Disney’s ‘Dumbo’ soars to top US ticket sales

‘Dumbo’ remade a 1941 classic about a small elephant with huge and magical ears. (AFP Relaxnews pic)

Disney’s new live-action film “Dumbo” took flight over the weekend but didn’t quite make the expected altitude, taking in an estimated US$45 million in US theatres, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.

Analysts expected the movie, Tim Burton’s live-action remake of the 1941 classic about a small elephant with huge and magical ears, to take in at least US$50 million in its opening three-day weekend, according to Variety. The film had a US$170 million production budget.

With a cast including Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Eva Green and Danny DeVito, “Dumbo” may yet catch on overseas, where it has taken in US$71 million.

The last Burton/Disney live-action collaboration, “Alice in Wonderland,” earned US$1.02 billion worldwide.

“Dumbo” pushed last weekend’s box office leader, “Us,” down to second place but the Universal horror film still brought in a respectable US$33.6 million.

Written and directed by Jordan Peele, “Us” stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke as a couple frighteningly confronted by their doppelgangers.

In third spot was another Disney film, “Captain Marvel,” which had North American ticket sales of US$20.5 million, pushing its cumulative worldwide total to just under US$1 billion. Oscar winner Brie Larson stars as a former fighter pilot with superpowers.

Lionsgate’s “Five Feet Apart,” featuring Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse as a pair of enamoured teens who must keep their distance as they deal with cystic fibrosis, came in fourth at US$6.3 million.

Fifth place went to new release “Unplanned” from Christian production company Pure Flix, at US$6.1 million – a shade over its US$6 million production budget. Ashley Bratcher stars in the true story of a young Planned Parenthood employee who becomes an anti-abortion activist.

Rounding out the weekend’s top 10 were:

“Wonder Park” (US$4.9 million)

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” (US$4.2 million)

“Hotel Mumbai” (US$3.2 million)

“A Madea Family Funeral” (US$2.7 million)

“The Beach Bum” (US$1.8 million)