Universal's new horror flick "Nope" opened atop the North American box office, hammering the latest edition of Marvel's "Thor" franchise to earn an estimated $44 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.
The alien-invasion sci-fi mystery, which features a Black family struggling to make ends meet on their bleached California horse ranch, is the highly-anticipated latest effort by writer and director Jordan Peele, whose 2017 debut "Get Out" earned rave reviews.
The film -- which stars Daniel Kaluuya, who stole the show in "Get Out" -- managed to bump "Thor: Love and Thunder" to second spot after the superhero blockbuster spent two weeks at number one.
The action comedy starring a muscle-clad, self-parodying Chris Hemsworth as the space viking who finds himself pining for his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), pulled in $22.1 million for the Friday-to-Sunday period, for a worldwide cumulative total of $276 million.
Third spot belonged to "Minions: The Rise of Gru." The latest goofy installment in Universal's animated "Despicable Me" franchise took in $17.7 million, for a cumulative total of $298 million.
"Where the Crawdads Sing" also slipped one spot, to fourth. Sony's adaptation of Delia Owens' novel about an abandoned girl who grows up in marshland of 1950s and 60s North Carolina and, at a murder trial years later looks back on that rough and violent upbringing, earned $10.3 million.
Dropping from fourth to fifth was Paramount's "Top Gun: Maverick," the crowd-pleasing sequel to the original 1986 film that once again features Tom Cruise as cocky US Navy test pilot Pete "Maverick" Mitchell.
Baz Luhrmann's music biopic "Elvis" -- starring Austin Butler as the King alongside Tom Hanks as his exploitative manager, Colonel Tom Parker -- took sixth in the Warner Bros film's fifth weekend of release, at $6.3 million.
Completing the top 10 were:
"Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank" ($3.9 million)
"The Black Phone" ($3.4 million)
"Jurassic World: Dominion" ($3 million)
"Mrs Harris goes to Paris" ($1.3 million)