AceShowbiz - "The Predator" is the new ruler of North American box office. The new and fourth installment of the "Predator" film series had a mediocre debut with approximately $24 million on its opening weekend against its reported $88 million production budget, but it was enough for the movie to take over the top spot.
The Shane Black-directed sci-fi film got bad publicity ahead of its release after one of its stars, Olivia Munn, alerted 20th Century Fox about actor Steven Wilder Striegel who is a registered sex offender. The studio subsequently deleted the scene featuring the actor and Black apologized to Munn for casting Striegel, who is his friend.
But the controversy surrounding the casting of Striegel is hardly to be blamed for the movie's lackluster debut. "The Predator" got majorly mixed or average reviews, with 5.1/10 of average rating on review aggregator websit Rotten Tomatoes. Moviegoers also only gave the movie C+. Chris Aronson, head of domestic distribution at Fox, acknowledged this, saying of the bad press, "I don't think it dissuaded anyone who wasn't predestined to go. I think it had minimal, if any, impact."
"The Predator" victory was no contest since last week's champion "The Nun" dropped to No. 2 with a 66.2% fall. The spin-off to "The Conjuring 2" added an estimated $18.2 million to its domestic gross, while it continues to be an international hit with another $33 million this weekend for global total of $228 million so far.
Newcomers "A Simple Favor" and "White Boy Rick" debuted at No. 3 and 4, respectively. Paul Feig's noir drama starring Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively and Henry Golding took in an estimated $16 million on its first weekend, almost bringing back its production cost of $20 million. "White Boy Rick" starring Matthew McConaughey grossed approximately $8.8 million from 2,504 theaters, which isn't impressive considering its reported $30 million cost before marketing.
Rounding out the top five is "Crazy Rich Asians", which maintains its solid performance with additional $8.7 million, dropping only 33.8% from last week. It brings the movie's total domestic gross to $149.5 million, less than a million to crack the $150 million mark.Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for Sept. 14-16: