LOS ANGELES • It is bombs away at the multiplexes.
Paramount's family film Monster Trucks tanked when it debuted over the Martin Luther King Jr holiday, while Ben Affleck's Live By Night and Martin Scorsese's Silence suffered moribund national expansions.
Their failures will lead to tens of millions of dollars in red ink for the studios that backed them. And it is a tough start for money-losing Paramount after several disappointments last year, including Ben-Hur.
Monster Trucks, a US$125-million (S$178.6-million) production that might have spawned a series, opened with weekend sales of US$10.5 million in North American theatres, researcher ComScore Inc estimated.
Live By Night's troubles will hit Affleck hard - he directed, produced, wrote and starred in it.
The Warner Bros US$65-million picture earned a sallow US$5.4 million and should end the four-day holiday with just over US$6 million, which more or less leaves the gangster picture on the slab.
Then there is Silence. Audiences seemed to have little appetite for Scorsese's decades-in-the-making religious drama. The US$50-million film expanded from 51 theatres to 747 locations, earning just over US$2 million for the long weekend. Paramount is distributing it.
Open Road's Sleepless, an action- thriller with Jamie Foxx, also suffered an underwhelming opening, getting lost in the onslaught of new releases.
Amid the carnage, Fox's Hidden Figures, about three black women whose scientific work helped launch astronaut John Glenn into orbit, retained its box-office crown in its second weekend of wide release, earning US$20.5 million for the weekend, for a projected total of US$59.68 million since it premiered.