Revenant surges to top box office

LOS ANGELES • The Revenant surged to the top of the North American box office on a weekend when Leonardo DiCaprio's antics on treacherous snowcovered mountains might have rung a little too true for some, industry estimates showed on Sunday.

The Oscar-nominated frontier drama reached the No. 1 position on its fifth weekend, beating new releases as Winter Storm Jonas shut down theatres last Saturday in New York City, Washington DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia.

The Fox movie, which took a leading 12 Oscar nominations this year, including for Best Picture and Best Actor, collected US$16 million (S$23 million), Rentrak said.

Its jump to No. 1 underscored the ticket-selling power of Oscar nominations. That is especially helpful for the artsy, less-commercial films that vie for awards and often struggle to attract fans. The Revenant, while critically acclaimed, cost US$135 million to make, yet lacks the wide appeal of a Hollywood blockbuster. It had taken in US$160.5 million in worldwide ticket sales up to Jan 20.

It topped the sixth weekend of Disney's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in second place with US$14.3 million. Third was the Universal Pictures' Ride Along 2, with US$13 million.

Newcomers Dirty Grandpa, The Boy and The 5th Wave were fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

Lionsgate's Dirty Grandpa, which gave Robert De Niro some of the worst reviews of his career, took in US$11.5 million. He plays a bereaved grandfather on spring break with his grandson Jason (Zac Efron).

The Boy, a horror thriller from start-up studio STX Entertainment, opened with US$11.3 million. Lauren Cohan (from The Walking Dead) plays a young American who takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village only to discover that the family's eight-year-old is a life-size doll. Disturbing events lead Evans to believe it is alive.

Sony's The 5th Wave, based on the Rick Yancey young-adult novel and starring Chloe Grace Moretz as a woman trying to save her brother after four waves of deadly alien attacks on Earth, collected US$10.7 million.

BLOOMBERG, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2016, with the headline 'Revenant surges to top box office'. Print Edition | Subscribe