STX and Warner Bros. came out as the big box office winners this weekend. STX’s “The Upside” has beaten tracker expectations with an estimated $19.5 million opening from 3,080 screens. It’s STX’s first ever No. 1 opening, a surprise as it was expected to open to $10-12 million.
WB, meanwhile, won’t take their fourth straight No. 1 weekend, but “Aquaman” will still become the studio’s first $1 billion hit since “The Dark Knight Rises” in 2012 and the fifth in studio history. The superhero film added $17 million this weekend to push its domestic total to $287 million.
“The Upside” was originally supposed to be an R-Rated film released last year by The Weinstein Company. But after Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual abuse and TWC declared bankruptcy, STX reached a distribution deal last August with Lantern Entertainment, the label created out of TWC’s bankruptcy sale to Lantern Capital. The film was then re-cut for a PG-13 rating, a move that has paid off as the film has earned an A on CinemaScore even as critics have given it just 40 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
In third this weekend is Sony’s “A Dog’s Way Home,” which is opening to $11.3 million from 3,090 screens and against an $18 million production budget. By comparison, the last film adapted from a W. Bruce Cameron novel, “A Dog’s Purpose,” opened to $18 million in January 2017. “A Dog’s Way Home” has a CinemaScore rating of A- and a RT rating of 59 percent.
The third new release of the weekend is Entertainment Studios’ “Replicas,” which is turning out to be the worst wide opening ever for lead star Keanu Reeves with just $2.2 million grossed from 2,329 screens. Critics and audiences alike have panned the film, giving it a C on CinemaScore and 11 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
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