In a close race, ‘Ram­page’ takes No. 1 from ‘A Quiet Place’

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS -

LOS AN­GE­LES » Af­ter a wob­bly start, Dwayne John­son mus­cled his way to a No. 1 open­ing for “Ram­page” — but just barely. Close on its heels was the word-of-mouth sen­sa­tion “A Quiet Place” in its sec­ond week in the­aters, and not too far be­hind that was the Blum­house hor­ror “Truth or Dare” in a com­pet­i­tive week­end at the box of­fice.

Warner Bros. said Sun­day that “Ram­page” earned an es­ti­mated $34.5 mil­lion in its first week­end in North Amer­i­can the­aters, and dom­i­nated in­ter­na­tion­ally too with $114.1 mil­lion from 61 ter­ri­to­ries.

Based on the clas­sic ar­cade game, “Ram­page” car­ried a siz­able bud­get of at least $115 mil­lion. Although “Ram­page” pulled in mixed re­views (it’s at 50 per­cent on Rot­ten To­ma­toes), au­di­ences were more en­thu­si­as­tic, giv­ing it an A- Cine­maS­core.

“I wasn’t sure how I was go­ing to feel on Fri­day. But when I look at our global num­ber of $148.6 mil­lion, there’s a lot to be proud of for Dwayne John­son,” said Warner Bros. pres­i­dent of do­mes­tic dis­tri­bu­tion Jeff Gold­stein. “Talk about a real closer, he knows how to bring it home.”

That Fri­day, of course, was Fri­day the 13th and au­di­ences had the choice between two wide-re­lease nail-biters to spend their en­ter­tain­ment dol­lars on — the buzzy thriller “A Quiet Place” that dom­i­nated the charts last week­end, and the new hor­ror from the shop be­hind “Get Out” and “Split,” “Truth or Dare.”

Af­ter its stun­ning de­but, John Krasin­ski’s mod­estly-bud­geted “A Quiet Place” fell only 35 per­cent in week­end two, adding $32.6 mil­lion to its do­mes­tic to­tal, which is now just shy of $100 mil­lion for Para­mount Pictures.

“Truth or Dare” also found a siz­able au­di­ence that was mostly young (60 per­cent un­der the age of 25) and fe­male (60 per­cent). The PG-13 rated pic stars “Pretty Lit­tle Liars” alum Lucy Hale.

With a bud­get of just $3.5 mil­lion, the film took in a ter­rific $19.1 mil­lion over the week­end — just the lat­est in a string of suc­cesses for the Blum­house and Univer­sal Pictures part­ner­ship.

“They take high qual­ity film­mak­ing at mi­cro-bud­gets and just con­sis­tently over-de­liver,” said Jim Orr, Univer­sal’s pres­i­dent of do­mes­tic dis­tri­bu­tion. “Ev­ery­one at Univer­sal is just thrilled to be in busi­ness with these guys.”

Orr said de­spite the com­pet­i­tive mar­ket­place, the stu­dio’s mar­ket­ing found a lane with the younger fe­male au­di­ence and played into the Fri­day the 13th re­lease.

Slid­ing into fourth place was Steven Spiel­berg’s “Ready Player One,” with $11.2 mil­lion in its third week­end, and in fifth was the R-rated com­edy “Block­ers,” with $10.3 mil­lion.

Also, af­ter a lim­ited re­lease, Wes An­der­son’s stop-mo­tion an­i­mated “Isle of Dogs” added 1,385 lo­ca­tions and took the No. 7 spot with $5 mil­lion. Chloe Zhao’s well-re­viewed in­die “The Rider” also de­buted this week­end in three the­aters with $45,268.

While the suc­cess of a hor­ror, es­pe­cially a mi­cro-bud­get one, isn’t a sur­prise for the in­dus­try, big bud­get films like “Ram­page” con­tinue to face a com­plex mar­ket­place. For box of­fice an­a­lysts like comS­core’s Paul Der­garabe­dian, “Ram­page’s” per­for­mance fits into the post-”Black Pan­ther” nar­ra­tive for most would-be block­busters that have fol­lowed the Mar­vel and Dis­ney phe­nom­e­non.

Photos and text from wire ser­vices WARNER BROS. VIA AP

This im­age re­leased by Warner Bros. shows Dwayne John­son in a scene from “Ram­page.” John­son’s ar­cade game-in­spired “Ram­page” crept past last week’s top film “A Quiet Place” to take the No. 1 spot on the box of­fice charts.

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