Highest grossing movie: Avatar 2 toppled by Knock at the Cabin after seven weeks

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Knock at the Cabin, an apocalyptic horror film from director M. Night Shyamalan, was the highest-grossing movie in US and Canadian theaters this weekend, knocking out Walt Disney Co.’s Avatar: The Way of Water, which held that spot for seven weeks in a row.

The Universal Pictures film generated $14.2 million in ticket sales domestically in its first weekend, researcher Comscore Inc. estimated Sunday. That’s below Boxoffice Pro’s forecast of $18 million to $27 million.

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80 for Brady, a comedy from Paramount Pictures about four octogenarian women attending the Super Bowl to watch their hero play, came in second place with an estimated $12.5 million in its domestic debut.

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Knock at the Cabin’s debut follows a string of successful original horror films last year. Although theater ticket sales are still about a third below pre-pandemic levels, the horror genre has proved more dependable than others for studios, with the likes of Universal’s Black Phone, Paramount’s Smile and Barbarian by Disney’s 20th Century Studios all selling tickets worth about 10 times their budgets.

The film, starring Dave Bautista, is based on the 2018 novel The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul G. Tremblay. Knock at the Cabin follows a family, vacationing at a remote house in the woods, that’s taken hostage by four armed strangers demanding they make an unthinkable choice to avert the apocalypse.

80 for Brady, a rare film with an ensemble of older women, was the subject of an unusual promotion. AMC theaters offered seats at lower prices than other films running at the same time.

The Way of Water, directed by James Cameron and released in December, is the highest-grossing film to come out since the start of the pandemic and the fourth-highest of all time with $2.17 billion in global ticket sales. Until this weekend, it hadn’t faced much competition from new films. Disney has kept it exclusively in theaters, drawing out fans who want to see it in large screen and 3D formats.

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