April 15, 2018 / 4:35 PM / 4 months ago

'Rampage' sneaks up on 'A Quiet Place' to win weekend U.S. box office

LOS ANGELES, (Variety.com) - After a weekend of fluctuating projections, Dwayne Johnson (just barely) owned the North American box office after all.

Cast member Dwayne Johnson poses at the premiere for the movie "Rampage" in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Though earlier estimates looked like the second frame of “A Quiet Place” would take the weekend, New Line Cinema and Warner Bros.’ “Rampage” snuck up to take the top slot with $34.5 million (£24.2 million) from 4,101 theatres.

Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros.’ attributed the weekend’s numbers to Johnson’s star power.

“Dwayne Johnson is a closer,” Goldstein said. “He’s got an incredible connection with his fanbase. He’s a global draw unlike anybody else today.”

Though the sci-fi actioner has an impressive A- CinemaScore and 80 percent audience approval on Rotten Tomatoes, “Rampage,” which opened under initial predictions, will need to rely heavily on overseas to carry its costly $120 million budget. The video game adaptation earned $114.1 million internationally, with a worldwide total of $148.6 million.

Still, its opening was enough to just narrowly take the box office crown from “A Quiet Place,” which earned $32.9 million in 3,589 locations. “A Quiet Place” has been riding high with rave reviews, only dropping 34 percent. That brings its cumulative domestic gross to an impressive $100 million.

“The speed with which ‘A Quiet Place’ has raced to the $100 million mark is a testament to the film’s ongoing appeal and a result of terrific word of mouth,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a film analyst at comScore.

Also benefiting from the Friday the 13th weekend was Universal and Blumhouse’s collaboration “Truth or Dare.” The supernatural thriller debuted in third place with $19 million from 3,029 theatres. The pic, starring Lucy Hale and Tyler Posey, made $2.6 million internationally, combining for a global total of $21.7 million off its budget under $5 million.

“This is an outstanding debut considering the competitive landscape,” Jim Orr, head of domestic distribution at Universal, said. “For original horror, Blumhouse has define the genre for many years. They built a model that is just terrific.”

The third frame of Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” made $11 million from 3,661 locations, lifting its domestic gross to $114.5 million.

Rounding out the top five is the sophomore weekend of Universal’s “Blockers.” Kay Cannon’s raunchy comedy starring John Cena, Leslie Mann, and Ike Barinholtz dropped 50 percent to take in $10 million from 3,418 locations. In total, the pic has made $37 million.

The wide release of Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” made $5 million from 1,939 locations. The stop-motion animated film, which has grossed $18.5 million, opened in limited release at the end of March with the best per screen average of 2018 to date.

Another newcomer, Entertainment Studios’ canine-themed “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero,” made $1.1 million in 1,633 locations. Directed and co-written by Richard Lanni, “Sgt. Stubby” features the voices of Logan Lerman, Helena Bonham Carter and Gerard Depardieu.

The 2018 box office is down 2.4 percent compared to 2017, according to comScore. The same weekend last year, where “The Fate of the Furious” opened with $98.8 million, is down 15.5 percent.

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