Dumbo fails to fly high at box office, netting only US$45 million

Director Tim Burton during the Italian premiere of his movie Dumbo in Rome on March 26, 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Disney's Dumbo had an underwhelming lift-off at the North American box office. Tim Burton's live-action remake debuted with US$45 million (S$61 million), below expectations.

While that was easily enough to top the domestic box office, it marks the lowest start among the studio's recent live-action remakes of Disney classics.

To compare, 2017's Beauty And The Beast debuted with US$174 million, 2016's The Jungle Book opened with US$103 million, and 2015's Cinderella launched with US$67 million.

Dumbo was expected to surpass US$50 million in its first three days of release.

Part of the reason for the softer opening is likely because the original Dumbo cartoon came out 80 years ago, making the lovable elephant seem slightly less relevant than classics like Beauty And The Beast and The Jungle Book.

Dumbo carries a US$170 million production budget. The high-flying elephant will have to resonate overseas should the film not pick up steam at the domestic box office.

The previous box-office champion Us dropped to second place, staying strong with US$33 million.

In third place, Captain Marvel picked up US$20 million in its third weekend of release.

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