Paramount's gruesome 'Smile' tops North America box office | Inquirer Entertainment

Paramount’s gruesome ‘Smile’ tops North America box office

/ 10:29 AM October 03, 2022
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 27: A view of a marquee is seen during Beyond Fest 2022 for the Los Angeles premiere screening of Paramount Pictures' "SMILE" at the Aero Theatre on September 27, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures/AFP (Photo by Phillip Faraone / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 27: A view of a marquee is seen during Beyond Fest 2022 for the Los Angeles premiere screening of Paramount Pictures’ “SMILE” at the Aero Theatre on September 27, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures/AFP (Photo by Phillip Faraone / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

LOS ANGELES — New psychological horror film “Smile” has Paramount executives beaming after topping the North American box office with an estimated $22 million in weekend ticket sales, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.

The film is the disturbing tale of a therapist (Sosie Bacon, daughter of actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick) whose grasp on reality begins to slip after she witnesses a shocking and gruesome event involving a patient.

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“This is an excellent opening, the kind that launches a new horror series,” said analyst David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research. Such horror films, he noted, tend to have low budgets but loyal audiences — two things studios love.

Indeed, another psychological horror film, Warner Bros.’ “Don’t Worry Darling,” placed second for the Friday-through-Sunday period, pulling in $7.3 million.

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With Olivia Wilde acting and directing a cast that includes Florence Pugh, Chris Pine and pop icon Harry Styles, the film was last weekend’s Number One.

In third, also down one spot, was Sony’s history-inspired “The Woman King,” at $7 million. Oscar winner Viola Davis stars as the leader of an all-female army of African warriors.

Fourth place went to Universal’s new release “Bros,” at $4.8 million. Gross said reviews for the movie — a rare gay romantic comedy from a major Hollywood studio — were “outstanding” thanks to its “knowing and relatable” humor. Billy Eichner co-wrote and stars in the film.

And in fifth was the re-release of 20th Century’s 2009 blockbuster “Avatar,” at $4.7 million. The studio is hoping the original will help build interest in a high-budget ($250 million) sequel due in December, “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

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