Justice League takes top spot, but still underwhelms US box office

The famed superheros of The Justice League dominated the North American box office despite earning less than expected.
DC Comics' superheroes team fell short of expectations with takings of US$96 million (S$130.3 million) on its opening weekend. PHOTO: WARNER BROS
DC Comics' superheroes team fell short of expectations with takings of US$96 million (S$130.3 million) on its opening weekend. PHOTO: WARNER BROS PHOTO: WARNER BROS. PICTURES/DC COMICS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - It might have scored top of the North American box office, but Justice League didn't have the super opening weekend predicted, falling short of expectations with takings of US$96 million (S$130.3 million), according to industry estimates released Sunday.

With an all-star cast including Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman, Justice League - based on the DC Comics superheroes team - sees a mash-up of classic characters fend off the threat of supervillain Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds).

The big-budget Warner Bros. production - which fared better internationally, taking US$185 million - was forecast to earn US$110 million in North American cinemas, according to Variety.

Writing on Twitter, industry analyst Exhibitor Relations - which released the estimates - said Justice League "may be the first film to debut w/ US$96M that feels like a major disappointment." In at second - earning US$27.1 million - was Lionsgate's newly-released Wonder, according to the box office tracker.

Starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay, Wonder follows the journey of August Pullman, a young boy with facial deformities, as he enters the fifth grade at a mainstream school for the first time.

After thundering to the top spot last week, Thor: Ragnarok slipped into third place in its third weekend in cinemas, taking US$21.8 million.

Featuring the self-mocking humour of Chris Hemsworth as the powerful Norse god alongside Cate Blanchett as Hela, goddess of death, Thor has raked in an impressive US$247.4 million since its release in North American cinemas.


Paramount's Daddy's Home 2 halved its earnings from last weekend, dropping to fourth place with US$14.8 million.

The festive comedy stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as Brad and Dusty, who join forces to give their kids the perfect holiday - an effort challenged when their own fathers show up.

In at fifth was Fox's Murder on the Orient Express, earning US$13.8 million.

The fourth television or cinema adaptation of Agatha Christie's classic detective novel, the murder mystery was directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars as part of an A-list cast including Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Judi Dench.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

The Star (US$10 million)

A Bad Moms Christmas (US$6.9 million)

Lady Bird (US$2.5 million)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (US$1.1 million)

Jigsaw (US$1.1 million)