Acclaimed horror pic ‘Barbarian’ ushers in spooky season at the domestic box office

A distressed woman attempting to climb a ladder in the dark
Georgina Campbell as Tess in writer-director Zach Cregger’s “Barbarian.”
(20th Century Studios)

Disney and 20th Century Studios’ “Barbarian” opened atop the domestic box office this weekend, scaring up $10 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.

The acclaimed horror flick exceeded expectations during a relatively quiet period at the North American box office as the summer movie season comes to a close, making way for spooky season. Another new Disney title, Star Studios’ “Brahmāstra: Part One — Shiva,” nabbed second place with $4.4 million — the fourth best domestic opening ever for a Bollywood film.

Written and directed by Zach Cregger, “Barbarian” stars Georgina Campbell as a woman who endures a terrifying stay at an Airbnb. The cast of the twisty thriller also includes Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long and Matthew Patrick Davis.


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The chilling feature scored an impressive 92% fresh rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes and a lackluster C-plus grade from audiences polled by CinemaScore.

“Cregger wraps this multilayered contemporary social commentary in a rip-roaring, utterly horrifying flick that’s inspired by classic horror filmmaking and tropes,” film critic Katie Walsh writes for the Los Angeles Times.

“It’s the throwback appeal coupled with fresh ideas — and plenty of skull-rattling scares — that makes this such an exciting new film and one of the must-see horror movies of the year.”

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Helmed by Ayan Mukerji, “Brahmāstra: Part One — Shiva” follows its title character on a daring quest for love and self-discovery. The action adventure stars Shah Rukh Khan, Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor.


On Rotten Tomatoes, “Brahmāstra: Part One — Shiva” drew a lukewarm rating of 63%. The fantasy film has yet to receive a grade on CinemaScore.

Rounding out the top five at the domestic box office this weekend are Sony Pictures’ “Bullet Train,” which collected $3.3 million in its sixth weekend for a North American cumulative of $92.5 million; Paramount Pictures’ “Top Gun: Maverick,” which grossed $3.2 million in its 16th weekend for a North American cumulative of $705.7 million; and Warner Bros.’ “DC League of Super-Pets,” which made $2.8 million in its seventh weekend for a North American cumulative of $85.4 million.

Opening in wide release next weekend are TriStar Pictures’ “The Woman King,” UP2U Films’ “Running the Bases,” IFC Films’ “God’s Country” and A24’s “Pearl.”