LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Horror, war or animal-centred comedy - take your pick. This weekend, horror prevailed on North American movie screens, with "scary as hell" film Annabelle: Creation pulling in US$35 million ($48 million) in its first week out, more than paying off the US$15 million Warner Bros spent on it, analysts said.
The estimated three-day opening take for Annabelle, the fourth instalment in the popular Conjuring franchise, was considered healthy for a supernatural horror flic. The film stars Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Miranda Otto, Lulu Wilson and Anthony LaPaglia.
While this has been a weak summer overall for film, it was a good weekend for Warner Bros, which saw another of its productions, war movie Dunkirk, hold steady at second in the box-office race, with ticket sales of US$11.4 million, industry site Exhibitor Relations reported.
That movie, starring One Direction singer Harry Styles, depicts the heroic 1940 evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Allied troops from northern France. The film has a global take of US$363.6 million so far, and has yet to be released in China, Japan or Italy, according to boxofficemojo.com.
In third spot is the Open Road film Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, at US$8.9 million, less than half the opening weekend take of the first Nut Job movie. The animated adventure tells the story of a group of animals trying to save their home from the bulldozer.
Sony's The Dark Tower placed fourth, at US$7.9 million, plumetting from the No 1 spot a week earlier. The sci-fi production, based on best-selling novels by horror/fantasy master Stephen King and starring Tom Taylor and Idris Elba, tells about a boy trying to save the world from enemies including bad guy Matthew McConaughey.
In fifth place, also from Sony, was The Emoji Movie, with US$6.6 million in ticket sales. The computer-animated comedy, based on the expressive little symbols on cell phones, has an all-star voicing cast including James Corden, Anna Faris, Maya Rudolph, Christina Aguilera and Sofia Vergara.
Rounding out the top 10 were: Girls Trip (US$6.5 million) Spider-Man: Homecoming (US$6.1 million) Kidnap (US$5.2 million) The Glass Castle (US$4.9 million) Atomic Blonde (US$4.6 million)