Sci-fi series ‘The Predator’ slays rivals at N. America box office

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The Predator – the latest installment in the long-running sci-fi action series – staved off the competition and overcame a last-minute controversy to conquer the North American box office this weekend, industry data showed Monday.

But the Fox reboot, which cost $88 million to make, will look to earn back some money in international markets, as its $24.6 million opening three-day haul did not meet expectations. The movie, which comes more than 30 years after the franchise’s original film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

So far, it has earned $30 million overseas, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations. Dropping to second place but still going strong was last week’s top draw, The Nun -- the latest fright fest in the popular Conjuring series. It earned $18.2 million in its second week.

Nun stars Taissa Farmiga -- whose sister Vera headlined two Conjuring films -- in a story about a young nun, an exorcist and a guide stumbling onto a dark secret deep in Dracula country in the 1950s.

Mommy blogger

Opening in the third spot was A Simple Favor, a tale about a mommy blogger (Anna Kendrick) investigating the disappearance of her friend (Blake Lively). The Lionsgate film raked in $16 million on the back of positive reviews.

Matthew McConaughey’s new film White Boy Rick opened in fourth place with $8.9 million. The movie, based on a true story, stars the Oscar winner as the father of a teenage boy who became an informant for the FBI in the 1980s.

Glitzy rom-com Crazy Rich Asians, another Warner Bros product along with The Nun, fell to fifth place. The film, with a nearly all-Asian cast led by Henry Golding and Constance Wu, took in $8.7 million, building on a crazy-good run.

Its North American take stands at nearly $150 million, with another $37 million earned overseas. Rounding out this weekend's top 10 were:

Peppermint ($6 million)
The Meg ($3.9 million)
Searching ($3.2 million)
Mission Impossible -- Fallout ($2.3 million)
Unbroken: Path to Redemption ($2.2 million)