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Box office hits and misses: ‘The Girl on the Train’ wins while ‘Finding Dory’ hits milestone

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Pixar Animation Studios

There was no shortage of drama on the screen over the weekend, with new releases The Girl on the Train and The Birth of a Nation both enjoying top-ten premieres — but one film had a much better time of it than its counterpart.

Director Tate Taylor’s adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ best-selling novel The Girl on the Train finished atop the weekend box office with a $24.6 million debut, despite relatively poor reviews from professional critics and general audiences. The tense drama starring Emily Blunt cut short the one-week reign of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children at the top of the domestic box-office rankings and bumped Tim Burton’s fantasy film down to second place.

Related: ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children’ review

The scenario was flipped for Nate Parker’s slave-rebellion drama The Birth of a Nation, which earned a mere $7.1 million — well below expectations for the festival darling — despite earning overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and general audiences.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. The Girl on the Train $24.6M $24.6M $41.1M
2. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children $15M $51M $145M
3. Deepwater Horizon $11.7M $38.5M $66.3M
4. The Magnificent Seven $9.1M $75.9M $134.6M
5. Storks $8.4M $50.1M $106.1M
6. The Birth of a Nation $7.1M $7.1M $7.1M
7. Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life $6.9M $6.9M $6.9M
8. Sully $5.2M $113.4M $167.1M
9. Masterminds $4.1M $12.7M $12.7M
10. Queen of Katwe $1.6M $5.3M $5.3M

The weekend also featured a landmark moment for Finding Dory, Pixar’s wildly successful, animated sequel to Finding Nemo, which crossed the $1 billion mark worldwide. The film is just the second Pixar project to pass that mark (after 2010’s Toy Story 3), and the third Disney release to earn at least $1 billion worldwide this year alone (after Captain America: Civil War and Zootopia). Finding Dory now ranks as the highest-grossing animated film of all time domestically with $484 million in U.S. theaters as of October 9, and the fifth highest-grossing animated film of all time worldwide.

The upcoming week isn’t expected to be a big one at the box office, with Ben Affleck’s thriller The Accountant the favorite to win the weekend, and the big-screen adaptation of the Max Steel toy franchise also hitting theaters.