AceShowbiz - Kevin Hart still wins the hearts of moviegoers despite the Oscar hosting debacle. His latest movie "The Upside" has scored a big win at the North American box office for STX Entertainment with an estimated $19.6 million on its debut weekend, doubling the expectations.
It's a surprise victory for the comedy which also stars Bryan Cranston, as release tracking showed it would open to around $9-$12 million domestically heading into the weekend. It's the first movie from STX that opened at No. 1 on box office and the second-biggest debut for the indie studio behind 2016's R-rated comedy "Bad Moms" ($23.8 million).
"When I look at where the movie overperformed, I think [its rating] was a beneficial contributor," Adam Fogelson, STX's Motion Picture Group chairman, comments on the unexpected win. He adds, "Kevin is in rarified company when it comes to the level of support of his fans."
The movie's box office performance goes along with scores from moviegoers who have watched the film, as audience gave it an A CinemaScore. Critics, on the other hand, were quite harsh as it receives a 40% approval on Rotten Tomatoes.
"The Upside", a leftover from Harvey Weinstein's now-defunct The Weinstein Company, was initially set to be released in March 2018, but was shelved due to the company's downfall. STX worked with director Neil Burger to recut the film to make it a PG-13 movie instead of an R-rated one, making it suitable for a more diverse audience.
"The Upside" victory ended "Aquaman" throne after three weeks at No. 1. Now pushed to No. 2, it added approximately $17.3 million to its domestic box office for a global total of more than $1 billion. It becomes the first DC superhero pic to cross the $1 billion mark since Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" did so in 2012.
At No. 3 is another new release, "A Dog's Way Home", which grossed approximately $11.3 million on its debut weekend. It's a solid start for the family-friendly film, featuring the voice of Bryce Dallas Howard, which only cost $18 million to produce.
"Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse" is up one place from No. 5 to No. 4 with additional $9 million, followed by "Escape Room (2019)" which drops three places from No. 2 to No. 5 with approximately $8.9 million.
Meanwhile, another newcomer, Keanu Reeves-starring sci-fi thriller "Replicas", disappoints, with only $2.5 million, marking the worst wide start for the actor's career. Slapped with C CinemaScore in addition to poor reviews from critics, it lands at No. 13.Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for Jan. 11-13: