The film The Fault in Our Stars,a heart-wrenching love story about teens who meet in a cancer support group, won over moviegoers with a stellar $ 48.2 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters over the weekend, beating the new Tom Cruise sci-fi action film, Edge of Tomorrow. Made on a budget of $175 million, Edge… had to settle for third place with $29.1 million, according to estimates from tracking firm Rentrak.
Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie in Walt Disney Co’s reimagining of The Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, took in $33.5 million from Friday through Sunday to finish second.
The Fault in Our Stars, produced for just $12 million, is based on John Green’s best-selling novel about a girl who wheels around a portable oxygen tank as she fights metastatic cancer, and her boyfriend who lost a leg to the disease. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, who played siblings in dystopian thriller Divergent, star as the couple. Fervent fans of the book turned the film into a social media phenomenon long before it hit theaters. The trailer was viewed more than 21 million times on YouTube, while Green, known for a YouTube video blog, tweeted to some 2.6 million followers.
The Fault in Our Stars is the latest film to tap into teen frenzy surrounding a best-selling book, following blockbusters like The Hunger Games and Twilight.
“This far exceeded our most optimistic expectations of just under $30 million,” said Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution for 20th Century Fox, the unit of 21st Century Fox that released the film.
With an audience that was 82 per cent female and 79 per cent under the age of 25, Aronson noted that the film was also playing well in big city, suburban and smaller markets.
“When you get to a number like this, it obviously has to hit with every segment of the market,” he said. The film added $17 million in international markets, Fox said.
Edge of Tomorrow missed forecasts for a $30 million to $32 million start, with studio projections as low as $27 million.
Cruise plays a military public relations specialist forced onto the front lines who relives the same battle over and over again. Emily Blunt co-stars as a celebrated fighter in the film which won raves with an 89 per cent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Distributor Warner Bros. said the movie performed well in overseas markets including China and Russia, earning a $111 million global total through Sunday.
“It was the number-one movie worldwide this weekend,” said Jeff Goldstein, executive vice president for domestic distribution at Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc.
Goldstein noted that word-of-mouth was strong, stating, “Audiences just love it. We believe it’s going to have long legs,” adding that its domestic box-office prospects would be more clear in the coming three weekends. In fourth place, Fox’s superhero sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past earned $14.7 million. Seth MacFarlane comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West, released by Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures, landed in fifth with $7.2 million.
Actor Tracy Morgan critical but ‘more responsive’ after crash
Actor-comedian Tracy Morgan is in critical condition in hospital but was more responsive a day after he was badly hurt in a deadly New Jersey highway crash, revealed his spokesman. Morgan, who gained fame as a member of the Saturday Night Live ensemble before co-starring on the hit NBC television comedy 30 Rock, was injured when a tractor-trailer rear-ended the limousine bus he was riding in early on June 7, with four other passengers. Fellow comedian James McNair was killed in the wreck. Two other comics, Ardie Fuqua and Harris Stanton were also in hospital with severe injuries, while a fifth passenger, Morgan’s assistant, Jeff Millea, was treated for minor injuries and released, police and hospital officials said. The group was returning from a performance in Delaware at around 1 a.m. when the big rig slammed into the back of their chauffeured Mercedes bus near Cranbury Township, New Jersey, flipping it over.
The impact caused a chain-reaction crash involving a second truck, a sport utility vehicle and two other cars, said New Jersey State Police spokesman Gregory Williams. Morgan’s spokesman, Lewis Kay, said the 45-year-old performer suffered several injuries, including a broken leg, a broken nose and several broken ribs and had to undergo surgery on his injured leg.
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