‘Barbarian’ is top film amid late-summer box office doldrums

Barbarian
This image released by 20th Century Studios shows Georgina Campbell in a scene from “Barbarian.”
20th Century Studios via AP

By ANDREW DALTON AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES — The horror film “Barbarian” won the weekend by bringing in $10 million, according to studio estimates Sunday, as the late-summer doldrums at the box office continued.

Director Zach Cregger’s debut from Disney’s 20th Century Studios premiered at San Diego Comic-Con in July and opened Friday on 2,340 screens.

“Barbarian” tells the story of a young woman (Georgina Campbell) who finds her Airbnb-rented house weirdly occupied by a stranger (Bill Skarsgård) in a half-ruined section of Detroit. It goes on to subvert several horror conventions.

The hardly head-turning numbers were expected in a nearly always slow September, with the bigger movies of fall and the holiday season many weeks away. “Barbarian” nearly earned back its $10.5 million budget in its first weekend.

Coming in a distant second, but playing on just 810 screens, was “Brahmāstra: Part One: Shiva,” an Indian, Hindi-language fantasy epic from Star Studios, another subsidiary of Disney.

The film written and directed by Ayan Mukerji, about a DJ named Shiva who discovers a connection with the element of fire and an ability to awaken a supernatural super-powerful weapon, earned $4.4 million in its first weekend in North America.

Long-running Hollywood fare, “Bullet Train” and “Top Gun: Maverick,” occupied the three and four spots.

“Bullet Train” has brought in $92.5 million in six weeks and “Top Gun: Maverick” has earned $705.7 million in 16 weeks and stands as the fifth highest-grossing domestic film of all time.

More quiet weeks likely lie ahead before a surge of expected big earners, including “Halloween Ends” and “Black Adam,” arrive in October.

Soon after that, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” kicks off the holiday box office season and an even bigger round of expectations.

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