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The Revenant tops snow storm-hit US box office

The Revenant

Story by Jack Foley

ALEJANDRO Inarritu’s awards favourite The Revenant has topped the US box office in its third week of release.

The survival thriller, which pits Leonardo DiCaprio against the elements after his character is mauled by a bear, scored its own triumph against Mother Nature by taking $16 million despite the fact that hundreds of cinemas on the country’s East Coast were forced to close because of the massive storm dubbed Snowzilla (or storm Jonas), including in New York City.

And putting that into context, cinemas in New York contribute as much as 7% of the overall box-office gross in most weekends. And going into the weekend, box office analysts had predicted The Revenant might hit somewhere between $19 and $20 million.

Fox domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson commented: “This is about as bad as I can remember. I don’t ever recall such widespread theatre closures. Honestly, I expected Revenant to be No. 1, but I had it doing $19 million, not $16 million.”

The US box office as a whole was predictably down because of the weather, which has seen near record levels of snow fall upon the East Coast. But in truth, figures weren’t expected to be massive anyway given that none of the weekend’s new releases were big.

Zac Efron and Robert De Niro’s R-rated comedy Dirty Grandpa fared the best of the three newbies, taking $11.5 million and landing fourth spot despite some of the worst reviews of De Niro’s career.

Close behind was horror movie The Boy, which took $11.2 million. The film, previously titled The Inhabitant, revolves around a young American (Lauren Cohan) who takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village.

Her charge, however, turns out to be a life-size doll that the parents treat as a real boy, while the whereabouts of their son is unclear.

Sony’s 5th Wave, starring Chloe Grace Moretz, came in sixth with an estimated $10.3 million, a disappointing start for a movie that cost $38 million to make.

Based on the best-selling young adult book series, 5th Wave follows a young girl on the run after four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks leave much of Earth decimated. As she prepares for the fifth attack, she meets a young man (Nick Robinson).

Elsewhere at the US box office, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”: clung to second spot with $14.3 million, to bring its US total to $879.3 million. Overseas, it took an additional $23.3 million for a foreign tally of $1.06 billion and a global haul of $1.94 billion.

Universal’s Ride Along 2 placed third with $12.9 million, falling a mighty 63% in only its second weekend.

Next story: David Bowie’s Labyrinth to get a sequel