HOLLYWOOD (United States) • For once, it was a comedy, not a superhero or horror flick, that topped North American box offices over the weekend as Universal's raucous new release, Night School, pulled in an estimated US$28 million (S$38 million), industry tracker Exhibitor Relations reported on Sunday.
Kevin Hart stars as part of a group of misfits attending night school to earn their high-school diplomas, under the firm tutelage of Tiffany Haddish.
The film nearly paid off its US$29-million production costs over the three-day weekend, Variety reported.
In second place was another new release, family animation Smallfoot from Warner Bros, which netted US$23 million.
The comic tale about a group of yeti who run into a human - to the amazement and consternation of both sides - features the voices of Channing Tatum, LeBron James, James Corden, Zendaya and Danny DeVito.
Last weekend's top attraction, Universal's family film, The House With A Clock In Its Walls, slipped to third spot, pulling in US$12.5 million.
Jack Black and Cate Blanchett star alongside Owen Vaccaro as Lewis Barnavelt, an orphan sent to live with his warlock uncle.
In fourth spot was A Simple Favor, Lionsgate's drama about a mummy blogger (Anna Kendrick) who investigates the mysterious disappearance of her friend (Blake Lively). It earned US$6.6 million.
Fifth place went to horror film The Nun from Warner Bros, the latest fright fest in the popular Conjuring series. The story of a young nun, an exorcist and a guide stumbling onto a dark secret in Dracula country earned US$5.4 million.
Overall, the month brought smiles to Hollywood, ending as the second best September ever, trailing only last year's record grosses, according to the BoxOfficeMojo website.
Rounding out this weekend's top 10 were Hell Fest (US$5.1 million), Crazy Rich Asians (US$4.2 million), The Predator (US$3.7 million), White Boy Rick (US$2.4 million) and Peppermint (US$1.8 million).