'Bullet Train' speeds to top of N.America box office
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Sony's "Bullet Train," the last major studio release of the summer, sped to solid ticket sales of $30.1 million this weekend to top the North American box office, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations estimated Sunday.
It was a "solid opening for an action thriller," said analyst David A. Gross, adding that the presence of lead star Brad Pitt "is going to ensure international success."
Pitt, who plays a professional assassin on a Japanese train seemingly loaded with them, heads a cast that includes Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Latin music star Bad Bunny, as well as Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum in bit roles.
Helming "Bullet Train" is Pitt's former stunt double, David Leitch, who has earned a name directing action films.
Last weekend's box-office leader, Warner Bros.' animated "DC League of Super-Pets," slipped a notch to second, taking in $11.2 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period.
Third place went to Universal's horror flick "Nope," at $8.5 million. The sci-fi flick, boosted by the involvement of popular writer/director Jordan Peele, stands just shy of a $100 million gross domestically. Daniel Kaluuya stars.
In fourth was Disney's action comedy "Thor: Love and Thunder," at $7.6 million. Chris Hemsworth stars as the uber-muscular space Viking, who pines for his ex-girlfriend (Natalie Portman).
And in fifth was Universal's family-friendly animation "Minions: The Rise of Gru." This latest episode in the "Despicable Me" franchise took in $7.1 million.
Overall, the summer season has been good for Hollywood, Gross said. "Audiences have been doing everything they’ve been asked... and business has been very good for all types of films."
Rounding out the weekend's top 10 were:
"Top Gun: Maverick" ($7 million)
"Where the Crawdads Sing" ($5.7 million)
"Easter Sunday" ($5.3 million)
"Elvis" ($4 million)
"The Black Phone" ($1.5 million)