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‘Godzilla x Kong’ tops North America box office with $80 million haul

“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” roared to the top of the North American box office on its debut weekend, pulverizing competition with a huge $80 million haul in ticket sales, according to industry watcher Exhibitor Relations. “The final numbers may change by Monday, but whatever they are, this is a fantastic opening,” analyst David A. Gross said, with ticket sales 2.5 times the average for a sequel to a monster flick.

The enormous gorilla and reptilian giant set their differences aside in the movie, teaming up to save their species and humans in the latest MonsterVerse installment. In second place with an estimated $15.7 million was “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire,” co-written by Jason Reitman, whose father Ivan Reitman directed the original “Ghostbusters” in 1984.

The film teams a new cadre of ghost catchers (Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon) with the veterans (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson) as they take on a frightening deity trying to launch a new Ice Age. Meanwhile, Warner Bros.’ sci-fi epic “Dune: Part Two,” about war and survival on an inhospitable sand-covered planet, managed third place, taking in an estimated $11.1 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period.

In fourth, dropping one spot from last weekend, was Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s martial arts comedy “Kung Fu Panda 4,” at $10.2 million. “Immaculate,” a new psychological horror film from indie studio Neon and starring Sydney Sweeney, placed fifth at $3.3 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

“Tillu Square” ($2.5 million)

“Arthur the King” ($2.4 million)

“Late Night With the Devil” ($2.2 million)

“Crew” ($1.7 million)

“Imaginary” ($1.4 million) — AFP

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