Disney and Pixar's fantasy film "Onward" dominated North American box office with a solid 40 million U.S. dollars in its opening weekend.
The all-new original film also earned 28 million dollars in 47 material territories for a global debut of 68 million dollars, according to studio figures collected by measurement firm Comscore.
The film is directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae -- the team behind 2013's "Monsters University."
Set in a suburban fantasy world, the story introduces two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley, who embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic left out there that will bring back their deceased father.
"Onward" is Pixar Animation Studios' 22nd feature film. It is inspired by Scanlon's personal experiences with his brother and their connection with their dad who passed away when Scanlon was about a year old.
"My father has always been a mystery to us. A family member sent us a tape recording of him saying just two words: 'hello' and 'goodbye.' Two words. But to my brother and me, it was magic," said Scanlon in a press briefing.
The film features the voices of Tom Holland as Ian, Chris Pratt as Barley and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as their mother.
"I think what's amazing and what Dan has been able to do on this film is tell a very personal story in a universal way. And that's because he didn't get too attached to all of the specifics of his own story, but just enough that would feed a global universal story," Rae said in an earlier interview with Xinhua, adding that this modern suburban fantasy film is a new genre for Pixar.
"I do think it's a story about your family, where you come from, how your ancestry and your lineage affect who you are and who you're going to become. Yeah. That's deeply ingrained in what this film is," Scanlon said.
"As someone who never knew his father, I am fascinated by the history of my family and what kind of missing blueprint of who I should become or avoid becoming," he said. "I've always been interested in film and wanting to tell stories."
The film received a positive "A-" CinemaScore from audiences and holds an approval rating of 86 percent based on 225 reviews to date on review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.
The Elisabeth Moss-led thriller "The Invisible Man" rode a wave of good reviews to a very visible spot atop the box office this weekend. Universal Pictures on Sunday estimated that the film from writer-director Leigh Whannell earned $29 million from North American theaters. Internationally, the Blumhouse production picked up an additional $20.2 million.
Whannell helped dust off the classic H.G. Wells story and update it for modern audiences by focusing on Moss' victim character instead of the Invisible Man character, who here is an abusive ex-boyfriend.
"The Invisible Man" carried a relatively modest budget, costing under $10 million to produce, and exceeded expectations by a few million dollars. The film, which had been well-received by critics, drew diverse audiences to the theaters (46% Caucasian, 20% African American and 18% Hispanic), according to exit polls.
"We couldn't be more pleased," said Jim Orr, Universal's president of domestic distribution. "(Whannell) brought this century-old character to life in a very clever and relevant way."
The studio expects it to continue to play well into March, although it will have some extra competition when "A Quiet Place Part II" opens on March 20.
Paramount Pictures' "Sonic the Hedgehog" slid to second place in its third weekend in theaters adding $16 million and bringing its domestic total to $128.3 million. "The Call of the Wild," with Harrison Ford, placed third in its second weekend with $13.2 million.
Fourth place went to the anime superhero film "My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising" which opened to $6.3 million from just 1,260 screens.
"We should never underestimate films like this that may not have broad recognition among the general public," said Comscore's senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.
"Bad Boys for Life" rounded out the top five with $4.3 million in its seventh weekend. The Will Smith and Martin Lawrence pic is just shy of reaching the $200 million mark in North America and has earned over $400 million globally.
In limited release, "Wendy," Benh Zeitlin's long-awaited follow-up to his Oscar-nominated film "Beasts of the Southern Wild," got off to a bumpy start with just $30,000 from four theaters. The Peter Pan-inspired film has garnered mixed reviews from critics and will be expanding in the coming weeks.
Although it's still early in the year, overall the box office is up nearly 3.5%.
"This weekend it was business as usual in North American theaters," Dergarabedian said. "People went to the movies to escape the trials and tribulations of the real world."
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "The Invisible Man," $29 million ($20.2 million international).
2. "Sonic The Hedgehog," $16 million ($26.8 million international).
