The Invisible Man Universal Pictures
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Credit: Universal Pictures

Box office: The Invisible Man clearly scares up No. 1 spot with $29 million opening

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Mar 2, 2020, 3:45 AM EST (Updated)

Despite the ambiguous nature of its central character, Leigh Whannell's new take on The Invisible Man is a conspicuous hit with audiences.

The reimagining Universal's classic monster property debuted to $29 million in domestic sales, easily nabbing the top spot at the box office this weekend. Overseas, the psychological horror-thriller (it was produced by Blumhouse) scared up $20.2 million from 47 international markets for a global opening of $49.2 million.

While 2017's The Mummy (a title meant to launch the studio's ill-fated "Dark Universe") brought in a slightly better return during its opening weekend (about $31 million), it also cost almost $200 million to make. With a modest budget of just $7 million, The Invisible Man is already faring better in proportion to how much it cost to produce. It also shows that the studio's new approach of smaller and unconnected reimaginings is the way to revisit its classic monster pals.

"Leigh Whannell had an incredibly great vision. It allowed us to broaden the audience and make for a really engaging story,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution, in a statement to Variety. “Our partners at Blumhouse don’t cut corners when it comes to quality. They consistently deliver hit after hit.”

Inspired only by the title of H.G. Wells' famous 19th-century novel, the movie (Whannell serves as writer and director) takes the IP in a totally new direction. The film's story follows Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss), a woman who is tormented by her abusive ex-boyfriend, Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), a gifted optics engineer who has found a way to make himself invisible. Unable to convince others that Adrian isn't really dead (it is believed he committed suicide), Cecilia slowly slips into madness.

"I wanted to bring Cecilia on a real journey, that she is not the person she used to be before she got into this relationship with Adrian," Moss (The Handmaid's Tale) told SYFY WIRE. "She's damaged and vulnerable and fragile and through the journey of the film finds a strength and gets something back that she needed. And for me, it's if you can take somebody on that journey, if you can show somebody, 'I know you've been through something. I know you feel different. I know you don't think you can do this anymore, but we're going to take you all the way to the bottom and come back up' and also entertain them and also scare the bejesus out of them, then that's something, I feel like I've done my job."

A true horror tale for the #MeToo era, The Invisible Man currently holds a very fresh 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The film holds a B+ on CinemaScore. See what critics have been saying here.

Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, and Michael Dorman co-star.

After two weeks of box-office supremacy, Paramount's Sonic the Hedgehog was knocked down to second place with an additional $16 million in North America. So far, the Sega video game adaptation has earned $128 million domestically and more than $222 million globally.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

(SYFY and SYFY WIRE are both owned by NBCUniversal, which released The Invisible Man.)

(box office intel via Variety & Box Office Mojo)


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