Making a successful movie is tough. It takes skill. It takes craft. It takes, often, a little bit of luck. But sometimes, you gotta have something extra: You gotta have Hart.
Night School, starring funny people Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish, roared to first place with an estimated $28 million in its weekend debut. ‘Course, appearing in a No. 1 movie is old hat for Hart: This comedy marks his 11th chart-topper (or 12th, if you count his voice work in The Secret Life of Pets).
And let’s face it: Night School needed all the Hart magic it could get, given that it was one of four new releases competing for the box-office dollar.
One of those newcomers, the animated Smallfoot, stomped into second place with $23 million. That’s not bad, but given that Smallfoot was in 1,100ish more theaters than Night School (4,131 compared to Night School’s 3,010, to be precise), perhaps its makers at Warner Bros. were a wee bit disappointed. Still, it’d be unwise to give up on the furry creature. It’s not done … yeti.
Last week’s No. 1 film, The House With a Clock in Its Walls, slid to third place and earned $12.5 million. That was nearly twice as good as the fourth-place finisher, A Simple Favor. The three-week-old dramedy/mystery collected another $6.6 million.
The Nun continued its habit of floating around the top five, finishing fifth with nearly $5.1 million, spoiling the debut of another horror flick, Hell Fest (sixth place, $4.2 million). The Nun has now earned $109 million in North America. But it’s been really racking up the cash in overseas markets, adding another $221 million—enough, maybe, to buy some good, strong boards to hammer across that door to the underworld, one would hope.
Little Women, the weekend’s fourth biggish release, made only a little money in its 643 theaters. The latest remake of Louisa May Alcott’s 150-year-old book earned $747,000 to finish 16th.