LOS ANGELES — After a wobbly start, Dwayne Johnson muscled his way to a No. 1 opening for "Rampage" — but just barely. Close on its heels was the word-of-mouth sensation "A Quiet Place," in its second week in theaters, and not too far behind that was the Blumhouse horror "Truth or Dare" in a competitive weekend at the box office.
Warner Bros. said Sunday that "Rampage" earned an estimated $34.5 million in its first weekend in North American theaters and dominated internationally, too, with $114.1 million from 61 territories.
"Rampage," based on the classic arcade game, carried a sizable budget of at least $115 million. Although "Rampage" pulled in mixed reviews (it's at 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), audiences were more enthusiastic, giving it an A- CinemaScore.
"I wasn't sure how I was going to feel on Friday. But when I look at our global number of $148.6 million, there's a lot to be proud of for Dwayne Johnson," said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.' president of domestic distribution. "Talk about a real closer. He knows how to bring it home."
That Friday, of course, was Friday the 13th, and audiences had the choice between two wide-release nail-biters to spend their entertainment dollars on — the buzzy thriller "A Quiet Place," which dominated the charts last weekend, and the new horror from the shop behind "Get Out" and "Split," "Truth or Dare."
After its stunning debut, John Krasinski's modestly budgeted "A Quiet Place" fell by only 35 percent in weekend two, adding $32.6 million to its domestic total, which is just shy of $100 million for Paramount Pictures.
"Truth or Dare" also found a sizable audience that was mostly young (60 percent under 25) and female (60 percent). The PG-13 rated picture stars "Pretty Little Liars" alumna Lucy Hale.
With a budget of just $3.5 million, the film took in a terrific $19.1 million over the weekend — the latest in a string of successes for the Blumhouse and Universal Pictures partnership.
"They take high-quality filmmaking at micro-budgets and just consistently overdeliver," said Jim Orr, Universal's president of domestic distribution. "Everyone at Universal is just thrilled to be in business with these guys."
(Universal is a division of NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.)
Orr said that despite the competitive marketplace, the studio's marketing found a lane with the younger female audience and played into the Friday the 13th release.
In addition, after a limited release, Wes Anderson's stop-motion animated "Isle of Dogs" added 1,385 locations and took the No. 7 spot, with $5 million. Chloe Zhao's well-reviewed indie "The Rider" also made its debut over the weekend in three theaters, with $45,268.
While the success of a horror movie, especially a micro-budget one, isn't a surprise, big-budget films like "Rampage" continue to face a complex marketplace. For box office analysts like Paul Dergarabedian of comScore, "Rampage's" performance fits into the post-"Black Panther" narrative for most would-be blockbusters that have followed the Marvel and Disney phenomenon.
"'Rampage' joins a long list of popcorn movies that have opened in the wake of 'Black Panther' to rely heavily on their international box office revenues," Dergarabedian said, citing "A Wrinkle in Time," "Tomb Raider," "Pacific Rim: Uprising" and "Ready Player One" as recent examples.
Disney's and Marvel's "Black Panther" added $5.3 million in its ninth weekend in theaters, bringing its domestic total to $673.8 million.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
- "Rampage," $34.5 million ($114.1 million international)
- "A Quiet Place," $32.6 million ($22.3 million international)
- "Truth or Dare," $19.1 million ($2.6 million international)
- "Ready Player One," $11.2 million ($33.8 million international)
- "Blockers," $10.3 million ($3.9 million international)
- "Black Panther," $5.3 million ($2.6 million international)
- "Isle of Dogs," $5 million ($2.3 million international)
- "I Can Only Imagine," $3.8 million ($40,000 international)
- "Tyler Perry's Acrimony," $3.7 million
- "Chappaquiddick," $3 million