California: Inferno, the latest big screen instalment of Dan Brown`s conspiracy novels, fizzled out in its opening weekend in North America, industry data showed Monday, earning $10 million less than expected.
The third film in the series that stars Tom Hanks took a frosty $14.9 million in North America, a fraction of the $77.1 million debut of The Da Vinci Code, which kicked off the franchise in 2006.
"At this point, it could truly flame out and struggle to reach $40 million," wrote Brad Brevet of film finance website Box Office Mojo, noting that it been expected to make closer to $25 million.
But he added that Sony had kept the budget at a relatively low $75 million, meaning that, combined with overseas ticket sales, the studio wasn`t "looking at a complete blood bath on the balance sheet."
Based on Dan Brown`s bestselling book series, the film stars Felicity Jones alongside Hanks, who returns to the role of Harvard professor Robert Langdon, this time seeking to stop an evil billionaire from killing off the world`s population by releasing a deadly virus.
Sony`s poor showing with Inferno cleared the way for Lionsgate`s Boo! A Madea Halloween -- the latest instalment in Tyler Perry`s Madea franchise -- to retain the number one spot in its second week.
The comedy, in which Perry reprises his role as a tough-talking matriarch, took in $17.2 million for a total of $52.6 million, box office tracker Exhibitor Relations said.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back slipped a spot from last week to take third place with $9.6 million.
The sequel to the 2012 film Jack Reacher stars Tom Cruise as a former soldier now going it alone, based on the book series by British author Lee Child.
The financial thriller ‘The Accountant, starring Ben Affleck, held on to its number four spot from last week with $8.5 million.
The film follows an autistic mathematics savant who capitalizes on his fondness for numbers by becoming an undercover forensic accountant for criminal organizations.
Horror prequel Ouija: Origin of Evil -- about home séances gone wrong -- dropped two spots to take fifth place during its second weekend with $7.1 million.
Rounding out the top films:
The Girl on the Train ($4.4 million)
Miss Peregrine`s Home for Peculiar Children ($4.1 million)
Keeping Up with the Joneses ($3.4 million)
Storks ($2.9 million)
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil ($2.2 million)