It was a close race for the top spot, but manners maketh box office champion as a new film emerged victorious.
Winning the weekend is Kingsman: The Golden Circle (read our review) with a debut of $39 million. The sequel opened with slightly more than its predecessor ($36.2 million), indicating audiences are still interested in the burgeoning spy series. Golden Circle's critical reaction was not nearly as enthusiastic as the response to The Secret Service, which may have had a negative impact on the film's commercial prospects in a more competitive period at the marketplace. However, with few movies of high-profile currently playing, Kingsman 2 was able to take advantage and draw in sizable crowds. It gave action fans something new to check out, after a prolonged time with not much at all.
It'll be more interesting to see how The Golden Circle holds up as its run continues. Works like American Made and Blade Runner 2049 could present a challenge for it if they are better received. Due to the mixed reviews, Kingsman 2 may not have the strongest legs and fall off now that it's opened. Still, Fox has to be pleased with this performance, and once the international numbers start rolling in, the film should prove to be a profitable success for the studio. Matthew Vaughn will probably get a chance to direct a third installment should he want to.
Falling to second after two weeks at #1 is IT. The Stephen King adaptation brought in $30 million, raising its domestic total to a staggering $266.3 million. The film continues to rewrite the record book, becoming the highest-grossing R-rated horror movie of all-time. IT is currently trailing The Sixth Sense ($293.5 million) to rule all of the genre, and odds are it will beat that mark within the next couple of weeks. Thanks to the word-of-mouth, audiences can't seem to get enough of Pennywise.
Debuting in third is The LEGO Ninjago Movie (read our review) with $21.2 million in its first three days. That figure is well below expectations heading into the weekend, and easily the lowest opening for the LEGO film franchise. Though Ninjago was the only new family film on the block during this frame, it wasn't able to truly capitalize on its monopoly over the target demographic. A lack of buzz certainly played into that, as the reaction skewed more to the negative side of the spectrum. Ninjago was seen by many as a step down from LEGO Batman and the original LEGO Movie, which limited its appeal. Unlike its predecessors, Ninjago didn't boast a cross-generational outreach and struggled to make an impact.
In fourth is American Assassin with $6.2 million. The thriller now stands at $26.1 million domestically.
Rounding out the top five is Home Again, which earned $3.3 million in its third weekend. It has now made $22.3 million in the States.
Coming in sixth is mother!. The polarizing drama from Darren Aronofsky grossed $3.2 million in its second weekend, falling 56.7 percent. Its domestic total is currently $13.4 million, well below the $30 million production budget. The film has gotten a small boost from the foreign markets and has a worldwide haul of $25.9 million.
The #7 film is Friend Request, a new horror film that was made for a minuscule budget of $9.9 million. Due to limited awareness (marketing for the film was low key), it had an uphill climb against the bigger films and grossed only $2.4 million in its first three days. With interest this low at the outset, it's unlikely Friend Request can turn things around - though the small production costs means it could end up turning a profit eventually.
Coming in eighth is The Hitman's Bodyguard with $1.8 million. The action comedy increased its domestic total to $73.5 million.
Opening in a somewhat limited release of 534 theaters, Boston Marathon drama Stronger grossed $1.7 million in its first three days to come in ninth. The film, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal and is based on an inspirational true story, earned rave reviews from critics, which helped it emerge as a counter-programming option for older moviegoers looking for something new to check out. Stronger is set to expand to more locations next week, so this could be the start of a successful commercial run.
Capping off the top 10 is Wind River with $1.2 million. The drama raised its total to $31.6 million in its eighth weekend.
[NOTE: These are only weekend box office estimates -- based on Friday and Saturday ticket sales coupled with adjusted expectations for Sunday. Official weekend box office results will be released on Monday, September 25 -- at which time we'll update this post with any changes.]
Source: Box Office Mojo
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