‘Downton Abbey’ Takes Down Rambo and Brad Pitt at Box Office

Downton Abbey Movie (Focus Features)

Downton Abbey made a regal debut at the weekend box office, beating Brad Pitt, Sylvester Stallone and knocking Jennifer Lopez down several notches.

The big-screen version of the popular British period drama opened with an estimated $31 million from North American theaters, according to Comscore.

That was more than enough to set a box office record for distributor Focus Features and it surpassed analyst expectations, which had the film opening in the high teens. (Why do analysts always underestimate movies geared toward women and audiences of color)?

Related Story: ‘Hustlers’ Makes It Rain With $33.2 Million Debut

Downton Abbey continues the story of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants.

The film is directed by Michael Engler with a script from series creator Julian Fellowes. It features an ensemble cast that includes Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Elizabeth McGovern, Allen Leech, Penelope Wilton, Matthew Goode, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, and Brendan Coyle.

With fans of the ITV/PBS series handing the movie a first place finish, that left Pitt’s astronaut drama Ad Astra and Stallone’s Rambo: Last Blood in a tight battle for second place.

For now, newcomer Ad Astra is holding onto second with $19.2 million. Rambo follows closely with $19 million for a third place debut.

Last week’s leader It Chapter Two scares up another $17.2 million for a fourth place finish. J.Lo’s stripper drama Hustlers slides three places from last week, for a fifth place finish this weekend with $17 million.