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'Suicide Squad' Wins Third Straight Weekend at Box Office as 'Ben-Hur' Stumbles

"Suicide Squad" brought in $20.7 million at the U.S. box office this weekend, making it the top earner in theaters for the third straight week, while MGM/Paramount's $100 million "Ben-Hur" remake netted just $11.4 million in its first weekend of release.

The haul gives the Will Smith- and Margot Robbie-starring DC Comics vehicle $262.3 million in stateside gross, according to Variety, with Warner Bros Distribution Executive Vice President Jeff Goldstein telling the trade, "We're well on our way to $300 million domestically," and saying the film -- which was met with mixed reviews and saw a significant drop-off between its first two weeks -- is "in great shape." Deadline reports that the film has brought in 17% more than fellow August release "Guardians of the Galaxy" had brought in at the same point.

RELATED: Review Roundup: "Suicide Squad" Falls Short Despite Enjoyable Ensemble Cast

Seth Rogen's raunchy animated "Sausage Party" came in second place in its second week with a $15.3 million take, representing a 55% drop in ticket sales from its debut, but is expected to eventually hit $100 million in ticket sales.

Todd Phillips' "War Dogs" brought in $14.3 million in its first weekend of release, good for third place, while Disney's "Pete's Dragon" remake made $11.3 million.

But the big news was the failure of "Ben-Hur" to connect with audiences, after significant efforts by the studio to reach out to what was expected to be receptive faith-based communities around the country. The film was originally planned for a February release before being pushed back to late summer, when competition is expected to be thinner.

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