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Miss Bala fumbles as Glass leads slowest Super Bowl weekend in two decades

Los Angeles

M NIGHT Shyamalan's Glass remained victorious at the North American box office for the third weekend in a row - not that the Universal Pictures thriller had much competition.

Glass added another US$9.5 million, enough to top box office charts as newcomer Miss Bala, a drug-cartel drama starring Gina Rodriguez misfired with US$6.7 million from 2,203 venues. With last weekend's bounty, Glass has made US$88 million in North America.

Revenues in North America topped out at US$71 million, according to Comscore, marking the lowest haul for a Super Bowl weekend in almost 20 years. The biggest weekend in football traditionally slows ticket sales at multiplexes, but a dearth of new high-profile releases brought back the worst returns since 2000.

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A polar vortex across the midwest and northeast did not exactly help business. As temperatures dropped below negative 45 degrees Celsius in some portions of the country, moviegoers opted to stay posted indoors and away from their local movie theatre.

Rodriguez, best known for starring in the CW series Jane the Virgin, debuted in third place as Miss Bala struggled to entice audiences. Directed by Twilight helmer Catherine Hardwicke, Miss Bala is based on the popular 2011 Mexican crime movie.

The film came in at the lower end of expectations, though the studio was bracing for a slower start given the expected competition from the Super Bowl. Given its US$15 million production budget, Miss Bala will need to pick up steam during its theatrical run to get in the black. Sony anticipates that Miss Bala will get a box office boost heading into Presidents' Day weekend.

STXfilms and Lantern Entertainment's The Upside landed in second place, bringing in a solid US$8.8 million in its fourth weekend of release. The feel-good drama starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston has now generated US$75.5 million at the domestic box office. Overseas, The Upside has pocketed US$7.6 million to date for a global total of US$83.2 million.

A pair of superhero flicks rounded out the top five. Warner Bros' Aquaman landed at No 4 with US$4.7 million, while Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse fell not far behind with US$4.4 million. Aquaman, the latest comic-book adventure from DC's Extended Universe, has now earned US$323.5 million in North America and a massive US$1.1 billion worldwide.

The cartooned web-slinging adventure Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has generated US$175 million in its 12 weeks of release, earning the distinction as Sony's highest-grossing animated movie.

Elsewhere, Universal's "Green Book" continues to see an awards season boost. The road-trip drama starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali picked up another US$4.3 million last weekend for a domestic tally of US$55.8 million. The movie played in 2,648 locations, marking its widest release to date.

Warner Bros' World War I documentary directed by Peter Jackson, They Shall Not Grow Old, also saw a bump in sales, earning US$2.4 million for a total of US$10.7 million.

On the indie front, Bleecker Street opened Arctic in four locations. The drama about a man (Mads Mikkelsen) who gets stranded in the Arctic after a plane crash brought in US$56,463 for a per-screen average of US$14,116.

There are always exceptions to every rule, and young adult titles geared towards female moviegoers like Hannah MontanaandMiley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert and Dear John proved that the right movie could still pull off a solid start over the Super Bowl weekend.

Each saw debuts over US$30 million during the same weekends in 2008 and 2010. But more often than not, studios avoid any potential competition that a massive football championship might bring. As a result, ticket sales are down 25 per cent compared to the same frame in 2018, when Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was the top film in North America.

The year to date box office is also struggling after a dismal January. The domestic market dropped over 15 per cent from 2018, according to Comscore. That could turn around next weekend when The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part hits the big screen. REUTERS