‘Night School’ and ‘Smallfoot’ Box Office: Original Comedies Score Big

For the second time this year, two original, non-franchise movies, “Night School” (Universal) and “Smallfoot” (Warner Bros.), opened to over $20 million.

The last time two originals topped the box office was last spring, with “A Quiet Place” and “Blocker.”This yielded the first weekend since Labor Day to improve over the same dates last year ($102 million total gross compared to $90 million in 2017).

Grosses for the year continue their strong increase — just under nine percent (six percent up in ticket sales) — as weekends like this help to guarantee an uptick for the whole year.OpenersThe two new films both gained from having core appeal and adding to wider audiences — exactly what is needed to boost films that don’t derive their appeal from pre-sold elements.

They differ in that modest-budget “Night School” boasts more domestic appeal, while the more expensive animated film “Smallfoot” plays better internationally.

But their presence with

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