'Girl on the Train' dominates while 'Birth of a Nation' is soft at weekend box office

The Girl on the Train Barry Wetcher Universal finalBarry Wetcher/Universal‘The Girl on the Train.’

Despite Hurricane Matthew causing multiple multiplexes to be closed in the southeast, the big screen adaptation of the best-selling book “The Girl on the Train” still easily won the weekend box office with an estimated $24.7 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The steamy thriller starring Emily Blunt did hit expectations by its studio Universal, but it didn’t have the kind of opening similar to fellow best-seller “Gone Girl” did in 2014 with a $37.5 million opening. That movie though was received better by critics, as it has a 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, “The Girl on the Train” is at 44%.

The other big release of the weekend didn’t do as well as some had hoped. “The Birth of a Nation,” which started the year as the darling of the Sundance Film Festival as it took home its grand jury and audience awards but then limped into theatres after a 17-year-old rape charge of its director and star Nate Parker surfaced, took in an estimated $7.1 million.

Birth of a nationFox Searchlight‘The Birth of a Nation.’

That hit the projection that The Hollywood Reporter predicted, however, there were others that thought the film could get to $10 million, which is how much the film cost to make.

With a record-breaking $17.5 million by Fox Searchlight to nab the film at Sundance and likely an advertising budget between $10 million – $15 million to serve the movie’s wide release, “Nation” has a lot of work to do for Searchlight to get in the black on the film.

In better news, Disney continues to dominate the box office in 2016. It’s Pixar release “Finding Dory” has passed the $1 billion worldwide mark, marking the fourth Disney title to hit the milestone in the last 12 months (the others are: “Captain America: Civil War,” “The Jungle Book,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and “Zootopia”). Disney makes up for 25% of the domestic box office market share in 2016.

“Finding Dory” is currently the top domestic grossing film of the year with $484.5 million.

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