Box Office: “Ben-Hur” bombs, “Kubo” underwhelms

kuboSo it’s to be another weekend won by that limp Warner Brothers comic book actioner, “Suicide Squad.” Because none of the new releases has a prayer of pushing it off the top spot, despite the downward spiral of ticket sales for a blockbuster that’s been out for three weeks.

“Squad” will earn $19 million or so by Sunday, based on Friday’s sales. “Sausage Party” opened huge and earned much better reviews, but it too is  hemorrhaging audience and will only hit the mid-teens this weekend.

Which is just a little better than the buddy dramedy “War Dogs,” an underwhelming pairing of Miles Teller, Jonah Hill and the director of “The Hangover” in a story of gun dealing going wrong.

Doesn’t have a “prayer” is what Paramount has to admit about the latest remake of “Ben-Hur.” A $100 million faith-based epic that twists the New Testament and fails to be “epic” in more than a couple of scenes, starring a cast of little-knowns (and Morgan Freeman), it will be lucky to break $12 million this weekend.

Money poorly spent, as this past spring’s “Risen,” earned just as much and cost a fraction of that.

The weekend’s best new movie, “Kubo and the Two Strings,” is on a lot of screens and is only managing about $13 million itself. If only parents could figure out that Laika (“Coraline”, “ParaNorman”) is a more entertaining and enriching animation bet than Pixar, lately, these stop-motion classics would be blockbusters. But no.

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