LOS ANGELES, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Warner Bros. and New Line's horror film "The Curse of La Llorona" took the top spot in its opening weekend at the North American box office, taking in an estimated 26.5 million U.S. dollars in its first three days of release.
Based on a Mexican folklore, La Llorona, also known as the weeping woman, is a horrifying apparition, caught between heaven and hell. Directed by Michael Chaves, in his directorial debut, and stars Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz and Patricia Velasquez, the film follows a mother in 1970s Los Angeles who must save her children from a horrifying apparition who is trying to steal them away.
Made for only 9 million dollars, "The Curse of La Llorona" has grossed 56.5 million dollars worldwide through Sunday, according to studio figures collected by measurement firm Comscore.
The film received a "B-" rating from moviegoers on CinemaScore and a bleak 32 percent certified fresh rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
"The Curse of La Llorona" led the slowest Easter Weekend in over a decade in North America as major studios are trying to deliberately avoid to release their big titles ahead of Marvel's blockbuster "Avengers: Endgame," which will debut next weekend.
"This weekend is simply the clam before the box office and cultural storm that is 'Avengers: Endgame' and Warner Bros. picked a perfect date to release 'La Llorona' by taking advantage of a slower weekend and attracting audiences that were very receptive to a movie from the always-popular horror genre," said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore.
"This coming weekend will certainly more than make up for this relatively slow Easter frame and could potentially break all-time box office records in the process," he told Xinhua.
Warner Bros.' superhero film "Shazam!" was knocked from the top spot to second place in its third weekend with an estimated 17.34 million dollars, pushing its North American total to 121.34 million dollars to date.
A drama film, "Breakthrough," opened in third place with an estimated 11.1 million dollars. It's the first Fox film released by Disney since the 71.3-billion-U.S.-dollar merger. Directed by Roxann Dawson, the Christian drama film is based on an inspirational true story in the United States. A 14-year-old Missouri boy in a coma continues to fight for his life as his adoptive parents and their pastor stay by his bedside and pray for a miracle.