the fifth-biggest R-rated opening of the year, ahead of Neighbors 2. Personally, I found it to be a pandering exercise in hoary stereotypes, but the audience clearly didn’t mind, giving it an A Cinemascore (better than Ghostbusters‘ B+, incidentally) from an audience that was 82% female and 48% over 34. The moms in my screening audience clearly didn’t mind being pandered to in a momsploitation film written and directed by men, as long as it was flattering, and that seemed to hold true overall. It received a 64% on RottenTomatoes.

This is going to be a major win for STX Entertainment. The newbie distributor has somewhat struggled to make good on its promise to be a haven for the kind of star-driven, mid-to-low budget mainstream entertainment that the bigger studios seem reluctant to distribute. [Forbes]

In its second weekend, Star Trek Beyond suffered a fairly precipitous 59.5% drop, with a cumulative box office of $105 million. Paramount won’t give up on the Star Trek franchise, but don’t expect them to drop $185 million making the next one like they did with this. Meanwhile, Ghostbusters dropped another 53% in its third weekend for $106 million total, another case of cost-way-too-much-to-make, with its $144 million budget.

The other new wide release this weekend was Nerve, from Lionsgate, starring celebrity relatives Dave Franco and Emma Roberts, which earned $9 million from 2538 theaters. That was below expectations, but not exactly disastrous, since it has earned $15 million total since opening on Wednesday and only cost $20 million to make. That one received another A- Cinemascore, and actually had the worst RottenTomatoes rating of this week’s new movies at 56%.

This weekend brings us Suicide Squad, meaning Jared Leto can finally stop method acting as a deranged clown from a cartoon, and go back to method acting as a sensitive rock star; and Nine Lives, starring Kevin Spacey as a cat. Shockingly I haven’t gotten a press invite to that one. You’d think that if you took the time to make a film with a concept as brilliant as “Kevin Spacey turns into a cat,” you’d want to show it to as many people as possible. “Look, everyone! See how hilarious Kevin Spacey playing a cat is?”

A cat doing chin ups. Classic.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Jason Bourne $60,000,000 $14,903 $60,000,000
2 Star Trek Beyond $24,000,000 (-59.5) $6,110 $105,720,000
3 Bad Moms $23,400,000 $7,278 $23,400,000
4 The Secret Life of Pets $18,210,000 (-38.5) $4,952 $296,177,000
5 Lights Out $10,810,000 (-50.2) 
$3,812 $42,877,000
6 Ice Age: Collision Course $10,500,000 (-50.9) $2,627 $42,109,000
7 Ghostbusters $9,800,000  (-53.4) $3,211 $106,171,000
8 Nerve $9,000,000 $3,546 $15,051,000
9 Finding Dory $4,220,000 (-41.7) $2,435 $469,012,000
10 The Legend of Tarzan $2,405,000 (-63.4) $1,600 $121,856,000

chart via ScreenCrush