LOS ANGELES -- Universal's Abominable opened in first place with about $21 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.
Internationally the film added $8.8 million across 30 territories for a global cumulative of $30.5 million.
A co-production between DreamWorks Animation and China's Pearl Studios, the film posted the biggest opening for an original animated film this year and is just the third original film to open in first place at the domestic box office behind Universal's earlier hits Us and Good Boys.
The $75 million film, about a young girl on a journey with a yeti, was well-received with an A CinemaScore and an 80% fresh rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
Abominable marks the seventh No. 1 film this year for Universal, or eight if you count Downton Abbey, released by the studio's specialty label, Focus Features. Downton, last week's top film, slid to second with $14.5 million. The big-screen encore for the British series has already grossed $107.1 million worldwide.
That gives Universal the most No.1 movies of any studio this year, passing Disney. Though Disney still commands an overwhelming market share of about 34%, Universal has had a strong year with a varied slate (Us, Hobbs & Shaw, Yesterday). The studio accounts for all three of the year's No.1-debuting original releases: Abominable, Us and Good Boys.
"It's not going to be all superheroes all the time. That's not necessarily going to be everyone's cup of tea," said Jim Orr, distribution chief for Universal. "When we have films like Abominable, Yesterday, Good Boys, Us, we're bringing a lot of different people into the theaters, and that's good for everyone. That's good for the entire industry."
At No. 3, STX Entertainment's Hustlers added $11.5 million in its third weekend (a 32% drop) for a cumulative $80.6 million. The film currently stands at $95.4 million globally.
In fourth place, Warner Bros.' It Chapter Two added $10.4 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $194 million. It now stands at $417.4 million in global receipts.
Rounding out the top five, Fox's Ad Astra added $10.1 million in its second weekend (a 47% drop) for a cumulative $35.5 million. Globally, it stands at $89 million.
At No. 6, Lionsgate's Rambo: Last Blood added $8.6 million in its second weekend (a 55% drop) for a cumulative $33.1 million.
And one of the weekend's biggest successes -- at No. 7 --was Judy, which opened with $3.1 million on 461 screens. The film, directed by Rupert Goold, is about the final act of Judy Garland's life when the Wizard of Oz star was plagued by drug addiction, health woes and financial troubles. The film's main draw is Renee Zellweger's lauded performance as Garland, which has made her the best-actress Oscar front-runner.
Roadside Attractions rolled out Judy with a rare medium-size platform release that the distributor has found success with before on films like 2012's Mud and this summer's The Peanut Butter Falcon. The latter is a Mark Twain-inspired adventure starring Zack Gottsagen, who has Down syndrome, and Shia LaBeouf. Last weekend, it became the year's top indie platform release with $18.1 million over eight weeks, passing A24's The Farewell.
Howard Cohen, co-president and co-founder of Roadside, says the 16-year-old distributor has succeeded by seeking populist indies. (Judy, for which the audience was almost 80% over the age of 35, will expand nationwide further this week.)
"It's a very challenging time in film distribution for indies and everyone but Disney, maybe," Cohen said. "We like movies that can draw an audience, that are crowd-pleasers. In a challenging environment, you have to give people a really strong reason to leave their house."
"The movies have to be properly released and promoted," he added. "But I think the audience is still there."
At No. 8, Universal's Good Boys added $2 million in its seventh weekend for a cumulative $80.4 million.
In ninth place, Disney's The Lion King added $1.6 million in its 11th weekend for a cumulative $540 million.
Rounding out the top 10, Lionsgate's Angel Has Fallen added $1.5 million in its sixth weekend for a cumulative $67.2 million.
In limited release, Roadside Attractions' The Peanut Butter Falcon added $908,270 across 935 locations in its eighth weekend, bringing the film to a cumulative $18.1 million and making it the No. 1 indie platform release of 2019.
Well Go USA's First Love, directed by Takashi Miike, led the week in per-screen average with $12,075, earning $24,150 in two locations.
The animated film Promare, in its second weekend from GKids, added $113,455 in 31 locations to total $1.1 million domestically, including $775,000 from Fathom Events screenings.
Sony Pictures Classics' Where's My Roy Cohn? expanded into eight locations (up from four), adding $60,089 in its second weekend for a per-screen average of $5,007 and a cumulative $120,813.
The two-and-half-month break from superheroes atop the box office is expected to end this weekend when Warner Bros.' Joker hits theaters, along with Fox Searchlight's Lucy in the Sky and Netflix's Dolemite Is My Name.
MovieStyle on 10/04/2019
Print Headline: Abominable topples Downton Abbey for top spot