3. "The Call of the Wild," $13.2 million ($11 million international).
4. "My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising," $6.3 million ($117,000 international).
5. "Bad Boys for Life," $4.3 million ($4.9 million international).
6. "Birds of Prey," $4.1 million ($4.6 million international).
7. "Impractical Jokers: The Movie," $3.5 million.
8. "1917," $2.7 million ($5.3 million international).
9. "Brahms: The Boy II," $2.6 million ($2.4 million international).
10. "Blumhouse's Fantasy Island," $2.3 million ($1.9 million international).
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Comscore:
1. "Sonic The Hedgehog," $26.8 million.
2. "The Invisible Man," $20.2 million.
3. "The Call of the Wild," $11 million.
4. "The Gentlemen," $8.5 million.
5. "Dolittle," $6.4 million.
6. "Parasite," $5.8 million.
7. "1917," $5.3 million.
8. "Bad Boys for Life," $4.9 million.
9. "Birds of Prey," $4.6 million.
10. "10 Jours Sans Maman," $2.7 million.
The Elisabeth Moss-led thriller "The Invisible Man" rode a wave of good reviews to a very visible spot atop the box office this weekend. Universal Pictures on Sunday estimated that the film from writer-director Leigh Whannell earned $29 million from North American theaters. Internationally, it picked up an additional $20.2 million.
"The Invisible Man" carried a relatively modest budget, costing under $10 million to produce.
"Sonic the Hedgehog" slid to second place in its third weekend in theaters with $16 million. "The Call of the Wild," with Harrison Ford, placed third in its second weekend with $13.2 million.
And in limited release, Benh Zeitlin's re-imagining of the Peter Pan myth, "Wendy," got off to a bumpy start with just $30,000 from four theaters.
Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof's "There Is No Evil" won the Golden Bear prize Saturday for best picture at the Berlin Film Festival. Rasoulof wasn't there to accept the award due to a travel ban imposed on him by Iranian authorities.
"There Is No Evil" tells four stories loosely connected to the use of the death penalty in Iran and dealing with personal freedom under tyranny.
The Berlin festival jury led by actor Jeremy Irons chose the film over 17 others competing for the prize, including Sally Potter's "The Road Not Taken," a remake of "Berlin Alexanderplatz," and "Siberia," starring Willem Dafoe and Dounia Sichov.
Organizers left an empty chair and name sign for Rasoulof at the news conference for his entry. Germany's dpa news agency reported that Rasoulof's daughter, Baran, accepted the Golden Bear award on his behalf.
The Silver Bear for best actress went to Paul Beer for her performance in "Undine" and the Silver Bear for best actor to Elio Germano for his role in "Hidden Away." Best screenplay went to the D'Innocenzo brothers, Damiano and Fabio, for "Bad Tales."
Paramount Pictures on Monday halted production on the seventh "Mission: Impossible" film due to the new virus, as Hollywood began to more drastically adapt to the growing global outbreak.
"Mission: Impossible 7" had been scheduled to shoot for three weeks in Venice. More than 200 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Italy, the largest number outside Asia. While most of those cases are in the neighboring Lombardy region, authorities said three people in Venice have tested positive for the virus.
In a statement, Paramount cited the Venetian government's halting of public gatherings, and said it was canceling the shoot "out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew."
Paramount also on Monday postponed the Chinese release of "Sonic the Hedgehog," which had been set for Friday. Cinemas in China have been shuttered due to the outbreak, closing down the world's second largest box-office market.
At stake is potentially hundreds of millions in ticket sales in China and elsewhere. Media stocks were among those that tumbled Monday on Wall Street as fears increased of the virus' effect on the global economy.
Last week, the James Bond film "No Time to Die" canceled its planned Beijing premiere and promotional tour. The film is to open in Britain on April 2 and in North America on April 10.
The Walt Disney Co.'s anticipated live-action "Mulan" remake is also soon to open worldwide, with a particular focus on China. It's due to open there on March 27.