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Invisible Man emerges with US$29m opening at US box office

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Above: The Elisabeth Moss-led thriller which cost US$7 million to make, not including marketing fees, is already a financial hit for the studio

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Above: At the premiere of The Invisible Man in Hollywood last week (from left) Michael Dorman, Aldis Hodge, Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Storm Reid.

Los Angeles

THE Invisible Man materialised at the top of box office charts after debuting to US$29 million in North America over the weekend. The movie is Universal's latest attempt to remake its classic monster properties, an effort that flailed spectacularly with 2017's The Mummy starring Tom Cruise.

After that movie was commercially panned and became a box-office bust, the studio scrapped its plans to create an interconnected Dark Universe.

Instead, Universal took the concept in a different direction and focused on creating standalone stories unique to each otherworldly creature.

That approach seems to have paid off since The Invisible Man has been praised by critics and audiences. The Elisabeth Moss-led thriller cost US$7 million to make, not including marketing fees, meaning it's already a financial hit for the studio.

The Invisible Man also launched overseas, earning US$20.2 million from 47 international territories including Singapore. That brings its global opening weekend haul to an impressive US$49.2 million.

Leigh Whannell both wrote and directed The Invisible Man, a modern take on the novel by H G Wells. Moss has been widely heralded for her performance as Cecilia Kass, a woman being hunted by her violently abusive ex-boyfriend (Oliver Jackson-Cohen).

When he dies by suicide, she has to prove her sanity and that she's being stalked by someone that nobody can see.

"Leigh Whannell had an incredibly great vision. It allowed us to broaden the audience and make for a really engaging story," said Jim Orr, Universal's president of domestic distribution. "Our partners don't cut corners when it comes to quality. They consistently deliver hit after hit."

Elsewhere, Paramount's Sonic the Hedgehog slid to second spot after two consecutive weeks as box office champ. The family-friendly film added US$16 million in its third weekend in theatres, boosting its domestic tally to a solid US$128 million Sonic has been a global box office success, bringing in US$137.2 million abroad for a worldwide total of US$265 million.

Heading into the weekend, Sonic the Hedgehog was battling with Disney and 20th Century's The Call of the Wild for second place, though the former pulled ahead.

The Call of the Wild, starring Harrison Ford, placed third with US$13.2 million in its second frame. After two weeks in theatres, the film has made US$45.9 million in North America and US$79.3 million globally.

However, it carries a massive US$125 million price tag and stands to lose money for the studio.

Funimation's anime movie My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising launched at No 4, collecting US$6.3 million from 1,260 venues over the weekend. The Japanese action adventure has made US$9.6 million since debuting last Wednesday.

Sony's Bad Boys for Life rounded out the top five, generating US$4.3 million in its seventh weekend of release. The Will Smith and Martin Lawrence-led film has pocketed US$197 million in the US and US$406 million globally to date.

At the specialty box office, Searchlight's Wendy, a re-imagining of Peter Pan, opened in four theatres. The movie, directed by Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), brought in US$30,000 for a disappointing average of US$7,500 per screen.

Meanwhile, Focus Features expanded Emma to 97 theatres, where it made US$1.17 million. The adaptation of Jane Austen's novel, which has earned US$1.47 million so far, will broaden its theatrical footprint nationwide this weekend.

Neon's Portrait of a Lady on Fire also widened its theatre count last weekend, pulling in US$730,000 from 268 venues and bringing its stateside haul to US$2.4 million.

Another Neon release, the Oscar-winning Parasite, added US$1.5 million this weekend, boosting its domestic total to US$51.5 million, a huge amount for a non-English language film. REUTERS