The weekend box office may have experienced some drop-off due to a number of areas experiencing the effects of Hurricane Matthew, but some numbers were unexpected in good ways. Tate Taylor's movie adaptation of The Girl on the Train did rather well in its debut by pulling in $24.7 million, which is above expectations. Meanwhile, The Birth of a Nation faltered, and some feel that its strong message may have been somewhat to blame.
At the same time, Disney is continuing to see the success of its films grow and that includes Finding Dory which is still making money even though it has been out for months.
As reported by Box Office Mojo, it was a good opening weekend for The Girl on the Train which earned $24.7 million. Yes, it is a great deal below the $37 million earned by Gone Girl on the same weekend in 2014, but the studio can't help but be pleased so far.
While Universal is looking at good to moderate success with its new release, Fox Searchlight didn't have quite the same success.
Birth of a Nation received great recognition at the Sundance Film Festival, but that has not carried over into a wide theatrical release. The story of slave rebellion leader Nat Turner just didn't seem to bring in the crowds for its debut weekend and it pulled in a disappointing $7.1 million.
Variety is reporting that the recent rape allegations against Nate Parker and co-writer Jean Celestin could be a reason the film didn't do so well. The allegations stem from a college classmate they are being accused of sexually assaulting more than a decade ago.
Yes, both men did end up being acquitted of the charges, but the reveal of the allegations and the fact that their accuser committed suicide in 2012 led to a lot of bad press. Some think that this controversy could even end up hurting the film's chances at winning an Academy Award.
Over the weekend, four films in at least their second week of release finished ahead of Birth of a Nation. Coming in second was Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children with $15 million in week number two.
Deepwater Horizon pulled in $11.75 million in its third week, but the film is still falling far below its budget.
The top 10 at the weekend box office for Oct. 7-9, 2016:
1. The Girl on the Train- $24.7 million
2. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - $15.0 million
3. Deepwater Horizon - $11.75 million
4. The Magnificent Seven - $9.15 million
5. Storks - $8.45 million
6. The Birth of a Nation - $7.1 million
7. Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life - $6.9 million
8. Sully - $5.27 million
9. Masterminds - $4.1 million
10. Queen of Katwe - $1.6 million
Final numbers will be out on Monday.
While some movies may not have been nearly as high as studios were hoping, Disney is proving that many of its films have incredible legs. As reported by Box Office Mojo, the Pixar animated hit Finding Dory managed to cross the $1 billion mark worldwide this weekend.
Thank you to the fans for helping #FindingDory earn $1,000,000,000 at the global box office!???????????????? pic.twitter.com/32kFjj4PjjAlong with Toy Story 3, Pixar now has two films that have crossed that incredible box office mark. As for Disney this year? Finding Dory marks its third billion-dollar movie along with Zootopia and Captain America: Civil War.
— Finding Dory (@findingdory) October 9, 2016
The Girl on the Train may have done well in its opening weekend, but some poor reviews could end up hurting it in the long run. Yes, it had a good start, but the eyes of the world are on Birth of a Nation which seemed to fail miserably at the weekend box office. Perhaps it was the content or Nate Parker's issues, but either way, the success the film had at Sundance simply didn't carry over to a wide release.
[Featured Image by Universal Pictures]