LOS ANGELES -- Three new wide releases offered an auspicious start to the fall box office season after a lackluster summer failed to recoup the deficit.
In first place, Focus Features' Downton Abbey film adaptation opened with an impressive $31 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore. Analysts projected the film would earn around $20 million.
The result is the biggest opening ever for Focus Features, beating previous record-holder Insidious: Chapter 3, which earned $22.7 million in 2015.
Downton Abbey began its international rollout two weekends back where it earned $11.7 million in 17 countries and posted the No. 1 opening in the United Kingdom with $6.3 million. Last week, it added $10 million in international receipts for a global cumulative of $61.8 million.
The long-awaited revival of the beloved British TV drama comes three years after the ITV series stopped airing in the United States as part of PBS' Masterpiece Classics. Michael Engler, who helmed several episodes, directed the film while series creator Julian Fellowes penned the script.
The film picks up about a year and a half from the events of the series' finale and centers around how the Earl of Grantham and his family prepare for a visit from the King and Queen of England. Almost all of the series' original cast members returned for the movie including Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville.
It was well-received with an A CinemaScore and an 85% fresh rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
In second place, Fox's Brad Pitt space drama Ad Astra debuted with $19.2 million, slightly above analyst projections of $17 million.
Directed by James Gray, the film follows an astronaut (Pitt) on a dangerous mission to uncover the truth about his missing father, a renegade scientist played by Tommy Lee Jones.
Despite its warm reception at the Venice Film Festival, the film struggled to resonate with moviegoers posting a B-minus CinemaScore despite an 81% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
At No. 3, Lionsgate and Millennium Films' Rambo: Last Blood premiered with $19 million, within range of analyst predictions of $17 million to $20 million.
The finale to the long-running Sylvester Stallone action franchise comes more than a decade after the studios initially rebooted the series with 2008's poorly reviewed Rambo. That film opened with $18 million on its way to $113 million in worldwide ticket sales.
The series kicked off in 1982 with Orion Films' First Blood. Since then the 73-year-old Stallone's star power has added fuel to other successful franchises including the recent Creed spinoffs from Rocky, as well as the Expendables series.
Last Blood earned a B CinemaScore but a 31% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
In fourth place, Warner Bros.' and New Line Cinema's It Chapter Two added $17.2 million in its third weekend (a 56% drop) for a cumulative $179.2 million. The film currently stands at $385.1 million globally.
Rounding out the top five, STX Entertainment's Hustlers added $17 million in its second weekend (a 49% drop) for a cumulative $62.5 million. It currently stands at $72 million in global receipts.
At No. 6, Disney's The Lion King added $2.6 million in its 10th weekend for a cumulative $537.6 million.
In seventh place, Universal's Good Boys added $2.5 million in its sixth weekend for a cumulative $77.3 million.
At No. 8, Lionsgate's Angel Has Fallen added $2.4 million in its fifth weekend for a cumulative $64.7 million.
In ninth place, Columbia's Overcomer added $1.5 million in its fifth weekend for a cumulative $31.6 million.
Rounding out the top 10, Universal's Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw added $1.46 million in its eighth weekend for a cumulative $170.6 million.
In limited release, Gunpowder & Sky opened Villains on 100 screens to $149,969 for a per-screen average of $1,499.
Sony Pictures Classics opened Where's My Roy Cohn? on 4 screens to $42,364 for a per-screen average of $10,591.
IFC Films opened Loro in one location to $5,567.
Neon and Participant expanded Monos into 10 additional locations (for a total of 15) to $52,493 for a per-screen average of $3,500 and a cumulative $121,645.
Amazon expanded Brittany Runs a Marathon into 1,033 locations in its fifth weekend to $1 million for a per-screen average of $1,011 and a cumulative $5.3 million.
Today, Universal releases the animation Abominable. In limited release, Roadside Attractions opens the Judy Garland drama Judy and IFC Films reveals the comedy The Day Shall Come.
MovieStyle on 09/27/2019
Print Headline: Downton Abbey film takes box office crown