Barbarian scares up $10 million at the box office with killer debut

·3 min read

Moviegoers checked in for director Zach Cregger's rental horror mystery Barbarian, which had a killer debut at the box office this weekend.

The actor and comedian's (Whitest Kids U'Know, Love and Air Sex) film directorial debut opened at No. 1 with $10 million, according to Comscore. The horror offering stars Georgina Campbell as Tess, a young woman who discovers that the rental home she booked is already occupied by a stranger, Keith (Bill Skarsgård). Against her better judgment, Tess spends the night and soon discovers that there's a lot more to fear than an unexpected house guest.

Barbarian, which has scared up largely positive critic reviews and a 92% Rotten Tomatoes rating for its unexpected twists and turns, also stars Justin Long, Matthew Patrick Davis, and Jaymes Butler. Long, who, without giving too much away, portrays an embattled actor with his own ties to the house of horrors rental, told EW at this year's Comic-Con (watch above) that he was drawn to the script. "It was so engaging, so scary," Long said. "I mean, scary and unexpected."

BARBARIAN
BARBARIAN

20th Century Studios Georgina Campbell in 'Barbarian'

He continued, "I've read a lot of horror scripts and I've done a few of those movies, so it's very rare to find something that breaks the convention and is that unique and original." Cregger recently revealed that he received advice from filmmaker and pal Jordan Peele, who also has a similar trajectory of comedian-turned-horror director. (Peele's third horror outing, Nope, also dominated the box office this summer.)

"He spent a lot of time with me before I went to Bulgaria to shoot the movie," Cregger told Variety. "He gave me a crash course on how to handle the inevitable challenges, and that was so valuable." He noted, "I don't think horror and comedy are too dissimilar. The anatomy of a scare is very similar to the anatomy of a laugh. It's all about timing and tone and zigging when the audience expects you to zag. I feel like my time in sketch comedy has equipped me to play in this pool."

Barbarian isn't the only newcomer that enjoyed box office success this weekend: Brahmastra Part 1: Shiva, director Ayan Mukerji's  Indian Hindi-language fantasy adventure, opened at No. 2 with $4.4 million. It tells the story of Shiva (Ranbir Kapoor), who sets out on a journey of love and self-discovery, facing the many evil forces that threaten existence along the way. Brahmastra took the top spot at the global box office this weekend, debuting with $23.9 million overall.

Elsewhere, box office fixtures Bullet Train, Top Gun: Maverick, and DC League of Super Pets continued their reign in the top five. Bullet Train came in at number three during its sixth week in theaters, earning an additional $3.2 million. It was followed by the Top Gun sequel in fourth place, which piloted in an extra $3.1 million during its 16th week. Finally, DC League of Super Pets rounded out the top five, earning an additional $2.8 million during week seven.

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