AceShowbiz - "Abominable" had a very pleasant first week at North American box office. The animated movie about a group of friends who embark on a journey to reunite a young Yeti with his family debuts at the peak of the chart with an estimated $20.8 million.
The PG-rated movie posts the largest opening for an original animated film in 2019 and joins "Us" and "Good Boys" as the only original films to open number one at the domestic chart this year. It additionally marks the seventh (or eight if you count 'Downton Abbey' from Universal's specialty label Focus Features) to open at No. 1.
Featuring the voice of Chloe Bennet, "Abominable" is directed by Jill Culton, the first woman to be credited as the lead director and writer of an animated Hollywood studio pic. The movie earned mostly positive reviews from critics, holding an approval rating of 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, and received an average grade of A from audiences on CinemaScore.
"It's not going to be all superheroes all the time. That's not necessarily going to be everyone's cup of tea," says Jim Orr, distribution chief for Universal. "When we have films like 'Abominable', 'Yesterday', 'Good Boys', 'Us', we're bringing a lot of different people into the theaters and that's good for everyone. That's good for the entire industry."
But enjoying the biggest success this week is "Judy". The movie that traces back the life of legendary performer and actress Judy Garland, portrayed by Renee Zellweger, earned an estimated $3.1 million from 461 theaters, or an average of $6,706 per theater.
Zellweger received praises for her performance as Garland, while the movie holds an approval rating of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences gave it an average grade of A-, as the movie attracted moviegoers which consisted of 60% female, with 79% coming in aged 35 or older.
"It's a very challenging time in film distribution for indies and everyone but Disney, maybe," says Howard Cohen, co-president and co-founder of Roadside Attractions, the film's distributor. "We like movies that can draw an audience, that are crowd-pleasers. In a challenging environment, you have to give people a really strong reason to leave their house." The movie will expand to more theaters next weekend.
Meanwhile, last week's champion "Downton Abbey" slides to No. 2 with approximately $14.5 million. "Hustlers" rises two spots to No. 3 with additional $11.4 million, while "It: Chapter Two" holds onto the fourth place with approximately $10.4 million. Dropping three places to No. 5, "Ad Astra" trails behind the horror movie with an estimated $10.1 million.
Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for Sept. 27-29: