Walt Disney Co.’s (DIS.N) live-action revival of “Aladdin” opened as the top film in North American theaters this weekend, exceeding forecasts and unseating Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.’s “John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum.”

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The film brought in US$86 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters during the first three days of the U.S. Memorial Day weekend, according to research firm Comscore Inc. Box Office Mojo was predicting a three-day tally of US$60 million.

Key Insights

- Remaking classic films is a key part of Disney’s strategy, but the track record has been mixed. A live-action revival of “Dumbo” stumbled in March, and 2016’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” which also came on a Memorial Day weekend, was a dud.

- The new take on the 1992 animated feature “Aladdin” casts Will Smith as the genie, entrusting him with a role made famous by Robin Williams. Mena Massoud plays Aladdin, Princess Jasmine is played by Naomi Scott, and there’s new music written by Tony and Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

- Boxoffice Pro didn’t have an upbeat view of the weekend overall. It projected that sales from the top 10 films would decline 15 per cent to 20 per cent from the same weekend last year. The year-ago period was lifted by “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” which wasn’t a big hit but still opened to US$103 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters.

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- Two other new releases -- “Brightburn” from Sony and “Booksmart” from United Artists Releasing -- opened in fifth place and sixth place, respectively.