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Chappie leads US box office with low debut as new Vince Vaughn bombs


Story by Jack Foley

NEILL Blomkamp’s robot thriller Chappie has topped the US box office in what proved to be a forgettable weekend for profit-making for just about every studio.

The sci-fi film, starring Hugh Jackman and Sigourney Weaver, took a relatively soft $13.3 million, which is some way short of the $40 million it reportedly cost to produce.

However, according to distributor Sony Pictures, the figures were in line with expectation and they’re hoping for strong word of mouth having been impressed with the character Blomkamp has created.

He now moves to his Alien reboot, which sees him reuniting with Weaver to make a follow-on to James Cameron’s Aliens.

The news was worse, however, for Vince Vaughn, whose latest comedy Unfinished Business bombed with $4.8 million – the worst opening of the actor’s career for a major release, as well as the worst for a comedy.

Unfinished Business only managed a tenth-place finish, coming in just behind The DUFF, which took in $4.9 in its third weekend for a US total of $26.1 million.

The movie finds Vaughn playing a small-business owner who travels to Europe with his two new associates (Tom Wilkinson and Dave Franco) to seal the biggest deal of their careers, only to find that nothing goes as planned.

The only new release to show any sign of impressing was comedy sequel The Second Best Exotic Margold Hotel, which took in $8.6 million despite being released in far fewer screens than the big two.

Once again directed by John Madden, Marigold Hotel 2 returns original cast members Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel, while adding new names including Richard Gere and David Strathairn.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel finished in third place behind Will Smith holdover Focus, which took in $10 million in its second weekend for a US total of $34.6 million.

Kingsman: The Secret Service also continued to perform well in its fourth weekend with $8.3 million for a surprise US total of $98 million and worldwide total of $249 million, while Paramount’s The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water rounded out the top five with an estimated $6.7 million.

And while Fifty Shades of Grey slipped outside of the top five to sixth in its fourth weekend, the film adaptation of EL James’ S&M-laced novel has now amassed a world haul of $527.7 million.

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