“Downton Abbey” ushered in its “New Era” with $1 million in previews on Thursday from 3,300 theaters.
This weekend, the drama will face off against A24’s cerebral horror film “Men,” which earned $423,000 on 1,800 screens during Thursday night previews, and Marvel powerhouse “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which has dominated the box office since it launched two weeks ago.
“Downton Abbey: A New Era” is the second feature film to spin off from the popular U.K. TV series, following the critically and commercially successful 2019 movie, simply titled “Downton Abbey.” The first movie opened to $31 million, beating original box office estimates, and marked the biggest launch for a Focus Features film. It went on to earn more than $190 million at the worldwide box office.
Many of the original “Downton Abbey” cast members are back for the second film, such as Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter and Phyllis Logan. In the new movie, the Downton royals journey to the south of France to uncover the mystery of the Dowager Countess’ newly inherited villa. “A New Era” has already earned more than $29 million at the international box office, after it debuted April 29.
For theatergoers who are more into psychological drama than a period piece, Alex Garland’s “Men” is likely more their speed. The film marks Garland’s third directorial effort, after 2014’s “Ex Machina” and 2018’s “Annihilation.” It stars Jessie Buckley as a woman grieving over her dead husband and Rory Kinnear as the owner of a holiday house, plus Kinnear plays multiple odd men that pop up in the horror film.
In other A24 news, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is still shining, as it netted $488,686 Thursday night on 1,726 screens, bringing its cumulative gross to just over $49 million.