By Talia Kaplan
Published May 26, 2019
The Walt Disney Co.'s live-action remake of "Aladdin" crushed the competition at the box office this Memorial Day weekend, earning more than $207 million worldwide since its debut. Other new movies in theaters this holiday weekend -- the horror "Brightburn” and the critically acclaimed teen comedy "Booksmart" -- failed to make a major impact.
While the 2 new R-rated films didn’t even break $10 million, "Aladdin" grossed an estimated $86.1 million to take the top spot at the North American box office, according to studio estimates on Sunday. The family pic did better than the expected $90 million pre-release tracking. It's expected to surpass the $100 million mark by Monday.
The musical stars Will Smith, Canadian actor Mena Massoud and English actress Naomi Scott and is based on the 1992 animated film, which was the top earner that year. Guy Ritchie directed the remake.
Audiences, who were 54 percent women and 51 percent families, gave the film an A CinemaScore and the newly launched verified Rotten Tomatoes audience rating gave it a 93 percent.
Known brands and sequels held the top spots at the holiday box office including, "John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum," which, now in its second weekend, placed second with $24.4 million, followed by "Avengers: Endgame," which came in third with $16.8 million. "Pokémon Detective Pikachu" rounded out the top four generating $13.3 million.
The original films featured this holiday weekend didn’t fare as well. Sony's modestly budgeted horror movie "Brightburn," which stars Elizabeth Banks, opened in fifth with $7.5 million. The film puts an evil spin on the Superman myth and has received mediocre reviews from critics.
"Booksmart," which got excellent reviews and steady buzz from its SXSW film festival debut, surprisingly debuted in sixth with only $6.5 million.
Although in line with studio expectations going into the weekend, some analysts predicted that the film, which many compared to the popular movie “Superbad,” would be a summer breakout hit. The movie even garnered a lot of celebrity endorsements on social media including from Ryan Reynolds and Natalie Portman. Olivia Wilde directed the film about two teenage overachievers and rule-followers who decide to go to a party on their last night of high school.
In an apparent attempt to attract moviegoers, Wilde tweeted Saturday, "Anyone out there saving @Booksmart for another day, consider making that day TODAY. We are getting creamed by the big dogs out there and need your support. Don't give studios an excuse not to green-light movies made by and about women."
Those who did make it to "Booksmart" were mostly women, who accounted for 61 percent, and were under the age of 35, accounting for 74 percent. The target 17-34 age group gave a more favorable exit score, an A, compared to audiences overall who gave a B+.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.