LOS ANGELES, May 20 — Paramount Pictures’ imaginary friend film If debuted atop the North American box office this weekend, taking in an estimated US$35 million (RM164 million), industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported yesterday.

The John Krasinski-directed family comedy stars Cailey Fleming as a young girl who — along with neighbour Ryan Reynolds — embarks on an adventure to reconnect forgotten made-up playmates with their children.

“This is a good opening for a live-action/animation hybrid, at above average levels for the genre,” said analyst David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research, adding the film should “translate in foreign markets and do well abroad.”

It snatched top spot from Twentieth Century’s action sci-fi Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, which dropped to second place with US$26.0 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period, still boasting an impressive US$101.2 million made since its release earlier this month.


In third was new horror film The Strangers: Chapter 1, at US$12.0 million, which follows a young couple terrorized by masked strangers at a remote cabin in an eerie small town.

Fourth place at US$8.5 million went to Universal’s action-comedy The Fall Guy. Ryan Gosling plays a stuntman working on a film directed by his ex-girlfriend Emily Blunt.

And in fifth at US$2.9 million was tennis-based romance Challengers, starring actor/singer Zendaya as an athlete-turned-coach, which kept its top-five Box Office status for a fourth consecutive week.


Rounding out the top 10 were:

Back to Black (US$2.9 million)

Tarot (US$2.0 million)

Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire (US$1.7 million)

The Blue Angels (US$1.3 million)

Unsung Hero (US$1.1 million) — AFP