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Sony issues ‘Invitation’; not many filmgoers RSVP

New Sony horror film “The Invitation” topped the North American box office this weekend despite extremely weak ticket sales of just $7 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.

Its estimated total for the Friday-through-Sunday period was the lowest first-place finish in 15 months and came on what Variety called a “catastrophically slow weekend,” as Hollywood’s healthy June and July numbers have dropped off in August. 

Fortunately for Sony, “The Invitation” cost a mere $10 million to produce. “Reviews are poor,” analyst David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research said, “but that isn’t necessarily a deterrent” in the horror genre.

Nathalie Emmanuel and Thomas Doherty star in the Dracula-inspired tale.

In second, up one spot from last weekend, was Sony’s action-thriller “Bullet Train,” at $5.6 million. Brad Pitt stars in the story of a perilous journey on a train overloaded with assassins.

Third place went to action-adventure “Beast,” from Universal Pictures, at $4.9 million. Idris Elba stars as a recently widowed man who takes his daughters on safari only to be hunted by a huge rogue lion.

“Top Gun: Maverick” continued to defy gravity, drawing in $4.8 million in its 14th week out for a fourth-place finish.

But last weekend’s top film, “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero” from Crunchyroll, seems to have flown into a wall. Its ticket sales dropped 78 percent from its opening weekend, to a fifth-place showing of just $4.6 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

“DC League of Super-Pets” ($4.2 million)

“Three Thousand Years of Longing” ($2.9 million)

“Minions: The Rise of Gru” ($2.7 million)

“Thor: Love and Thunder” ($2.7 million)

“Where the Crawdads Sing” ($2.3 million)

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