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Box Office: ‘Sausage Party’ to Devour ‘Pete’s Dragon’; ‘Suicide Squad’ Reigns, Despite Sharp Decline

Sausage Party’s” box office appetite is growing by the minute.

Pegged at $15 million earlier this week, “Sausage Party” could devour as much as $35 million this weekend from 3,103 theaters — a sizzling turnout considering its $19 million price tag. More modest estimates, however, have the film in the mid-$20 million range.

The raunchy, R-rated comedy is now flying past the weekend’s expected runner-up, “Pete’s Dragon.”

Directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, the “Sausage Party” cast is lead by co-writer Seth Rogen and also includes Michael Cera, James Franco, Salma Hayek, Jonah Hill, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Danny McBride, Edward Norton, Paul Rudd, and Kristen Wiig. The adult animated film is about an assortment of supermarket food items that devise a plan to escape upon learning that their fate is consumption.

Despite a trio of box office arrivals in “Sausage Party,” “Pete’s Dragon,” and “Florence Foster Jenkins,” “Suicide Squad” looks to fight off the newcomers, according to early estimates on Friday.

The Warner Bros. supervillain tentpole is taking aim at a second week in the $45 million to $49 million range on 4,255 screens. The film smashed August records with a $133.7 million opening weekend, despite receiving mostly negative reviews.

Its second frame looks to amount to about a 63% to 66% decline. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which was also panned by critics, saw a 69% decline in its second weekend after a $166 million opening.

Overseas, “Suicide Squad” is nearing the $200 million milestone. After Wednesday and Thursday international grosses were totaled, the film reached $191.5 million. Its largest markets are the U.K. ($23.7 million); Brazil ($17.2 million); Russia ($16.3 million) and Mexico ($15.3 million). In Russia, “Suicide Squad” has overtaken the entire of “Batman v Superman” and in Mexico, it has surpassed the entire run of “Guardian of the Galaxy.”

The trio of newcomers, meanwhile, have received favorable critiques and currently all sit above 80% on Rotten Tomatoes: “Sausage Party” (83%); “Pete’s Dragon” (84%); “Florence Foster Jenkins” (88%).

Despite skipping Thursday previews, Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” is taking off in the $21 million to $23 million range at 3,702 locations. The remake of Disney’s 1977 original about a boy and his dragon, Elliot, stars Bryce Dallas Howard and Oakes Fegley.

Forecasts show “Florence Foster Jenkins” — playing in 1,528 theaters — reeling in about $6 million in its opening weekend. The film, from Paramount, is already generating Oscar buzz for performances from Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. Stephen Frears directed the story of a wealthy, yet terrible aspiring opera singer who doesn’t realize her vocal limitations.

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore, said that positive reviews for the trio of new films this weekend should result in crowds and social media buzz.

Still, his sights are set on the future: “Though heading into the weekend we are running 1.5% ahead of last summer, comps are about to get tougher when balanced against the stunning year-ago $60.2 million debut of ‘Straight Outta Compton.'”

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