×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart’s ‘Night School’ Squashes ‘Smallfoot’ With $28 Million

Even an adorable Yeti was no match for the comedic team of Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart.

Universal’s comedy “Night School” topped the domestic box office with $28 million from 3,010 locations. Fellow newcomer “Smallfoot,” Warner Bros.’ animated family film, came in close behind with $23 million when it launched in 4,100 venues. The two movies both launched on par with initial projections from industry analysts, helping drive the second-best September of all time in North America, according to comScore. The biggest September still belongs to 2017, bolstered by the massive showing of Warner Bros.’ “It.”

Night School,” which cost $29 million to produce, marks the biggest debut of the year for a broad comedy. The PG-13 film reunites Haddish with “Girls Trip” director Malcolm D. Lee and producer Will Packer. “Night School,” however, didn’t garner the same critical praise as “Girls Trip.” It generated a low 31% average on Rotten Tomatoes, whereas “Girls Trip” boasts a 90% certified fresh rating.

With “Night School,” Universal now holds the three biggest original comedic openings of the past two years, along with “Blockers” and “Girls Trip.” The studio’s head of domestic distribution, Jim Orr, attributes the success to the team both in front of and behind the camera.

“We’re in business with the right people,” Orr said. “I couldn’t begin to give enough love to Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Malcolm Lee, and Will Packer.”

“Night School” looks to be another win for Haddish, who continues to prove her big screen bankability. That’s good news for studios since the comedian has a slew of titles hitting multiplexes in the coming months. The comedic dynamo has “The Oath” with Ike Barinholtz, Tyler Perry’s “Nobody’s Fool,” and a voice role in Warner Bros.’ “The Lego Movie 2” on the horizon.

Smallfoot,” which features the ensemble voice cast of Channing Tatum, James Corden, Common, LeBron James, and Zendaya, is another movie aimed at younger audiences to resonate in recent weeks. Karey Kirkpatrick, known for his work on “James and the Giant Peach,” “Charlotte’s Web,” and “Over the Hedge,” co-wrote and directed the animated pic, which carries an $80 million budget.

Jack Black and Cate Blanchett’s kid-friendly fantasy film “The House With a Clock in Its Walls” notched third place. It picked up another $12.5 million in its second outing, bringing its North American tally to $44.7 million. Lionsgate’s “A Simple Favor,” starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, scared up $6.5 million in its third frame to nab the No. 4 slot. The neo-noir drama has earned $42.9 million to date.

Rounding out the top five is Warner Bros.’ “The Nun,” which summoned another $5.4 million for a domestic total of $109 million. “The Nun” is officially the highest-grossing installment in the “Conjuring” franchise.

“There’s just an angle of it that really delivers to horror fans,” Warner Bros.’ head of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein said.  “In the ‘Conjuring’ universe, there’s so much street cred among the fanbase.”

The weekend’s other wide release is Lionsgate and CBS Films’ “Hell Fest.” The low-budget horror movie launched with $5 million from 2,297 theaters. “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” director Gregory Plotkin, who also worked on “Happy Death Day,” handled filmmaking duties.

A slew of indie titles opened at the speciality box office. National Geographic’s “Free Solo,” a documentary about the first free solo rock climb of Yosemite’s El Capitan, earned the best screen average of the year. It launched with $300,804 in four theaters, translating to $75,201 per location.

Fox Searchlight’s “The Old Man and the Gun” pocketed $150,000 when it opened in five theaters. Robert Redford stars alongside Casey Affleck in the larcenous comedy based on a New Yorker article about an octogenarian bank robber.

Meanwhile Neon’s “Monsters and Men,” with John David Washington and “Hamilton” alum Anthony Ramos, bowed with $130,979 when it played on 18 screens.

More Film

  • UGC Distribution Closes on Mariano Cohn’s

    Ventana Sur: UGC Distribution Closes Market Hit ‘4 x 4’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — UGC Distribution has beaten out all other suitors to clinch what had became by Friday morning the most anticipated deal of this year’s Ventana Sur market: All rights to France on Argentine Mariano Cohn’s “4 x 4,” sold by Latido Films and distributed throughout Argentina by Disney. After mounting speculation about which [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film News Roundup: 'Aquaman' Hits $152 Million at International Box Office

    In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” has already grossed more than $150 million outside the U.S., Michael Masini joins “Birds of Prey,” and Freestyle buys the documentary “Shamanic Trekker.” BOX OFFICE Warner Bros.’ tentpole “Aquaman” has taken in $152 million overseas in 36 markets, with $135 million of that from China, where it opened on [...]

  • 'Winter's Night' Review: Enigmatic, Offbeat Korean

    Tallinn Film Review: 'Winter's Night'

    There are thousands of films about love’s beginning, and a great many about love’s end. But far fewer deal with a relationship’s late-middle: the spreading, sluggish delta of coupledom when decades of familiarity, if they have not bred contempt, at least threaten irritation. “Winter’s Night,” Jang Woo-jin’s playfully melancholic third feature, after the acclaimed “A [...]

  • Tomasz Kot UTA

    UTA Signs ‘Cold War’ Star Tomasz Kot (EXCLUSIVE)

    UTA has signed “Cold War” star Tomasz Kot. He has appeared in more than 30 films and 26 plays as well as dozens of television series. Most recently, Kot has received award-season buzz for his starring role as Wiktor in Pawel Pawlikowski’s feature “Cold War” for Amazon. The project has earned him a nomination for [...]

  • Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening

    Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening Palm Springs Film Festival

    The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will open on Jan. 3 with historical drama “All Is True,” starring Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen. Branagh, who will be in attendance at the opening night screening, directed from Ben Elton’s script about the little-known period in the final years of William Shakespeare. Branagh [...]

  • Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies

    Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies at 77

    Actor, activist and influentials member of the Japanese American community, Rodney Kageyama, died in his sleep Dec. 9. He was 77. The SAG member was known for roles in “Karate Kid IV” with Hillary Swank, Ron Howard’s film “Gung Ho” and the spinoff sitcom, and the TV movie “Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes” with Max [...]

  • Most Popular Films 2018: The Best

    9 Holiday Gift Ideas Inspired by This Year's Most Popular Films

    From superheroes to super nannies, 2018 was a year full of memorable characters — and memorable movies. Whether you’re a big film buff, an avid follower of a popular franchise, or have a couple movie fans in your life, here are nine gifts that capture the fun of some of this year’s biggest films. 1. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content