Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish’s raucous comedy Night School laughed its way to the top of the Friday box-office chart, earning $9.5 million from 3,010 theaters for a projected weekend debut of $26 million.
The film reunites director Malcolm D. Lee, producer Will Packer and Universal, the winning trio behind the 2017 box-office hit Girls Trip, which debuted to $31 million in summer 2017. Night School is opening on par with recent hit Crazy Rich Asians, Jon M. Chu’s groundbreaking romantic comedy. (Heading into the weekend, some tracking services had suggested Night School could clear $31 million in its domestic launch.)
Lee’s latest comedy, earning an A- CinemaScore, follows a group of misfits who are forced to attend night school in order to pass their GED exams (Haddish plays their teacher). Rob Riggle, Taran Killam, Romany Malco and Keith David round out the cast. In addition to starring, Hart is among the producers.
Warner Bros.’ new animated offering Smallfoot opened to No. 2 on Friday with $6.5 million for a weekend debut in the $23 million-$24 million range from 4,131 theaters. The movie, whose voice cast includes Channing Tatum and LeBron James, likewise earned an A- CinemaScore.
Co-written and directed by Karey Kirkpatrick, Smallfoot follows a group of Yeti who encounter a human (neither can believe the other is real). James Corden, Zendaya, Common, Gina Rodriguez, Danny DeVito and Yara Shahidi also lend their voices.