“Happy Death Day” has cause for celebration.
The latest from Blumhouse and Universal is leading the box office this weekend with $26.5 million from 3,149 locations. That puts it far ahead of “Blade Runner 2049,” which is skidding to $15.1 million during its second weekend at 4,058 locations, down 54% from its disappointing opening weekend.
A horror spin on “Groundhog Day,” “Happy Death Day” centers on Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) as a woman who wakes up to the same day — her birthday — every day, and is murdered every time. Christopher B. Landon directed the film based on a script by Scott Lobdell. The film, which earned a B CinemaScore (good for a horror flick), particularly appealed to female and younger moviegoers — the audience was split 54% female, as opposed to 46% male, and 63% was under age 25. The release date was pegged to Friday the 13th and the weeks leading up to Halloween.
“We’re obviously thrilled with the release,” said Universal’s executive VP of domestic distribution Jim Orr. “It’s an original, scary, and exciting twist on the genre,” he added, pointing to the studio’s successful partnership with Blumhouse. “They bring a lot more to the table than the standard genre fare.”
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Earlier this year in January, Blumhouse’s “Split” opened to a monster $40 million in January, and went on to earn $278.3 million worldwide. Then, the next month, “Get Out” was a smash hit as well with a $33.4 million opening and $253.1 million in global grosses by the end of its run. The production house is also responsible for the hugely profitable “Purge” and “Paranormal Activity” franchises.
Otherwise, “The Foreigner” — a U.S.-China co-production between STXfilms, SR Media, and Wanda — is opening to $12.8 million from 2,515 locations. The Jackie Chan-starrer started its international rollout on Sept. 30, and has tallied $88 million overseas so far. “Casino Royale” director Martin Campbell made the $35 million flick, which also stars Pierce Brosnan as a British government official.
And two biopics are struggling to draw significant grosses. Open Road’s “Marshall” is opening to $3 million from 821 locations, and Annapurna’s “Professor Marston & The Wonder Women” is barely making a dent with $737,000 from 1,229 locations. Both films have been praised by critics — “Marshall” currently has an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes and “Wonder Women” has earned an 87% rating.
“It” remains in the top five this weekend, as horror continues to dominate the box office. In its sixth weekend, the Warner Bros. and New Line release is grossing $6 million from 3,176 spots. Rounding out the top five is Fox’s “The Mountain Between Us,” which is taking in $5.7 million from 3,259 locations.
The rest of the top ten this weekend is Universal’s “American Made” ($5.4 million, 3,098 locations); Fox’s “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” ($5.3 million, 2,982 locations); Warner Bros.’ “The Lego Ninjago Movie”($4.3 million, 3,053 locations); Lionsgate’s “My Little Pony: The Movie” ($4 million, 2,528 locations); and Focus Features’ “Victoria and Abdul” ($3.1 million, 900 locations).