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Inferno crashes and burns at North American box office
[LOS ANGELES] Inferno, the latest big screen installment of Dan Brown's conspiracy novels, fizzled out in its opening weekend in North America, industry data showed Monday, earning US$10 million less than expected.
The third film in the series that stars Tom Hanks took a frosty US$14.9 million in North America, a fraction of the US$77.1 million debut of The Da Vinci Code, which kicked off the franchise in 2006.
"At this point, it could truly flame out and struggle to reach US$40 million," wrote Brad Brevet of film finance website Box Office Mojo, noting that it been expected to make closer to US$25 million.
But he added that Sony had kept the budget at a relatively low US$75 million, meaning that, combined with overseas ticket sales, the studio wasn't "looking at a complete blood bath on the balance sheet." Based on Dan Brown's bestselling book series, the film stars Felicity Jones alongside Hanks, who returns to the role of Harvard professor Robert Langdon, this time seeking to stop an evil billionaire from killing off the world's population by releasing a deadly virus.
Sony's poor showing with Inferno cleared the way for Lionsgate's Boo! A Madea Halloween - the latest installment in Tyler Perry's Madea franchise - to retain the number one spot in its second week.
The comedy, in which Perry reprises his role as a tough-talking matriarch, took in US$17.2 million for a total of US$52.6 million, box office tracker Exhibitor Relations said.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back slipped a spot from last week to take third place with US$9.6 million.
The sequel to the 2012 film Jack Reacher stars Tom Cruise as a former soldier now going it alone, based on the book series by British author Lee Child.
The financial thriller The Accountant, starring Ben Affleck, held on to its number four spot from last week with US$8.5 million.
The film follows an autistic mathematics savant who capitalises on his fondness for numbers by becoming an undercover forensic accountant for criminal organisations.
Horror prequel Ouija: Origin of Evil - about home seances gone wrong - dropped two spots to take fifth place during its second weekend with us$7.1 million.
Rounding out the top 10 films were: The Girl on the Train (US$4.4 million) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (US$4.1 million) Keeping Up with the Joneses (US$3.4 million) Storks (US$2.9 million) Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (US$2.2 million).