Prevailing in a tight three-way race, Kingsman: The Golden Circle narrowly beat horror blockbuster It and Tom Cruise starrer American Made at the North American box office, according to final weekend numbers from comScore.
Fox's Kingsman sequel grossed $16.94 million, compared to $16.9 million for It and $16.8 million for American Made. Sunday estimates had showed It prevailing with $17.3 million, compared to $17 million each for the two other films. Either way, American Made marks one of the lower openings of Cruise's career.
It remained a phenomenon in its fourth weekend, ending Sunday with a domestic haul of $290.8 million. Overseas, it took in $35.6 million from 64 markets for $262 million abroad and $552.8 million globally. The New Line and Warner Bros. film is responsible for fueling record September revenue after a brutal August.
British filmmaker Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: Golden Sequel sports a 10-day domestic total of $66.6 million. Overseas, the sequel beat It with $50 million from 77 markets for a 12-day worldwide total of more than $192.7 million.
American Made marks a decidedly modest opening for Cruise, who has had a mixed record at the domestic box office. In the film, the actor portrays Barry Seal, the real-life TWA pilot who smuggled cocaine for the Medellin Cartel in the 1980s before turning into a CIA informant. Universal, which is handling American Made, is counting on the movie having a long run, thanks to strong reviews (audiences were less impressed, giving it a B+ CinemaScore). Internationally, where Cruise's star power is brighter, American Made has already earned $64.7 million for a global cume of $81.5 million.
"We will have a great run, and American Made overperformed tracking. Tom is something to discover in this movie," says Universal domestic distribution president Nick Carpou. "And I think it's interesting that you have three films that are within shouting distance of each other. Once the dust settles on Monday, we'll see how it turns out."
American Made cost a reported $50 million to make after tax rebates and incentives. Cross Creek Pictures financed and produced both American Made and the new Flatliners remake, which cost $19 million to make.
Released by Sony, Flatliners faltered with a $6.6 million debut, compared to an expected $10 million-plus opening. The pic sports an abysmal 0 rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes, but earned a B- CinemaScore from audiences.
Directed by Joel Schumacher, the original Flatliners (1990) starred Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt and Kevin Bacon as five medical students who conduct near-death experiments by stopping their hearts for short bursts of time. Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton and Kiersey Clemons star in the reboot, which was helmed by Niels Arden Oplev.
The Christian pic A Question of Faith, whose cast includes Richard T. Jones, Kim Fields, C. Thomas Howell, Renee O'Connor, Gregory Alan Williams, T.C. Stallings and Jaci Velasquez, also opened to a meek $1 million from 661 theaters.
Elsewhere, Fox Searchlight's awards contender Battle of the Sexes, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, rolled out nationwide after launching in 21 cinemas last weekend. The film came in No. 6 with a $3.4 million from 1,213 theaters for an early total of $4.1 million.
Focus Features' Victoria and Abdul, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench, expanded into a total of 77 theaters, taking in $1 million for a screen average of $13,393 and a cume of $1.2 million.
The animated biopic Loving Vincent expanded into a total of four cinemas, grossing $52,886 for a screen average of $13,222.
New openings at the specialty box office included Watergate drama Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, which logged a screen average of $7,028 after earning $35,138 from five theaters. The Sony Pictures Classics release stars Liam Neeson as "Deep Throat," the anonymous source who fed information to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Diane Lane, Maika Monroe and Tony Goldwyn also star in Felt, which premiered earlier this month at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Lucky, starring the late Harry Dean Stanton, launched in five theaters, earning $46,000 for a screen average of $9,200.
And IFC's documentary Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton debuted at the Nuart in Los Angeles, grossing $13,819.
Oct. 2, 4:55 p.m. Updated with final weekend numbers.