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.
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|
|4.||The Magnificent Seven||$9.1M||$75.9M||$134.6M|
|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|
|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.