LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Elisabeth Moss-led thriller The Invisible Man rode a wave of good reviews to a very visible spot atop the box office this weekend.
Universal Pictures last Sunday estimated that the film from writer-director Leigh Whannell earned USD29 million from North American theatres.
Internationally, the Blumhouse production picked up an additional USD20.2 million.
Whannell helped dust off the classic HG Wells story and update it for modern audiences by focussing on Moss’ victim character instead of the Invisible Man character, who here is an abusive ex-boyfriend.
The Invisible Man carried a relatively modest budget, costing under USD10 million to produce, and exceeded expectations by a few million dollars.
The film, which had been well-received by critics, drew diverse audiences to the theatres (46 per cent Caucasian, 20 per cent African American and 18 per cent Hispanic), according to exit polls.
“We couldn’t be more pleased,” said Universal’s President of Domestic Distribution Jim Orr. “(Whannell) brought this century-old character to life in a very clever and relevant way.”
The studio expects it to continue to play well into March, although it will have some extra competition when A Quiet Place Part II opens on March 20.
Paramount Pictures’ Sonic the Hedgehog slid to second place in its third weekend in theatres adding USD16 million and bringing its domestic total to USD128.3 million. The Call of the Wild, with Harrison Ford, was placed third in its second weekend with USD13.2 million.
Fourth place went to the anime superhero film My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising which opened to USD6.3 million from just 1,260 screens.
“We should never underestimate films like this that may not have broad recognition among the general public,” said Comscore’s senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.
Bad Boys for Life rounded out the top five with USD4.3 million in its seventh weekend.
The Will Smith and Martin Lawrence movie is just shy of reaching the USD200 million mark in North America and has earned over USD400 million globally.
In limited release, Wendy, Benh Zeitlin’s long-awaited follow-up to his Oscar-nominated film Beasts of the Southern Wild, got off to a bumpy start with just USD30,000 from four theatres. The Peter Pan-inspired film has garnered mixed reviews from critics and will be expanding in the coming weeks.
Although it’s still early in the year, overall the box office is up nearly 3.5 per cent. “This weekend it was business as usual in North American theatres,” Dergarabedian said. “People went to the movies to escape the trials and tribulations of the real world.”