'Upside' in surprise number one spot at N. American box office

Los Angeles (AFP) –


"The Upside," a Hollywood remake of a French smash hit, was a surprising box office hit over the weekend, raking in more than $20 million -- double industry expectations -- as it opened in North American theaters.

The feel good movie, about a wealthy quadriplegic played by Bryan Cranston and his caretaker, played by Kevin Hart, took in $20.4 million, ending the three-week reign of "Aquaman," which earned $17.4 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said.

"The Upside" was one of the last films made by Harvey Weinstein before sexual abuse allegations brought his Hollywood career crashing down.

After premiering in 2017 at the Toronto film festival, it was shelved as allegations against Weinstein multiplied. The mini-budget studio STX and Lantern Capital then bought its rights and re-edited it for a broader audience.

While Warner Bros.'s "Aquaman" slipped to second place, it has surged past the $1 billion mark worldwide, the first DC comic-book film to do so since 2012's "The Dark Knight Rises."

The weekend was good news for Nicole Kidman, who co-stars in both of the top two movies.

In third place was Sony's new release "A Dog's Way Home," which took in $11.3 million. Bryce Dallas Howard voices the title pooch who has a series of adventures after being separated from her owner. Ashley Judd and Edward James Olmos co-star.

"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," also from Sony, continued to perform well, taking in $9.1 million in its fifth week out to place fourth at the box office. It won the Best Animated Movie award at the recent Golden Globe ceremony.

Yet another Sony film, "Escape Room," scored $8.9 million to garner the fifth spot. The film stars Logan Miller and Taylor Russell as part of a group facing deadly consequences when sent into an escape room.

Rounding out the weekend's top 10 were:

"Mary Poppins Returns" ($7.7 million)

"Bumblebee" ($7.2 million)

"On the Basis of Sex" ($6.1 million)

"The Mule" ($5.7 million)

"Vice" ($3.2 million)