LOS ANGELES • Horror movie The Nun was the top draw in North American movie theatres over the weekend, extending a remarkable string of recent successes by Warner Bros, industry watchers said.
The Nun, the latest scary feature in the popular Conjuring series, took in an estimated US$53.5 million (S$73.9 million) for the three-day weekend, according to box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.
British director Corin Hardy had made his name with 2015 horror film The Hallow.
The Nun stars Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga and Jonas Bloquet in a story about a young nun, an exorcist and a guide stumbling onto a dark secret deep in Dracula country: the Romania of 1952 - Transylvania, no less.
The Nun bumped another Warner product, Crazy Rich Asians, to second place after three strong weekends at the top. The glitzy rom-com, with its nearly all-Asian cast led by Henry Golding and Constance Wu, took in US$13.6 million.
Taken together with another Warner film, The Meg, the studio has now claimed the top two spots on the North American box office for four consecutive weekends, a feat no movie studio had accomplished in 25 years, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The Meg, starring Jason Statham as a rescue diver confronting a huge, prehistoric shark, placed fourth this weekend, taking in US$6 million, behind new vigilante action film Peppermint, which grossed US$13.3 million.
Peppermint, from STX Films, stars Jennifer Garner as a mother seeking revenge against the drug cartel she blames for killing her husband and daughter.
In fifth spot was Sony thriller Searching, starring John Cho as a man desperate to find his missing teenage daughter. It took in US$4.5 million.
Rounding out the weekend's top 10 were: Mission Impossible - Fallout (US$3.8 million), Christopher Robin (US$3.2 million), Operation Finale (US$3 million), Alpha (US$2.5 million) and BlackKklansman (US$1.6 million).