Downton Abbey knocks out Rambo and Brad Pitt at US box office

The Downton Abbey movie reigned over the North American box office chart in its first weekend, delivering a sucker punch to the new Rambo sequel.

A close race had been predicted between Downton and Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo: Last Blood for the number one spot.

The big screen version of the British TV favourite took $31m (£25m), according to studio estimates.

Brad Pitt’s Ad Astra entered at number two with $19.2m (£15m), pushing the fifth Rambo film into third with $19m.

The Downton movie, which sees the king and queen visit the Crawley family, was released in the US and Canada a week after it came out in the UK, where it topped the chart with debut weekend takings of £5.1m.

Downton Abbey was also hugely popular on TV in the US. “Audiences were clearly ready to come back to Downton and visit the Crawleys and all the familiar faces upstairs and downstairs,” said Lisa Bunnell, Focus Features president of distribution.

“At its core, it’s a story about family, and audiences, both original fans and newcomers, are uplifted by that laughter and joy of the film.”

The US box office success of a TV period drama came on the weekend that British television shows won big at the Emmy Awards.

Last week’s number one It: Chapter Two dropped to number four at the box office, with Hustlers in fifth place.

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