Welcome to the third weekend in September, where the box office race is off to an interesting start. We have three new films in theaters this weekend and it looks like Downton Abbey is sitting pretty at the top with $13.8 million earned domestically. It’s doing just as well overseas, earning $12.2 million for a total worldwide gross of just over $26 million.

The film is a return to the world of the popular TV series that follows the quiet personal dramas that play out in a prestigious British manor in the early 20th century starring Hugh BonnevilleElizabeth McGovernMichelle DockeryMatthew Goode, and Maggie Smith. It would seem the series’ ardent fanbase and those hankering for an escape to 1920s Britain for some upstairs-downstairs intrigue turned out in full force on opening night.


Image via Lionsgate

Downton Abbey‘s Friday box office win is all the more surprising considering it was going up against fellow newcomers Rambo: Last Blood and the critically-acclaimed Ad Astra. A period drama beating out a bloody action flick and a Brad Pitt-centric sci-fi adventure? Color me very surprised. Speaking of ardent fanbases, the Rambo franchise has that in spades. However, the $7.2 million Last Blood earned belies an initial hesitation from audiences, possibly stemming from negative reviews or possible fatigue from a franchise that keeps returning to theaters with no discernible clamor for it to do so.

As for Ad Astra, which tells the story of astronaut Roy McBride (Pitt) setting off on a mission into deep space to locate his long-lost father (Tommy Lee Jones), it came in third place on Friday with $7.16 million earned domestically. Director James Gray‘s latest outing into highbrow sci-fi is off to a solid start and that’s not just down to the good reviews — Pitt’s A-list profile has undoubtedly helped drive sales, too.

Coming in at number four is Hustlers, earning $5.4 million domestically for a two-week total of $51 million. Finally, at number five is IT: Chapter Two, nabbing $4.8 million domestically. As it enters its third weekend in theaters, IT: Chapter Two has now earned a cool $166 million here in the states and $179 million in foreign markets.

Can Downton Abbey stay on top? Will newcomers Last Blood or Ad Astra get a boost and knock the competition out of the way? This weekend’s box office race has only just begun. In the meantime, check out our reviews of Downton Abbey and Ad Astra to see why these new films are off to a great start in theaters.

1.Downton Abbey$13,840,000$13,840,000
2.Rambo: Last Blood$7,170,000$7,170,000
3.Ad Astra$7,161,000$7,161,000
5.IT: Chapter Two$4,825,000$166,745,563

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