LOS ANGELES, (AFP) - "The Curse of La Llorona" reigned at the North American box office on its opening weekend, earning $26.3 million and outperforming expectations on a slow Easter weekend, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Monday.
The Warner Bros. horror film, starring Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz and Patricia Velasquez, is based on the Mexican folklore about the Weeping Woman -- a mother who murdered her children and wanders the world looking for them, causing misfortune to those who come in contact with her.
The movie, which has received negative reviews, is set in 1970s Los Angeles and follows a mother trying to protect her children from a ghost.
In second place this weekend was Warner Bros.' lighthearted superhero tale "Shazam!", which took in $16.5 million after topping the box office for two straight weeks. It stars Asher Angel as Billy Baston, an unhappy foster kid who becomes a muscular and witty superhero (Zachary Levi) when the secret word is pronounced.
Disney's new "Breakthrough" took in $11.3 million, considered a solid start for a faith-based movie. It tells the story of a mother (Chrissy Metz) who refuses to abandon hope after her adopted son (Marcel Ruiz) falls into an icy lake and goes into a coma. NBA star Stephen Curry produced the film, his first such effort.
Disney's "Captain Marvel" placed fourth at $9.1 million, up a surprising two spots despite being in its seventh week in release. The blockbuster, now well past the $1 billion mark worldwide, stars Brie Larson as a former fighter pilot who gains superpowers and is plunged into a galactic conflict.
And in fifth was Universal's "Little," at $8.3 million. The idea for the comedy -- which has a grown-up (Regina Hall) trapped in a 13-year-old version of her own body (Marsai Martin of "black-ish" fame) -- came from young Martin herself, who was inspired at age 10 when she saw the Tom Hanks hit "Big," in which a child is trapped in his adult body.
Rounding out the weekend's top 10 were:
"Dumbo" ($6.6 million)
"Pet Sematary" ($4.9 million)
"Missing Link" ($4.2 million)
"Us" ($4.2 million)
"Hellboy" ($4 million)