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‘Super Mario’ games out second straight box office win

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” retained the top spot in North America’s box office one week after its epic debut, as Universal’s popular game-themed animation again trounced all competitors, estimates showed Sunday. The joint effort of Universal, Nintendo and Illumination studios raked in $87 million in ticket sales in the Friday-through-Sunday period, bringing the movie’s total haul to more than $347 million, according to Exhibitor Relations.

The industry watcher had already predicted “Super Mario” — with its foundation in one of the most popular video games ever — will be the top movie of the year. Debuting in a very distant second place was Sony’s “The Pope’s Exorcist,” starring Russell Crowe, which earned $9.1 million. “This is a solid opening for a modestly-budgeted original horror film,” said analyst David A. Gross.

Third spot belonged to Lionsgate’s neo-noir “John Wick: Chapter 4,” with $7.9 million bringing the thriller’s four-week North America total to $160 million. Keanu Reeves stars as the titular hitman who finds himself fighting an international crime group. Horror-comedy “Renfield,” distributed by Universal, pulled in $7.7 million in its opening weekend to place fourth. And Amazon Studios’ “Air,” a sports drama about the business deal surrounding Nike and the Michael Jordan basketball shoe that gives the name its title, slipped one spot to fifth, bringing in $7.7 million. Rounding out the top 10 were: “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” ($7.3 million) “Suzume” ($5 million) “Mafia Mamma” ($2 million) “Scream VI” ($1.4 million) “Nefarious” ($1.3 million) — AFP

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