Box Office: ‘Girl On the Train’ Is No. 1, ‘Birth of a Nation’ Disappoints
It was a big weekend for director Tate Taylor, whose adaptation of the thriller The Girl on the Train nabbed the No. 1 spot at the weekend box office with a strong $24.7 million.
Anchored by Emily Blunt, whose performance is already receiving Oscar buzz, The Girl on the Train was made for less than $50 million. Yet, despite making only half its budget in its first weekend, the thriller is expected to have legs, owing in large part to the popularity of the novel by British author Paula Hawkins. Internationally, the film earned an additional $16.5 million to bring its global total to $41.2 million.
This was more than enough to fend off any fellow newcomers at the weekend box office, particularly Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation. The Nat Turner biopic led to an unprecedented bidding war at the Sundance Film Festival back in January, as the film had the look of a Best Picture winner. However, its profile has taken a hit since then due to Parker’s past resurfacing. Allegedly, he and Birth of a Nation co-writer Jean Celestin raped a classmate while students at Penn State University in 1999. Parker was acquitted, but Celestin was convicted. Although the conviction was later overturned, the damage had been done, as it later came out that Parker and Celestin’s accuser committed suicide in 2012 at the tail end of a downward spiral that had allegedly been instigated by the 1999 incident.
I suppose this is all a long way of explaining why The Birth of a Nation ultimately had such a tepid opening this weekend, earning a disappointing $7.1 million. On the one hand, it was enough to squeak by family comedy Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. On the other hand, it’s not great for what, to this point, has been one of the widest releases ever for Fox Searchlight, who won the bidding war for the film for $17.5 million. But there’s a silver lining here, in the sense that the film has yet to open internationally. There’s also the expectation that awards season buzz could help the film hold from week-to-week. Still, a No. 6 opening isn’t that encouraging.
Meanwhile, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children earned the No. 2 spot with $15.1 million, edging out Deepwater Horizon, which fell only 42% in its second weekend to earn $11.5 million. The Magnificent Seven came in at No. 4 with $9.0 million, which was enough to inch past the $8.3 million gross of Storks, which rounded out the Top 5.
But how did the rest of the films perform at the weekend box office? Check out the full Top 10 below:
TOP 10 AT THE WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: 10/10/2016
1. The Girl on the Train ($24.5 million)
2. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children ($15.1 million)
3. Deepwater Horizon ($11.5 million)
4. Magnificent Seven ($9.0 million)
5. Storks ($8.3 million)
6. Birth of a Nation ($7.1 million)
7. Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life ($6.9 million)
8. Sully ($5.0 million)
9. Masterminds ($4.1 million)
10. Queen of Katwe ($1.6 million)
What, if anything, did you see at the theaters this weekend, and what do you want to see at the movies in the weeks to come? Sound off in the comments!
And for more entertainment news, find out what’s coming to Netflix this month, as well as what’s leaving!