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Despite plenty of new nationwide offerings, Universal's blockbuster "Hobbs & Shaw" pulled ahead of the competition to maintain its reign at the domestic box office.
The "Fast & Furious" spinoff - starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham - collected $25.4 million during its second weekend of release. Those ticket sales mark a 58% decline from its inaugural outing, on par with past franchise entries. After nine days in theaters, the action tentpole has earned $108 million in North America and $224 million overseas.
Though "Hobbs & Shaw" retained the box office crown, CBS Films, eOne and Lionsgate's "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" came within striking distance, debuting at No. 2 with a strong $20.8 million from 3,135 theaters. The PG-13 thriller, based on the children's horror book series, was directed by Andre Ovredal and produced by Guillermo del Toro. "Scary Stories" tied 2012's "The Woman in Black" as CBS Film's biggest opening to date.
"The filmmakers and the team at CBS Films are thrilled that moviegoers are embracing the world of Scary Stories," del Toro said in a statement. "It's particularly satisfying to see families experiencing the fun of the movie together."
"Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" was the only wide release to beat expectations. Four other films opened nationwide this weekend with mixed to disappointing results.
Like "Scary Stories," Paramount's "Dora and the Lost City of Gold," also catered to younger female moviegoers. The live-action adaptation of the animated kids TV show launched in fourth place with $17 million from 3,735 screens, a lukewarm start for a film that cost nearly $50 million. Overseas, "Dora the Explorer's" big-screen debut pocketed $2.5 million for a global bow of $19.5 million.
The PG comedy - starring Isabela Moner as Dora - brought out families and females. Parents and kids accounted for 43% of opening weekend crowds, while women and girls totaled 57% of audiences. Hispanics turned out in force, representing 46% of moviegoers. Caucasians made up the next biggest demographic (32%), followed by African Americans (11%) and Asians (11%).
Warner Bros.' "The Kitchen" also felt the heat, and star power wasn't enough to save the heist thriller starring Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss. The movie flamed out with $5.5 million, a dismal debut given the high-wattage cast and a production budget nearing $38 million. Andrea Berloff wrote and directed the film, which also features Domhnall Gleeson, James Badge Dale and Brian d'Arcy James.
"The Kitchen" opened below Disney-Fox's canine adventure "The Art of Racing in the Rain," which came in on the lower end of projections with $8 million, placing sixth on box office charts. The family friendly film, based on the popular novel by Garth Stein, represents another dud for Disney since acquiring 20th Century Fox. The cast includes Milo Ventimiglia and Amanda Seyfried, while Kevin Costner voices the dog.
The weekend's final newcomer, Bleecker Street's "Brian Banks," opened at No. 12 with $2 million from 1,240 locations. The sports drama tells the true story of an All-American high school football star (Aldis Hodge), who fights to reclaim his freedom after he's wrongly convicted of a crime.
Meanwhile "Bring the Soul: The Movie," a documentary about K-pop sensation BTS, cracked the top 10, bringing in $2.3 million from 873 locations.
With audiences largely ignoring new films, Disney's "The Lion King" secured third place, adding $20 million during its fourth outing. Jon Favreau's photorealistic remake of the animated classic has amassed $1.33 billion globally, surpassing "Beauty and the Beast" ($1.26 billion) to become the studio's biggest live-action film in history. With $472.8 million in North America, "The Lion King" is also the second-highest grossing movie of the year domestically.
Sony and Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" rounded out the top five with $11.6 million, crossing a major milestone in its third frame. The R-rated drama hit the $100 million mark, making it the only original film this summer to reach triple digits.
At the indie box office, Roadside Attractions' comedic drama "The Peanut Butter Falcon" landed $205,236 when it touched down in 17 venues for a theater average of $12,108. The acclaimed film stars Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson.
Elsewhere, Sony Pictures Classics "After the Wedding," a remake with Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams, nabbed $57,123 from five locations, averaging $11,425 per screen.
After a mixed bag of a weekend, the domestic box office is down over 6% compared to last year. Though August could generate some surprise successes, theaters might not see a huge hit until Warner Bros. "It Chapter Two" floats into theaters in September.