The Predator leads the box office

Monday, September 17, 2018

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Predator is at the top of the food chain in its first weekend in cinemas.

According to 20th Century Fox, the film earned an estimated $24 million from more than 4,000 North American cinemas.

But, with an $88 million production price tag, the Shane Black-directed instalment in the 30-year-old franchise will be looking to international receipts to offset the cost. This weekend, it earned $30.7 million from 72 foreign markets, bringing the global total to US$54.7 million.

Domestic audiences were largely male (62 per cent) and white (45 per cent), and underwhelmed, giving the movie a C+ CinemaScore that echoed the tepid critical response.

Starring Olivia Munn, Sterling K Brown and Boyd Holbrook, The Predator made headlines just weeks before opening when the studio cut a scene that featured an actor who was a registered sex offender. It did not appear to have affected the film's box office performance.

“Any conversation raises awareness,” said comScore Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “If people are talking about it then they're aware of the movie.”

Second place went to the Conjuring spin-off The Nun, which added US$18.2 million in its second weekend. The horror pic has now grossed over US$85 million.

Lionsgate's A Simple Favor opened close behind in third place with US$16.1 million. The film from director Paul Feig stars Anna Kendrick as a mommy blogger investigating the disappearance of her friend, played by Blake Lively. Feig has referred to it as a “friller”, a fun thriller. Female moviegoers drove the solid opening, making up 67 per cent of the audience.

“It stood out in the marketplace,” said David Spitz, Lionsgate's distribution president. “It kind of became an event film. That's why we exceeded expectations.”

With a B+ CinemaScore, an older audience that doesn't rush out to theatres opening weekend, and positive reviews, the studio expects the film will continue to play well over the coming weeks.

Fourth and fifth places were neck and neck. According to Sunday's estimates, White Boy Rick, with US$8.8 million, had a slight advantage over Crazy Rich Asians, which added US$8.7 million and is just shy of hitting US$150 million.

White Boy Rick, based on a true story and starring Matthew McConaughey as the father of a teenage FBI informant, opened in 2,504 cinemas.

The Christian film U nbroken: Path to Redemption debuted in the number nine spot with $2.4 million. It's based on Laura Hillenbrand's novel about Olympian and World War II veteran Louis Zamperini and picks up where Unbroken left off.

September is often a slow time at the box office, making a US$24-million launch somewhat notable, according to Dergarabedian. But while the year to date is still up nearly nine per cent, the weekend itself is down 5.8 per cent from last year when It was still terrifying audiences and breaking records.

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