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The live-action feature grossed $112.7 million stateside over the Memorial Day weekend, beating out even high-end estimates that the film would bow to $100 million.
The Guy Ritchie-directed Aladdin stars Will Smith as the Genie and Mena Massoud as the titular hero, a charming street rat who masquerades as a prince to win the affections of Princess Jasmine, played by Naomi Scott. The movie musical, produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich’s Rideback, opened wide in 4,400 locations.
The rehashing of the studio’s 1992 animated pic has received a mixed response from critics, with a 57 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but has fared far better with audiences, earning an A CinemaScore. Aladdin’s audience skewed male, with a 60/40 split, with 51 percent under age 25.
Aladdin is a return to form for Disney’s lucrative live-action adaptations of its classic animations after Tim Burton’s Dumbo had a disappointing opening weekend of $45.9 million at the North American box office earlier this year.
In its opening weekend, Aladdin earned more than Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book, which pulled in $103.2 million in its 2016 debut, but came in behind the Emma Watson-starring Beauty and the Beast, which collected $174.7 million when it premiered in 2017. (Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast did not have the added benefit of a holiday weekend opening.)
Internationally, Aladdin picked up an estimated $121 million for the three-day weekend, across 54 territories. China led the way with $18.7 million in ticket sales, followed by Mexico ($9.2 million) and the U.K. ($8.4 million).
Also hitting theaters over the frame was Olivia Wilde’s R-rated high school comedy Booksmart. Opening wide at 2,505 locations, the Annapurna comedy faced heavy competition from Aladdin and earned a solid but not substantial $8.7 million in its holiday bow.
Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever star in the pic as two Ivy League-bound overachievers determined to party on the night before their graduation. Booksmart was produced by Megan Ellison, Chelsea Barnard, David Distenfeld, Jessica Elbaum and writer Katie Silberman.
Booksmart premiered at SXSW to universal praise, and currently sits at an incredible 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. But audiences did not respond as favorably, giving it a B+ CinemaScore. The comedy, which played best on the West Coast, had a largely female audience (61 percent), with a massive 74 percent of the audience falling between the ages of 18 and 34.
Meanwhile, Screen Gems and The H Collective’s superhero horror film Brightburn posted a three-day gross of $9.5 million at 2,257 locations.
The movie was directed by David Yarovesky from a script by Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn and counts James Gunn as a producer. A riff on the Superman origin story, Brightburn, toplined by Elizabeth Banks, centers on a couple in Kansas who find an alien baby and raise him, only to see him turn evil.
The film received a lukewarm response from critics, with a 64 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences gave it a C+ CinemaScore, but a lower rating is not uncommon for horror-tinged films. Seventy-four percent of Brightburn‘s audience, which was largely male (62 percent), was under 35 years old.
Overall, Memorial Day weekend at the stateside box office was flat, according to numbers from ComScore, coming in below the $227.7 million worth of domestic ticket sales in 2018, when Star Wars spinoff Solo opened to a disappointing $103 million over the four-day weekend (the worst-ever opening weekend for a Star Wars film).
The 2019 Memorial Day weekend box office, which will have an estimated $226 million in stateside sales, was bolstered by holdovers like John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum ($30 million), Avengers: Endgame ($22 million) and Detective Pikachu ($17.3 million).
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Melvin Van Peebles