‘Miss Peregrine’ bests ‘Deepwater Horizon’
NEW YORK » In a box-office rarity, three acclaimed, original films from studios opened in theaters over the weekend. Only one caught on. Tim Burton’s latest fantastical oddity, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” debuted with $28.5 million, leading North America ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Peter Berg’s well-reviewed disaster movie “Deepwater Horizon,” about the 2010 oil rig explosion, however, failed to tap North American moviegoers, opening with an estimated $20.6 million. And Disney’s uplifting chess prodigy tale “Queen of Katwe,” starring David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o, brought in a dismal $2.6 million in its national expansion.
Originality, that often lamented missing ingredient in studio products, can lead to box office success, just as it can disappointment. For 20th Century Fox, the draw of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” was predicated on the idiosyncrasy of Burton funneled into an accessible tale, adapted from Ransom Rigg’s popular young-adult novel.
“It validates the whole notion of why we made this film, which is something that’s very original and creative,” said Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution at Fox. “At least I feel that that’s what audiences are looking for. There’s some fatigue with the same old, same old. And if there’s anything this movie isn’t, it’s that.”
The film cost $110 million to make, meaning it will need a strong performance overseas to be profitable. It started out with $36.5 million in 59 markets. Regardless, it’s a comeback of sorts for Burton at the box office. It’s his best opening since 2012’s lackluster “Dark Shadows.”
Lionsgate’s “Deepwater Horizon,” starring Mark Wahlberg, also cost at least $110 million to make, yet it only managed $20.6 million in its debut.