Weekend Box Office: 'American Made' in Close Race With 'Kingsman,' 'It'; 'Flatliners' Stalls

American Made Still 2 - Publicity - H 2017
David James/Universal Studios

'American Made' stars Tom Cruise as a real-life pilot who smuggled cocaine for a Colombian cartel before turning CIA-informant.

In a surprise twist, Doug Liman's American Made has found itself in a close race for the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office with holdovers Kingsman: The Golden Circle and It.

American Made, starring Tom Cruise, won on Friday with an estimated $6.1 million from 3,024 theaters for a projected $16.5 million weekend, on par with the forecast for Kingsman and It.

Kingsman: Golden Circle, from 20th Century Fox, had been widely expected to win the frame with $20 million or more.

The weekend's other new nationwide offering, Sony's horror remake Flatliners, appears DOA and may not crack $6 million in its opening. Prerelease tracking had suggested the R-rated pic would clear $10 million.

Cross Creek Pictures financed and produced both American Made and Flatliners.

In Liman's film, Cruise stars as Barry Seal, the real-life TWA pilot who smuggled cocaine for the Medellin Cartel in the 1980s before turning CIA informant. Universal, which is handling American Made, is counting on the movie having a long run, thanks to strong reviews. Overseas, American Made has already earned more than $60 million.

Cruise could use a win at the North American box office after his last two movies, The Mummy (2017) and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) turned in soft performances.

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 $19 million remake, which was helmed by Niels Arden Oplev.

Elsewhere, Fox Searchlight's awards contender Battle of the Sexes, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, is rolling out nationwide after launching in 21 cinemas last weekend. The film is pacing to gross $3 million-$5 million as it expands into a total of 1,213 theaters.

Sept. 29, 12:30 p.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates.
Sept. 30, 7:30 a.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates.