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Godzilla X Kong still top of North American box office in 2nd weekend

Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire easily swatted away a pair of challengers to hold on to the top spot at the box office for the second week in a row, according to studio estimates on Sunday (Apr 7).

After its above-expectations US$80 million launch last weekend, the MonsterVerse mashup brought in US$31.7 million (S$42.7 million) over its second weekend, a 60 per cent drop from its debut. The Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures release, directed by Adam Wingard, has thus far outperformed any of the studio’s recent monster films except for 2014’s Godzilla.

But with around US$300 million worldwide in two weeks, Godzilla X Kong could ultimately leapfrog the US$529 million global haul of 2014’s Godzilla. The latest installment, in which Godzilla and Kong team up, cost about US$135 million to produce.

Godzilla X Kong extended its box-office reign as another primate-themed movie arrived in theatres. Dev Patel’s Monkey Man, an India-set revenge thriller released by Universal Pictures, opened in 3,029 North American theatres with an estimated US$10.1 million.

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This image released by Universal Pictures shows a scene from the film Monkey Man. (Universal Pictures via AP)

That marked a strong debut for Patel’s modestly budgeted directorial debut in which he stars in a bloody, politically charged action extravaganza. Monkey Man, which cost about US$10 million to make, was dropped by its original studio, Netflix, after which Jordan Peele and his Monkeypaw Productions swooped in.

The weekend’s other new wide release, The First Omen, from Disney’s 20th Century Studios, struggled to make a big impact with moviegoers. It came in third with an estimated US$8.4 million in ticket sales in 3,375 theatres, while collecting an additional US$9.1 million overseas. The R-rated horror film, which cost about US$30 million to make, is a prequel to the 1976 Richard Donner-directed original starring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick.

This version, directed by Arkasha Stevenson and starring Nell Tiger Free, Tawfeek Barhom and Bill Nighy, follows 2006’s The Omen, which opened to US$16 million and ultimately grossed US$119 million.

The tepid opening for The First Omen allowed Sony’s Ghosbusters: Frozen Empire to take third place with US$9 million in its third weekend of release. The sci-fi comedy sequel has collected US$88.8 million domestically and US$138 million worldwide.

Warner Bros’ Dune: Part Two continues to perform strongly. It added US$7.2 million in its sixth week, dipping just 37 per cent, to bring its domestic total to US$264 million.

One of the week’s biggest performers was in China, where Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-winning The Boy And The Heron landed in theatres. The acclaimed Japanese anime is setting records for a non-Chinese animated film. After opening Wednesday, its five-day total surpassed US$70 million, a new high mark for Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.

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