‘Sully’ lands at No. 1 in weekend win for director Eastwood

“Sully,” the Clint Eastwood-directed story of the pilot who landed a crippled passenger jet in the Hudson River, led the box office in its debut, outdrawing three other new pictures in wide release.

The Warner Bros. drama collected an estimated $35.5 million in the U.S. and Canada, ComScore Inc. said Sunday in a statement. Sony Corp.’s thriller “When the Bough Breaks” opened at No. 2, while the animated feature “The Wild Life” from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. touched down in fifth place and Relativity Media’s horror film “The Disappointments Room” didn’t make the top 10.

“Sully” kicks off the fall movie season, when Hollywood studios roll out their most award-worthy films and performances. The season is marked by adult dramas, film festivals and industry awards that culminate with the Oscars in February.

Tom Hanks stars as Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the US Airways pilot who safely landed his Airbus A320 in the Hudson River in 2009 after losing both engines to bird strikes. The film scored highly with critics, with 83 percent positive reviews at Rottentomatoes.com. The big screen interpretation of the pilot’s own memoir was contradicted by air crash investigators.

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The picture was forecast to debut with sales $30 million, according to analysts at BoxOfficePro.com. It cost $60 million to produce, not including marketing, according to researcher Box Office Mojo.

“When The Bough Breaks” features Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall as a childless couple who engage a surrogate that becomes psychotic and dangerous. The film opened with $15 million in sales, missing the $17.7 million estimate from Hollywood Stock Exchange. It cost $10 million to make, according to Box Office Mojo.

In “The Wild Life,” the story of Robinson Crusoe is retold by animals on the island he inhabited. The movie opened with weekend sales of $3.4 million, compared with the $2 million to $5 million projected by Doug Stone of Box Office Analyst.