For the first time in more than two years, a straight-up comedy is No. 1 at the box office. Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish’s “Night School” debuted with $28 million in ticket sales, according to estimates Sunday.

Warner Bros.’ animated release “Smallfoot,” which cost about $80 million to make, trailed in second with $23 million.

Not since Melissa McCarthy’s “The Boss” topped the box office in April 2016 has a comedy that didn’t mix other genre elements been No. 1.

It’s the second straight top spot for Universal, which last week led ticket sales with the Amblin Entertainment-produced fantasy “The House With a Clock in Its Walls.” It earned $12.5 million in its second weekend. Frights, not laughs, have become the hotter attraction at the movies, but for one weekend at least, horror and comedy switched roles. Lionsgate’s Halloween-themed “Hell Fest” debuted meekly with $5.1 million. It trailed “A Simple Favor” ($6.6 million) and “The Nun” ($5.4 million).

“Night School,” in which Hart plays a man who returns to his high school to get his GED certificate (Haddish plays his teacher), fared poorly with critics, but the star power was enough to supersede bad reviews. This is Hart’s 11th No. 1 film.

– The Associated Press

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