The Girl on the Train has moved full steam ahead to top the North American box office with a $24.7 million (£19.9 million) haul.

The big screen adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ bestselling crime thriller, directed by Tate Taylor and starring Emily Blunt as a drunk divorcee, easily cruised to the number one spot in its opening weekend, taking $9.4 million (£7.6 million) on Friday (07Oct16) alone.

Tim Burton’s latest movie, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, based on the popular young-adult book by Ransom Riggs, slips to two on the new countdown, earning a healthy $15 million (£12 million) second weekend take to place it just ahead of Mark Wahlberg’s Deepwater Horizon.

The Magnificent Seven remake and animated feature Storks round out the new top five, at fourth and fifth place, respectively.

One new release which failed to meet studio expectations was The Birth of a Nation, which chronicles the real-life slave uprising led by African-American Nat Turner in Virginia in 1831. It debuts with just $7.1 million (£5.7 million).
Producers had had high hopes for the critically-acclaimed film, directed by and starring Nate Parker, and it became a top contender for an Oscar nomination after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah earlier this year (16).

However, the historical drama has suffered from the negative publicity surrounding Parker’s 17-year-old rape case, which resurfaced in August (16). He and his Birth of a Nation collaborator and former roommate Jean Celestin were accused of sexual assault by an 18-year-old female classmate while studying at Penn State University in Pennsylvania in 1999.

Parker was acquitted in a 2001 trial, while Celestin was initially found guilty and sentenced to serve six months behind bars. His conviction was later overturned following an appeal. It has since emerged their accuser committed suicide in 2012.

 

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