Universal sees lots of green as 'Grinch' tops box office

Benedict Cumberbatch voiced "The Grinch" (AFP Photo/Angela Weiss)
Benedict Cumberbatch voiced "The Grinch" (AFP Photo/Angela Weiss)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Universal Pictures saw plenty of green over the weekend as its remake of "The Grinch" pulled in an impressive $66 million in North American theaters, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.

The three-day estimate put the ever-popular Dr. Seuss tale -- with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the small-hearted, ill-tempered, kid-hating title character -- well ahead of last week's No. 1 film, "Bohemian Rhapsody," which slid to second place with a still-healthy take of $30.9 million.

It also put this "Grinch" comfortably ahead of the Ron Howard-directed 2000 version, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," which took in $55 million in its opening weekend.

The new film also features the voices of Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson and Angela Lansbury, with Pharrell Williams narrating.

"Bohemian Rhapsody," with Rami Malek playing Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury, has drawn mixed reviews but has proved a foot-stomping audience favorite. The Fox production has taken $100 million domestically in its first two weeks and $110 million overseas.

In third place, at $10.1 million, was Paramount's new release "Overlord," a supernatural horror film set against a backdrop of the D-Day invasion. It stars Jovan Adepo and Wyatt Russell.

Another seasonal film, Disney's "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms," placed fourth, at $9.6 million. It stars Mackenzie Foy as a young girl who travels to a magic land in search of a key to unlock a gift from her late mother. Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman also star.

Fifth spot went to new Sony release "The Girl in the Spider's Web," which took in what analysts called a disappointing $8 million.

Claire Foy -- a young Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix's 2016-17 series "The Crown" -- makes the not-inconsiderable leap to portraying tough, brooding, street-smart Lisbeth Salander, AKA "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

Rounding out the weekend's top 10 were:

"A Star Is Born" ($8 million)

"Nobody's Fool" ($6.5 million)

"Venom" ($4.9 million)

"Halloween" ($3.8 million)

"The Hate U Give" ($2.1 million)