Who runs the box office? Beyoncé.
The superstar singer’s concert movie, Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé, opened in the top spot this weekend after ringing up an estimated $21 million.
The film played in 2,539 locations across the U.S. and Canada, for a per theater average of $8,271, according to box office tracking company Comscore.
But overseas, Renaissance underperformed and earned just $6.4 million from 94 international territories for a global total of $27.4 million.
AMC Theatres distributed the movie.
“On behalf of AMC Theatres Distribution and the entire theatrical industry, we thank Beyoncé for bringing this incredible film directly to her fans,” Elizabeth Frank, AMC Theatres executive vice president of worldwide programming, said in a statement on Sunday. “To see it resonate with fans and with film critics on a weekend that many in the industry typically neglect is a testament to her immense talent, not just as a performer, but as a producer and director.”
According to Variety, the singer’s team negotiated the distribution deal directly with AMC, giving both parties a bigger cut of the ticket sales than they would have received if a major studio released the film.
Kyndall Cunningham of The Daily Beast called the movie “a masterpiece.”
Angie Han of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: “Beyoncé serves up a fully satisfying meal.”
Sofia Andrade of The Washington Post said Renaissance “hits its marks.”
Beyoncé wrote, directed and produced the film, which follows her 56-stop “Renaissance” world tour.
While there’s no disputing the movie’s success, it fell far short of the massive opening of Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour movie, which AMC also released.
Swift’s film opened in October with a massive $92.8 million. As of Sunday, Eras Tour had made $249 million worldwide and is the highest-grossing concert movie in U.S. history. The previous title holder was Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011), which earned $73 million throughout its box office run, per Box Office Mojo.
Elsewhere at the box office this weekend, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes slipped to second place with $14.5 million, after topping the chart in its first two weekends, Comscore reported.
Japanese film Godzilla Minus One opened in third place with a North American debut of $11 million.
Trolls Band Together was fourth with $7.6 million and Wish rounded out the top five with a very close $7.4 million in its second weekend.