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“Downton”, “Astra” and “Rambo” Vie For Box Office Crown

While “It: Chapter Two” has ruled the box office the first two weekend in September, it was destined that the horror sequel would fall in its third week and, for the first time in a while, this was due to three films shaking up the top five by owning the top three spots on the chart. “Ad Astra”, “Downton Abby” and “Rambo: Last Blood” all overpowered Pennywise to own the box office in the third weekend of the fall movie season, but which one had enough muscle to take the overall win? Let’s find out in this week’s Box Office Breakdown.

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In somewhat of a surprise dominant win “Downton Abbey” earned the crown on the strength of the fanbase that made the television show it was based on a massive hit as well. While no one could argue that the movie was going to draw a crowd it’s how easily the film won out that provided the biggest shock. Going into the weekend many projections had it barely beating its competition with around $24 million. Instead the film earned $31 million domestically setting a new record for studio Focus Features as the studio’s first movie to earn over $30 million and over $25 million in its opening weekend. Add another $10 million overseas and you have a pretty solid start. Because I didn’t watch the show I didn’t take the time to view or review “Downton Abbey” so feel free to let me know you’re thoughts in the comments.

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“Downton Abby’s” competition provided a close and unpredictable race for the second spot with Disney’s release of Fox’s “Ad Astra” and Lionsgate’s release of “Rambo: Last Blood” neck and neck going into calculating Monday actuals. “Ad Astra” won out in that battle with a $19 million earning domestically and $26 million internationally, in line with conservative estimates from the studio but still another slow and underwhelming debut following Disney’s purchase of Fox earlier this year. I had a chance to see this incredible science fiction feature over the weekend and you can read my review of the film by clicking here. Coming in third was “Rambo: Last Blood”, the supposed final “Rambo” movie, which was originally estimated to have made $19 million but Monday actuals adjusted that number to $18.8 million. This makes it the second highest debut weekend in the franchise behind “First Blood Part II”. “Last Blood” earned the lowest critical score of the franchise on Rotten Tomatoes however and in my review I called it deserving of such criticism. You can read my take on “Last Blood” here.

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With the top three films all being newcomers, we saw a major shakeup in the top ten after numerous weeks and even months of roadblocks at the top. “It: Chapter Two” fell to fourth with a $17.2 million weekend followed by “Hustlers” to round out the top five. “The Lion King” live-action remake finally fell from the top five into sixth while “Good Boys”, “Angel Has Fallen”, “Overcomer” and “Hobbs & Shaw” rounded out the top ten. “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” fell just outside the top ten while “Peanut Butter Falcon” also dropped from the top grouping. “The Goldfinch” continued to establish itself as an immediate flop by falling out of the top ten to fifteenth in its second weekend.

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“Downton Abbey” will have its work cut out for it this coming weekend with Dreamworks and Universal bringing the latest mainstream animated release to the big screen, “Abominable”. The film continues an odd trend of Bigfoot and yeti related animated release over the last two years which has also included “Small Foot” and “Missing Link”. Already receiving great reviews “Abominable” could be a near shoe-in win for Dreamworks with little to no other competition challenging it. The only other notable release is the Judy Garland biopic “Judy” which has received Oscar buzz and is being released in an unspecified number of theaters. We’ll see if “Abominable” takes the top honor this time next week.

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