‘Toy Story 4’ hung onto the top spot in its second week in theatres and the horror sequel ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ opened in line with expectations, but the Cinderella story of the weekend was actually the third place movie: ‘Yesterday’.

The Danny Boyle-directed musical romantic comedy featuring the music of the Beatles debuted well over industry expectations, earning an estimated $17 million (Dh62.43 million) from North American theatres. In a summer where most films have debuted either under or at industry tracking, which are often lowball projections, and original comedies have struggled to find audiences, ‘Yesterday’ proved to be the exception.

Starring relative newcomer Himesh Patel, ‘Yesterday’ imagines a world where only one man remembers the music of the Beatles and decides to present their catalogue of hits as his own.

Although critics were mixed, audiences, who were mostly female (56 and over the age of 25 (75 per cent) have embraced the film with an A- CinemaScore and a 90 per cent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Universal’s President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution Jim Orr says he tries to use the word “thrilled” judiciously, but that it applies here.

“Among all of the sequels and all of the explosions of the summer, this is a very charming, original, whimsical musical romance with iconic music and amazing performances... [and direction],” Orr said. “All of that adds up to a great, great run at the domestic box office.”

Even Warner Bros., which has the Bruce Springsteen-themed film ‘Blinded by the Light’ coming later this summer was heartened by ‘Yesterday’s’ launch, which motivated a solidly adult demographic to trek out to the movie theatre on opening weekend.

As Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian put it: “It’s not always the No 1 film that’s the big story.”

The No. 1 film was once again ‘Toy Story 4’, which added $57.9 million from domestic theatres, down 52 per cent from its debut last weekend. Globally the film has already netted $496.5 million.

Of the top grossing films of 2019, Disney now occupies the top four spots with ‘Avengers: Endgame’, ‘Captain Marvel’, ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Toy Story 4’.

In second place was the third Annabelle film, ‘Annabelle Comes Home’, which debuted on over 3,500 screens Wednesday. The Warner Bros horror earned $20.4 million over the weekend and $31.2 million in its first five days.

Although it is a franchise low — the first two opened over $35 million — with a budget of $27 million, it did well enough to justify its existence.

‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ rounded out the top five.