The big-screen continuation of the popular British TV show beat expectations with $31 million when it debuted in 3,079 theaters, setting a new opening weekend record for the specialty studio. “Downton Abbey” easily surpassed fellow newcomers “Ad Astra” and “Rambo: Last Blood,” which are in a close race for second place.
Overseas, the royal period drama has collected $41 million to date for a worldwide tally of $61.8 million. Series creator Julian Fellowes wrote “Downton Abbey,” with Michael Engler directing. Much of the cast from the TV show — including Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery and Maggie Smith — returned for the film adaptation. “Downton Abbey” now ranks as the biggest opening weekend from a specialty studio in the last decade, as well as the second-best start for specialty fare behind The Weinstein Company’s “Inglourious Basterds” ($38 million).