The new horror movie Barbarian outperformed at the domestic box office, where it won the weekend with $10 million in ticket sales from 2,340 theaters.
That puts the well-reviewed film far ahead of an expected $5 million to $6 million opening. Still, the post-Labor Day weekend was more quiet than usual.
From 20th Century Studios and New Regency, the R-rated pic did big business in Imax and premium large format screens, which contributed 29 percent of the gross.
The majority of the audience was between the ages of 18 and 34. Ticket buyers gave the movie a C+ CinemaScore, though critics liked it much better, with Barbarian Currently resting at a 92 percent critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Overseas, Barbarian debuted this weekend in smaller Latin American territories before launching in Mexico, Argentina and Colombia the following weekend.
The film, full of twists and turns, follows a young woman (Georgina Campbell) arriving late at night to a rental home in a rundown Detroit neighborhood only to find it occupied by another renter, played by Bill Skarsgård. Barbarian marks Zach Cregger’s solo feature debut.
Skarsgård, of course, played the demonic clown Pennywise in the two Stephen King It films, which also launched post-Labor Day. It helped usher in a new era in terms of high-profile films going out in early September, which had otherwise been a quiet time.
September 2022 is remarkably quiet in terms of event titles in a setback for the summer box office recovery. The dearth of studio tentpoles is due to supply-chain issues resulting from the pandemic.
Overall revenue for the weekend is expected to come in at around $39 million, down 35.3 percent from 2021 and more than 70 percent from 2019 when It Chapter Two opened.
Another new offering to keep an eye on is Fox Star Studios’ Bollywood pic Brahmastra Part 1: Shiva, which placed No. 2 with $4.4 million from only 810 theaters after earning $2 million on Friday. The film received the widest Imax domestic release ever for a Bollywood movie. Star Studios came under the Disney fold when Disney bought 20th Century.
Fathom decided to use the quiet post-Labor Day weekend to open the Kirk Cameron faith-based movie Lifemarkwhich is eyeing a 7th place finish with an estimated $2.2 million from 1,560 locations.
Variance is launching Medieval, a 2022 English-language Czech historical drama directed by Petr Jákl in 1,311 runs. The movie is projected to come in No. 15 with under $1 million.
More to come.
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