'Downton Abbey' is a British historical period drama film written by Julian Fellowes, creator and writer of the television series of the same name. — Handout via AFP
‘Downton Abbey’ is a British historical period drama film written by Julian Fellowes, creator and writer of the television series of the same name. — Handout via AFP

NEW YORK, Sept 23 — With aristocratic elan, Downton Abbey dismissed challenges from Brad Pitt’s Ad Astra and Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo: Last Blood to claim top box office spot in North America, industry figures showed yesterday.

Fans had waited eagerly for the movie follow-up of the global hit TV series tracking the dramas of life among a British upper-class family and the staff who serve them in their stately home.

With a plot built around a royal visit, the Washington Post review described the Downton Abbey movie as “an overstuffed guilty pleasure” and “eye and ear candy of the highest order: rich and delicious, but not especially nutritious.”

The film emerged top of the Exhibitor Relations rankings by a distance, with an estimated US$31 million (RM129.4 million) in ticket sales over the weekend — a cut above Ad Astra, at US$19.2 million.

Pitt, who plays an astronaut sent on a dangerous mission at the edge of the solar system, made a 20-minute video call to the International Space Station (ISS) chatting to American astronaut Nick Hague as part of his movie’s promotion.

Rambo: Last Blood was a close third with US$19 million, as the three new releases knocked horror flick IT Chapter Two off the top spot after a two-week reign, pushing it down to fourth with US$17.2 million ticket sales.

The new Jennifer Lopez movie Hustlers — based on a true story about strippers who plot to steal from their wealthy clients in recession-hit New York — fell from second to fifth place, despite strong reviews.

J-Lo has won plaudits for her role with Rolling Stone calling her “dazzling,” “electrifying” and Oscar-worthy.

Rounding out the weekend’s top 10 were:

The Lion King (US$2.5 million)

Good Boys (US$2.5 million)

Angel Has Fallen (US$2.4 million)

Overcomer (US$1.5 million)

Hobbs & Shaw (US$1.5 million). — AFP-Relaxnews