Nearly four years after we bid farewell to Downton Abbey, The Crawley Family made their big-screen debut over the weekend to a very respectable $31 million. There were three new releases for audiences to pick from (and they couldn't be more different), Downton Abbey easily claimed the top spot at the box office.
Movies based on TV shows don't always translate to a blockbuster box office, but Downton's multi-generational appeal should make for a long theatrical run. The series left the door open for a movie or special in the future, and talk of a film started before the sixth and final season concluded back in 2015. The successful launch has already got Downton creator and writer, Julian Fellowes, thining up ideas for a sequel. Elsewhere in the top ten, second place was a closely fought battle between high brow drama Ad Astra, and the brutally violent Rambo: Last Blood.
At the time of writing, Ad Astra was in second place with $19.2 million for the weekend. Directed by James Grey, and starring Brad Pitt, the delayed Fox film arrives on a wave of critical acclaim and could be a contender for awards season. Landing in third place some eleven years after his previous adventure, Sylvester Stallone returns to his other classic franchise for one more bout as Rambo. Taking an estimated $19 million, Last Blood is a fraction ahead of the 2008 Rambo, but critics have been unyieldingly savage to Rambo's "final mission".
Having held the number one spot for two weeks, It Chapter Two floated down the charts to fourth adding $17.2 million to its domestic haul. Currently, Chapter Two has grossed almost $180 million in the US compared to the $266 million Chapter One had made after the same number of days. Internationally, Chapter Two has a near-identical $179 million in the bank for a global total of close to $360 million. I think it is fair to say that Chapter Two won't hit the same $700 million worldwide heights as its predecessor. After an impressive debut last weekend, Hustlers slipped to fifth adding $17 million for a current domestic total of $62 million.
New releases are a bit thin on the ground next week with Universal's animated comedy Abominable being the widest release. However, Todd Philips' highly praised Joker arrives in cinemas on October 1st and could topple Venom as the biggest October launch of all time. Early predictions have Joker inline for an opening weekend of at least $80 million.