NEW YORK — “Ocean’s 8,” the female-fronted overhaul of the starry “Ocean’s” heist franchise, opened with about $41.5 million at the box office, taking the weekend’s top spot from the fast-falling “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

“Ocean’s 8” – despite ho-hum reviews – found nothing like the stormy reception than the female-led “Ghostbusters” reboot did on the same weekend two years ago.

Made for about $70 million, “Ocean’s 8” and its cast featuring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway, set an opening-weekend best for the franchise, not accounting for inflation.

The three previous “Ocean’s” films – starring Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon, and based on the 1960 original “Ocean’s 11,” with Frank Sinatra – all debuted with between $36 million and $39 million in the last decade.

“Ocean’s 8,” also starring Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter, drew a largely female audience – 69 percent female – for a result that slightly surpassed expectations.

“We thought we’d come in in the $35-40 (million) range,” said Warner Bros. distribution chief Jeff Goldstein. “Number one, it’s fun. Number two, it hits an underserved audience. Unfortunately, there is just a lack of stories that are aimed right at women.”

Yet the weekend’s three new wide releases were all female fronted.

The horror thriller “Hereditary,” starring Toni Collette, debuted with $13 million.

Less successful was “Hotel Artemis,” starring Jodie Foster.

– From news service reports


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