49.1 F
Fort Worth
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Culture 'Downton Abbey' overpowers Brad Pitt, Rambo at box office

‘Downton Abbey’ overpowers Brad Pitt, Rambo at box office

Other News

Exxon’s oil slick

Exxon Mobil is slashing its capital spending budget for 2020 by 30% due to weak demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a market...

Folk music’s Mark Twain: 7 Essential tracks from John Prine,

NEW YORK (AP) — Some people, the songs just come out of them. For nearly half a century, they tumbled out of John Prine...

Tarrant County records another COVID-19 death

Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) on Wednesday, April 8 reported that a resident of Euless has died as the result of the COVID-19 virus....

Tradition stymied: A year unlike any since WWII for Augusta

The Masters is so intertwined with Augusta, they added an extra day to spring break.You see, the first full week of April isn't just...

NEW YORK (AP) — Raise your tea cups! The big-screen encore of “Downton Abbey” handily (but very politely) thumped both Brad Pitt’s “Ad Astra” and Sylvester Stallone’s “Rambo: Last Blood” in theaters over the weekend in one of the more unlikely box-office upsets.

“Downton Abbey” debuted with $31 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday, royally trumping the $19.2 million-opening for “Ad Astra” and the $19 million debut for “Rambo: Last Blood.” Neither the draw of Pitt in space nor a bandanna-wearing Stallone could match the appeal a tea party with old friends.

While the stout performance of “Downton Abbey” had come to be expected in the lead-up to release, it was still striking. The debut marked the best first weekend ever for Focus Features in its 17-year history. It ranks as the best opening for any specialty studio in a decade.

“We always knew that there was a tremendous amount of love for ‘Downton Abbey,'” said Lisa Bunnell, Focus’ distribution chief. “But as we started on working with promotions and special events for the movie, we realized that the love for ‘Downton Abbey’ goes way beyond what we even thought it was going to be.”

Coming four years since the series finale, “Downton Abbey” returns most of the original cast and was penned by its creator, Julian Fellowes. To drum up excitement, Focus hosted dress-ups and “Downton” parties. While the film drew a healthy amount of younger moviegoers (31% under 35), its audience was predictably largely female (74 and older (32% over 55) — a seldom-catered-to demographic.

Critics greeted the film warmly (85% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) but audiences were even more enthusiastic, giving it an A CinemaScore. Having already played for a week in some international territories, “Downton Abby” has already brought in $61.8 million worldwide.

Reviews were similarly strong for James Grey’s “Ad Astra,” which premiered earlier in the month at the Venice Film Festival. It sits at 83% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and comes on the heels of plaudits for Pitt in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood” (which has grossed $344.6 million worldwide thus far).

But the film, in which Pitt plays an astronaut journeying through the solar system to reach his space-explorer father (Tommy Lee Jones), was a pricey one — especially for an artfully made drama predicated more on father-son psychology than sci-fi spectacle. The production cost around $100 million for 20th Century Fox, which was earlier this year acquired by the Walt Disney Co.

Disney postponed the release of “Ad Astra” from May to September. The result for “Ad Astra” follows disappointing returns for a handful of Fox films released under Disney, including “Dark Phoenix” and “Stuber.” ”Ad Astra,” which added $26 million overseas, will hope good reviews give the film some legs in the weeks ahead.

“It’s been a very rough go for many of the Fox releases,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for data firm Comscore. “I think this is a solid debut. It’s certainly an expensive movie. Anytime you swing for the fences with an outer space film, you have to spend quite a bit of money.”

Lionsgate’s “Rambo: Last Blood” is the fifth “Rambo” movie going back to the 1982 original, “First Blood.” Fashioned as the franchise’s final installment (Stallone is now 73 years old), it did about the same as the previous 2008 reboot, which opened with $18 million before ultimately grossing $113 million worldwide. “Last Blood” got especially terrible reviews, though; it’s only 31% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

That trio of new releases outperformed a pair of strong holdovers. After two weeks at the No. 1 spot, Warner Bros.’ “It Chapter Two” slid to fourth with $17.2 million. The STX’s stripper tale “Hustlers,” starring Jennifer Lopez, earned $17 million in its second weekend.

Those very divergent options in theaters added up to a lot of choice for moviegoers. The weekend was up 30% from the same frame last year, according to Comscore.

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.

1. “Downton Abbey,” $31 million ($10 million international).

2. “Ad Astra,” $19.2 million ($26 million international).

3. “Rambo: Last Blood,” $19 million ($9.1 million international).

4. “It Chapter Two,” $17.2 million ($21.3 million international).

5. “Hustlers,” $17 million ($3 million international).

6. “The Lion King,” $2.6 million.

7. “Good Boys,” $2.5 million.

8. “Angel Has Fallen,” $2.4 million.

9. “Overcomer,” $1.5 million.

10. “Hobbs & Shaw,” $1.5 million.


Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

Latest News

AVOCA to open Fort Worth Stockyards location

AVOCA Coffee Roaster is coming to the historic Fort Worth Stockyards. The artisanal coffee roastery, that opened on the...

Golden Chick goes hot with Cholula partnership

Cholula and chicken? Yep, Golden Chick is announcing its partnership with Cholula Hot Sauce, the legendary fan-favorite Mexican hot sauce brand. The two brands...

Robert Francis: Our local World Series

It will be remembered as the pandemic World Series of 2020. Played in a “neutral” ballpark, Arlington’s barely-used, brand spanking new Globe...

Robert Francis: From politics to chicken to pickles

Don’t know about you, but you would think with all our technological savvy, the ubiquitous “they” could figure out a way for...

Dickies partners with artist on ‘Vote’ mural

Fort Worth-based workwear brand Dickies, a longtime member of the Near Southside, is supporting the local ARTober initiative by partnering with local artist Mariell...