Tim Burton's kid-friendly fantasy adventure Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children opened to $28.5 million from 3,522 theaters at the North American box office over the weekend, blowing past Pete Berg's oil rig disaster pic Deepwater Horizon and easily landing at No. 1.
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Deepwater Horizon placed No. 2 with $20.6 million from 3,259 cinemas. Both films did better than prerelease tracking suggested but aren't cheap propositions, so they will need to be strong players on the global stage.
Miss Peregrine's Home topped the foreign chart in its debut with $36.5 million from 55 markets for a worldwide bow of $65 million. Among overseas territories, the movie particularly dazzled in South Korea with $5.2 million, already surpassing the lifetime grosses of Cinderella and Alice Through the Looking Glass in that country.
Burton's latest movie, from Fox and Chernin Entertainment, cost $110 million to make. It marks the filmmaker's first big-budget Hollywood studio pic since his ill-fated Dark Shadows in 2012, which debuted to $29 million in the heart of summer but cost $150 million to produce and faded fast.
Miss Peregrine's Home, which earned a B+ CinemaScore, was adapted from Ransom Riggs' best-selling YA novel and tells the story of a young boy (Asa Butterfield) who travels to an island in Wales and meets Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) and the orphaned children who possess magical powers. He comes to discover the realm's ties to his own family.
Younger moviegoers turned out in force, with 55 percent of the U.S. audience under the age of 25. Females made up nearly 60 percent of ticket buyers.
"Tim Burton's creative touch and his original take on a best-selling book resonated with its target audience and has delivered something that younger moviegoers are seeking out," Fox domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson said Sunday.
Thanks to the combination of the fantastical storyline and being a family film, Miss Peregrine's Home is prospering in Latin America. It also did solid business in the U.K., opening to $4.6 million, although it came in No. 2 behind British sensation Bridget Jones's Baby, which bombed in the U.S. but has accumulated $100 million overseas, including a massive $41.1 million in the U.K., for a global total of $120.9 million.
Despite Wahlberg's star status, Deepwater Horizon is a tough sell overseas, where it opened to $12.4 million from 52 markets. However, only a few were major territories, including the U.K. ($2.6 million) and Russia ($1.2 million). One place where the storyline resonated in a major way was the Middle East with $1.5 million, a huge number for that region.
Partners Lionsgate and Participant Media allotted a hefty $156 million for Deepwater Horizon, but rebates and tax incentives brought the budget down to the $110 million-$120 million range. Still, those are high numbers for an adult fall drama. And in terms of Wahlberg's big-budget movies, Deepwater Horizon opened the lowest.
The pic recounts the 2010 oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Walhberg stars opposite Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson and Gina Rodriguez in the film, which had its world premiere last month at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Lionsgate is hopeful that an 82 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an A- CinemaScore will give the film a long shelf life in theaters, much like fellow adult dramas Sully, Captain Phillips and Bridge of Spies did (all three of which starred Tom Hanks). Roughly 67 percent of those turning out to see Deepwater Horizon were over the age of 35, while the gender split was even.
"We think the signs are very positive for a long run," said Lionsgate distribution chief David Spitz.
Antoine Fuqua's The Magnificent Seven fell to No. 3 in its second outing after topping the chart last weekend. The remake, from MGM and Sony, declined 54 percent to $15.7 million for a domestic cume through Sunday of $61.6 million. Westerns aren't especially popular in many parts of the globe, but Magnificent Seven has amassed $46.5 million so far abroad for a global cume of $108.7 million.
Storks and box-office hit Sully rounded out the top five in the U.S., taking in $13.8 million and $8.4 million, respectively. That puts the 10-day domestic total for Storks, an animated offering form Warner Bros., at $38.8 million, while Sully passed the $100 million mark in its fourth weekend. Overseas, Sully has earned $46.3 million to date, including a stellar $6.8 million in Japan, for a worldwide tally of $151.7 million. Storks took in another $14.6 million internationally for a foreign total of $38.8 million and global cume of $77.6 million. However, the family film bombed in China with $1.9 million.
New comedy Masterminds managed only a sixth-place finish with a dismal $6 million from 3,042 locations despite a star-studded cast led by Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig and Jason Sudeikis. The movie is the first major release from Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity since the company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Disney's chess drama Queen of Katwe likewise is struggling despite having nabbed an A+ CinemaScore. After opening in select theaters last weekend, the movie upped its theater count to 1,242 locations, collecting $2.6 million for a domestic total of $3 million. Queen of Katwe, directed by Mira Nair, stars Lupita Nyong'o, Madina Nalwanga and David Oyelowo.
At the specialty box office, Mick Jackson's drama Denial, starring Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson and Timothy Sall, opened in five theaters, grossing $102,101 for a solid theater average of $20,420. Bleecker Street is distributing the film in the U.S. Denial, like Deepwater Horizon and Queen of Katwe, played last month at TIFF.
Denial posted the top theater average of the weekend, followed by A24's American Honey, which opened to $75,370 from four theaters for a location average of $18,892. The road-trip drama, which stars Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough and is set in American's heartland, was directed by British filmmaker Andrea Arnold and is the first of her films to be shot outside the U.K. Denial premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival.
Another film rolling out in select theaters was the latest anti-Hillary Clinton documentary, Clinton, Inc. The pic, playing in 20 theaters in the Chicago area, failed to impress, earning $14,424 for a location average of $687. Among the more controversial claims made by the movie is that former president Bill Clinton was drawn to Monica Lewinsky because the former White House intern reminded him of his mother, and he was drawn to his wife, Hillary, because she was like his grandmother, providing him with stability and security. The doc intends to expand nationwide on Oct. 14.