Weekend Box Office: ‘Downton Abbey’ Stuns with $31 Million; ‘Ad Astra’ Takes #2

Collider | 9/22/2019 | Allie Gemmill
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Focus Features is having a heck of a time with Downton Abbey being a veritable cash cow at the box office during its opening weekend. The movie, a continuation of the story laid out in the popular TV series of the same name created and written by Julian Fellowes, earned $31 million domestically in its opening weekend. As was the case on Friday, the international receipts for Downton Abbey were almost neck-and-neck with the domestic ones. Overseas, the movie pulled in $30 million, making for a $61.8 million global gross.

This is pretty major for a movie of Downton‘s ilk. The show has accrued a strong and passionate fanbase over the years, so it was always expected that they would turn out for this feature-length film’s release. But it’s also fair to say the bar was likely set a bit lower than normal because Downton was going to have to fight for audiences as it went up against fellow newcomers Ad Astra and Rambo: Last Blood, respectively starring Brad Pitt and Sylvester Stallone, two A-listers who have been able to open movies to great rewards in the past.

Key - Audiences - Case - Hustlers - Weekend

The key, as it turns out, is catering to female audiences (who woulda thunk it?), as was the case with Hustlers during its opening weekend. Per Variety‘s analysis of this weekend’s box office, Downton‘s tickets sales had a female majority of 74% and 60% of those female ticket buyers were over age 35. Even more jaw-dropping, Downton averaged $10,000 per theater at the 3,079 theaters it was shown at this weekend. Add to this a peachy keen “A” CinemaScore plus lots of clamor to see how Fellowes continued the Downton saga into 1920s Britain and the movie’s success was arguably all but assured.

Fear not, because movies featuring men fraught with anguish over family-based trauma...
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