“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” topped the box office and exceeded expectations last weekend with a $44 million gross in North America.
Industry observers predicted the gross would be in the $27 million to $35 million range, according to boxofficemojo.com.
The Sony comedy, which has a plot that connects with the 1984 “Ghostbusters” film, was in 4,315 theaters.
“Eternals,” the Marvel Studios’ tale about immortals protecting Earth, was in second place with $10.8 million.
“Clifford the Big Red Dog” has reason to wag its tail. It was third with a gross of $8.1 million.
“King Richard,” starring Will Smith as the father of tennis champions Serena and Venus Williams, placed fourth in its first weekend with $5.7 million.
In fifth place was “Dune,” the latest cinematic interpretation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel, at $3.1 million.
Marvel’s “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” landed on sixth place with $2.8 million.
The James Bond adventure “No Time to Die,” which was in fourth place the previous weekend, fell to seventh place and grossed $2.7 million.
“The French Dispatch,” a quirky collection of funny stories with an all-star cast, placed eighth with $970,000.
Inspired by director Kenneth Branagh’s childhood, “Belfast” placed ninth with $940,000.
“Ron’s Gone Wrong,” which was in sixth place the previous weekend, dropped to 10th place last weekend. The animated comedy grossed $888,000.