Octavia Spencer’s ‘Ma’ Makes Solid Box-Office Debut

Ma (Credit: Universal/Blumhouse)

Ma, starring Octavia Spencer, got off to a solid start at the weekend box office.

The psychological thriller faced tough competition with the debuts of Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Rocketman — which received a standing ovation last month at the Cannes Film Festival.

Ma opened with an estimated $18.2 million at the domestic box office, according to Comscore. While that was only enough for a fourth place finish, it was still more than three times the film’s reported $5 million production budget.

The R-rated horror saga from Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions marked Spencer’s first solo lead role. It played in 2,808 theaters for an average $6,503 per location.

Spencer leads the cast as Sue Ann, a lonely middle-aged woman also known as “Ma,” who befriends a group of teens after they ask her to buy alcohol for them. “Ma” lets the high schoolers party in her basement, then turns their lives into a hellish nightmare.

Juliette Lewis, Allison Janney, Missi Pyle, Luke Evans, McKaley Miller, Diana Silvers, Corey Fogelmanis, Gianni Paolo, Dante Brown round out the main cast.

Despite the film’s notable cast, critics were split, giving it a 62% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The thriller was helmed by Tate Taylor, who directed Spencer to an Oscar in 2011’s The Help.

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Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Credit: Warner Bros.)
“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (Credit: Warner Bros.)

Elsewhere, Godzilla: King of the Monsters debuted in the top spot with $49 million. While it took a bite out of the competition, that was still much less than the previous two installments in the franchise. In 2014 Godzilla opened with $93.1 million and 2017’s Kong: Skull Island debuted with $61 million.

Last week’s leader, Aladdin slipped to second place with $42.3 million. Paramount’s Rocketman, about music icon Elton John, opened in third with $25.0 million.

As previously mentioned, Ma came in fourth place with $18.2 million and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum rounded out the top five with $11.1 million.