“Barbarian” is the top movie amid late-summer box office fatigue

Director Zach Cregger poses with actors Georgina Campbell and Justin Long at a screening of

Director Zach Cregger poses with actors Georgina Campbell and Justin Long at a screening of ‘Barbarian’. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez via Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The horror movie “Barbarian” took in $10 million over the weekend, studio estimates showed Sunday, as box office fatigue continued in late summer.

Director Zach Cregger’s feature film debut from Disney’s 20th Century Studios premiered at San Diego Comic-Con in July and opened Friday on 2,340 screens.

“Barbarian” tells the story of a young woman (Georgina Campbell) who finds her Airbnb rental strangely inhabited by a stranger (Bill Skarsgård) in a dilapidated section of Detroit. It continues to subvert several horror conventions.

The hard-to-reverse numbers were expected in an almost always slow September, with the biggest films of the fall and holiday season several weeks away. “Barbarian” nearly made back its $10.5 million budget in its opening weekend and accounted for nearly a quarter of all theatrical earnings.

“In a weekend where the overall box office is pretty low, the top number of $10 million is a really solid number for this market,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at data firm Comscore. “Horror movies are always an accountant’s dream, and here’s why.”

In a distant second, but playing on just 810 screens, was “Brahmāstra: Part One: Shiva,” a Hindi-language Indian fantasy epic from Star Studios, another Disney subsidiary.

The Ayan Mukerji-written-directed film, about a DJ named Shiva who discovers a connection to the element of fire and the ability to awaken a supernatural superweapon, earned $4.4 million in its opening weekend in North America.

Longtime Hollywood staples “Bullet Train” and “Top Gun: Maverick” took the three and four spots.

“Bullet Train” brought in $92.5 million in six weeks and “Top Gun: Maverick” earned $705.7 million in 16 weeks. It now stands as the fifth-highest-grossing domestic film of all time, just behind “Avatar” and just ahead of “Black Panther,” and is the highest-grossing North American film ever for a non-science fiction franchise or superheroes.

“This movie destroys superhero numbers,” Dergarabedian said.

They’re likely to expect more quiet weeks before a wave of expected big box office hits arrives in October, including “Halloween Ends” and “Black Adam.”

Soon after, the sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” kicks off the holiday box office season and an even bigger cycle of anticipation.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday.

1. “Barbarian,” $10 million.

2. “Brahmastra Part One: Shiva,” $4.4 million.

3. “Bullet Train,” $3.25 million.

4. “Top Gun: Maverick,” $3.2 million.

5. “DC League of Super-Pets,” $2.8 million.

6. “The Invitation,” $2.6 million.

7. “Lifemark,” $2.2 million.

8. “Beast,” $1.8 million.

9. “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” $1.65 million.

10. “Spider Man: No Way Home,” $1.3 million.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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