LOS ANGELES, Jan 17 — New Paramount release Scream leapt to the top of the North American box office this weekend, showing the continuing lure of horror films while finally toppling Spider-Man, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported yesterday.

The latest reimagining of the Scream franchise earned US$30.6 million (RM127.8 million) for the Friday-through-Sunday period en route to an expected US$35 million for the full four-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday — more positive news for an industry still struggling with Covid-19.

David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research called it a strong opening for the slasher film, even if the latest Scream sequel didn’t scare up numbers like Halloween 12, which opened to US$49.4 million last October.

Still, Paramount has already managed to recoup its relatively modest US$25 million budget.

As in the original Scream from 1996, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette star.

Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home slipped to second place, taking in a still-healthy US$20.8 million (US$26 million for the four-day weekend) as its month-long box office reign came to an end. It has now earned Sony US$704 million domestically and US$926 million internationally.

In third was Universal’s family-friendly Sing 2, at US$8.3 million (US$10 million for four days). The voice cast of the animated musical includes Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Matthew McConaughey, Bobby Cannavale, Pharrell Williams and Bono.

Fourth spot went to another Universal film, spy thriller The 355, at US$2.3 million (US$3 million). It stars Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz and Lupita Nyong’o.

And in fifth was The King’s Man from 20th Century, at US$2.3 million (US$3 million). Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans and Matthew Goode star in the spy action comedy.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

Belle (US$1.6 million; US$2 million for four days)

American Underdog (US$1.6 million; US$1.9 million)

West Side Story (US$948,000; US$1.2 million)

The Matrix: Resurrections (US$815,000; US$1 million)

Licorice Pizza (US$800,000; US$950,000) — AFP