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Box Office Update: ‘Civil War’ Reigns Amidst New Releases’ Mixed Results

The dystopian thriller “Civil War” from A24 continues to dominate the North American box office, successfully holding onto its top position amidst the release of three new contenders, reaffirming its popularity among audiences.

Directed by Alex Garland and starring Kirsten Dunst as a photojournalist navigating through a violently divided United States, “Civil War” amassed an additional $11.12 million in its second weekend, bringing its total earnings to $44.8 million. Notably, it now ranks among A24’s top five highest-grossing films of all time, despite bearing a hefty price tag of $50 million, marking it as the indie distributor’s most expensive production to date.

While facing stiff competition from the newcomers, “Civil War” managed to outshine the trio of fresh releases, which included Universal’s vampire horror film “Abigail,” Guy Ritchie’s “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare,” and Sony and Crunchyroll’s anime adventure “Spy x Family Code: White.” Despite high expectations, these films debuted to mixed results.

“Abigail,” anticipated to lead the box office with an opening haul of $12 million to $15 million, narrowly missed the mark by securing the second spot with $10.2 million from 3,384 venues. Despite falling slightly short of projections, the R-rated horror-thriller garnered favorable reviews, boasting an 83% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a respectable “B” CinemaScore. Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the film draws inspiration from Universal’s 1936 classic “Dracula’s Daughter,” portraying the tale of kidnappers ensnaring a 12-year-old ballerina, ultimately revealing her to be a deadly vampire child. With a production budget of $28 million, “Abigail” is poised to turn a profit despite its modest debut.

Meanwhile, Lionsgate’s “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare,” with a hefty budget of $60 million, fell short of expectations with a lackluster $9 million debut, landing it in fourth place. Despite boasting an “A-” CinemaScore and a 73% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the action comedy, featuring Henry Cavill, Henry Golding, and Eiza González, fictionalizes the exploits of a real covert British military unit targeting Nazis. Despite its weak start, the film’s financial prospects may be better in international markets, where Amazon Prime holds distribution rights outside the U.S.

The anime adaptation “Spy × Family Code: White” experienced a lukewarm reception, debuting in fifth place with $4.8 million from 2,009 North American theaters. The film, based on the popular manga series “Spy x Family” by Tatsuya Endo, garnered praise from audiences, boasting an “A” CinemaScore and an impressive 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite its modest performance domestically, “Spy × Family Code: White” has already amassed $45.8 million internationally, capitalizing on the success of its source material.

In contrast, holdover titles “Godzilla x Kong: A New Empire” and “Kung Fu Panda 4” maintained their presence in the box office charts, with Warner Bros. and Legendary’s monster spectacle earning $9.4 million in its fourth weekend, securing third place, while Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s family-friendly sequel notched the sixth slot with $4.6 million after seven weeks in theaters.

Overall, the weekend marked one of the lowest-grossing periods of 2024 for the domestic box office, totaling roughly $65 million in revenue. Year-to-date revenues lagged behind the same period in 2023 by 20%. With April’s lackluster performance behind them, theater owners eagerly anticipate the arrival of “The Fall Guy” on May 3, starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, to kick off the upcoming popcorn season.

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