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While it's still the lowest-grossing entry in Disney's sequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker passed the $500 million mark at the domestic box office this weekend—only the 15th movie in history to do so. Globally, the ninth and final installment in the Skywalker Saga (directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams) has brought in $1.046 billion.
The Turning, a new horror film from Universal, debuted in sixth place with $7.3 million from North American ticket sales. Inspired by Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, the film stars Mackenzie Davis (Terminator: Dark Fate) as a nanny hired to look after two children played by Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) and Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project). As she settles into her new role, the governess begins to realize that there's something sinister about her latest charges.
"The timelessness comes from it being a very open-ended story that implicates the audience more than it tells you what's scary right now," Davis told SYFY WIRE. "The end of the story leaves you wondering, 'Who is this person, this narrator who guided you through this whole story?' And you thought you could trust her, but at the very end, all of a sudden nothing that you saw before was exactly as you thought."
Produced by the legendary Steven Spielberg, The Turning was directed by Floria Sigismondi, a veteran of genre TV shows like Daredevil, The Handmaid's Tale, and American Gods. The Conjuring duo of Carey W. Hayes and Chad Hayes penned the project's screenplay.
After a somewhat disappointing debut last weekend, Dolittle (another Universal release) landed in third place at the domestic box office with an additional $12.5 million. The story about a man who can talk to animals (Robert Downey Jr. plays the titular character) now has $44 million to its name in North America. Globally, the $175 million project has sailed toward a total of $91 million.
Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, Gold) directed and co-wrote the movie, which features an impressive voice cast (Tom Holland, Emma Thompson, Octavia Spencer, Kumail Nanjiani, etc.) for its menagerie of CGI animals.
Things will begin to heat up for the box office in February when genre releases like Birds of Prey (out Feb. 7) and Sonic the Hedgehog (out Feb. 14) hit theaters everywhere. In particular, the Cathy Yan-directed Birds of Prey is expected to peck at a $52 million opening, while the Jeff Fowler-directed Sonic is running toward an estimated $41 - $47 million weekend debut.
(SYFY and SYFY WIRE are both owned by NBCUniversal, which released The Turning and Dolittle.)