Box office glory a piece of cake for Happy Death Day

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Comedy horror slasher Happy Death Day had an excuse to celebrate this weekend as it stormed straight to the top of the North American box office, industry estimates showed Sunday (Oct 15).

With takings of US$26.5 million (S$35.8 million) according to Exhibitor Relations, it comfortably knocked last week's leader - the long-awaited Blade Runner sequel - into second place.

Starring Jessica Rothe, Universal's Happy Death Day follows a college student who repeatedly relives the day she was murdered until she discovers who killed her.

Blade Runner: 2049 continued what has been seen as a disappointing run - halving last weekend's earnings with takings of US$15.1 million.

The highly anticipated sci-fi reboot features Ryan Gosling as a new Los Angeles Police Department "blade runner" - charged with killing bioengineered androids known as "replicants."

On uncovering a secret which threatens society, he embarks on a search for Harrison Ford's character, a former blade runner who disappeared 30 years ago.

In at third was STX Entertainment's The Foreigner, starring Jackie Chan as a Vietnam War special forces operator-turned-London businessman, who seeks revenge after his daughter is killed in a terrorist attack.

Based on the 1992 novel The Chinaman by Stephen Leather, the action thriller took a modest US$12.8 million.

Meanwhile, freaky horror sensation It - starring Bill Skarsgard as a creepy clown - slipped into fourth in its sixth week in theaters.

With takings dropping by over a third from last weekend to US$6 million, the popularity of the box office smash based on a cult Stephen King novel - total earnings US$314.9 million - seems to be gradually easing.

After spending its first weekend in second place, Fox's The Mountain Between Us fell to fifth, taking US$5.6 million.

Starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, The Mountain Between Us tells the story of a surgeon (Elba) and a journalist (Winslet), who fall in love as they fight to survive following a plane crash on a snowy Utah mountain range.

Rounding out the top 10 were: American Made (US$5.4 million) Kingsman: The Golden Circle (US$5.3 million) The Lego Ninjago Movie (US$4.3 million) My Little Pony: The Movie (US$4 million) Victoria and Abdul (US$3.1 million)