'The Predator' gobbles up competition at box office
"The Predator" is at the top of the food chain in its first weekend in theaters.
20th Century Fox said Sunday that the film earned an estimated $24 million from more than 4,000 North American theaters.
But with an $88 million production price tag, the Shane Black-directed installment in the 30-year-old franchise will be looking to international receipts to offset the cost. This weekend, it earned $30.7 million from 72 foreign markets, bringing the global total to $54.7 million.
Domestic audiences were largely male (62 percent) and white (45 percent), and underwhelmed, giving the movie a C+ CinemaScore that echoed the tepid critical response.
Starring Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown and Boyd Holbrook, "The Predator" made headlines just weeks before opening when the studio cut a scene that featured an actor who was a registered sex offender. It did not appear to have affected the film's box office performance.
"Any conversation raises awareness," said comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "If people are talking about it then they're aware of the movie."
Second place went to the "Conjuring" spinoff "The Nun," which added $18.2 million in its second weekend. The horror pic has now grossed over $85 million.
Lionsgate's "A Simple Favor" opened close behind in third place with $16.1 million. The film from director Paul Feig stars Anna Kendrick as a mommy blogger investigating the disappearance of her friend played by Blake Lively. Feig has referred to it as a "friller," a fun thriller. Female moviegoers drove the solid opening, making up 67 percent of the audience.
"It stood out in the marketplace," said David Spitz, Lionsgate's distribution president. "It kind of became an event film. That's why we exceeded expectations."
With a B+ CinemaScore, an older audience that doesn't rush out to theaters opening weekend and positive reviews, the studio expects the film will continue to play well over the coming weeks.
Fourth and fifth places were neck and neck. According to Sunday estimates, "White Boy Rick," with $8.8 million, had a slight advantage over "Crazy Rich Asians," which added $8.7 million and is just shy of hitting $150 million.
"White Boy Rick," based on a true story and starring Matthew McConaughey as the father of a teenage FBI informant, opened in 2,504 theaters.
The Christian film "Unbroken: Path to Redemption" debuted in the No. 9 spot with $2.4 million. It's based on Laura Hillenbrand's novel about Olympian and World War II veteran Louis Zamperini and picks up where "Unbroken" left off.
September is often a slow time at the box office, making a $24 million launch somewhat notable, according to Dergarabedian. But while the year to date is still up nearly 9 percent, the weekend itself is down 5.8 percent from last year when "It" was still terrifying audiences and breaking records.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1."The Predator," $24 million ($30.7 million international).
2."The Nun," $18.2 million.
3."A Simple Favor," $16.1 million.
4."White Boy Rick," $8.8 million.
5."Crazy Rich Asians," $8.7 million.
6."Peppermint," $6.1 million.
7."The Meg," $3.8 million.
8."Searching," $3.2 million.
9."Unbroken: Path to Redemption," $2.4 million.
10."Mission: Impossible — Fallout," $2.3 million.
Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.
Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ldbahr