‘Bullet Train’ speeds to top of N.America box office

LOS ANGELES (INN) – Sony s “Bullet Train,” the last major studio release of the summer, sped to solid ticket sales of $30.1 million this weekend to top the North American box office, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations estimated Sunday.

It was a “solid opening for an action thriller,” said analyst David A. Gross, adding that the presence of lead star Brad Pitt “is going to ensure international success.”

Pitt, who plays a professional assassin on a Japanese train seemingly loaded with them, heads a cast that includes Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Latin music star Bad Bunny, as well as Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum in bit roles.

Helming “Bullet Train” is Pitt s former stunt double, David Leitch, who has earned a name directing action films.

Last weekend s box-office leader, Warner Bros.  animated “DC League of Super-Pets,” slipped a notch to second, taking in $11.2 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period.

Third place went to Universal s horror flick “Nope,” at $8.5 million. The sci-fi flick, boosted by the involvement of popular writer/director Jordan Peele, stands just shy of a $100 million gross domestically. Daniel Kaluuya stars.

In fourth was Disney s action comedy “Thor: Love and Thunder,” at $7.6 million. Chris Hemsworth stars as the uber-muscular space Viking, who pines for his ex-girlfriend (Natalie Portman).

And in fifth was Universal s family-friendly animation “Minions: The Rise of Gru.” This latest episode in the “Despicable Me” franchise took in $7.1 million.

Overall, the summer season has been good for Hollywood, Gross said. “Audiences have been doing everything they ve been asked… and business has been very good for all types of films.”

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