Weekend Box Office: Beautiful Disaster

Without any big new movies in wide release, the weekend’s box office Top 5 remains unchanged. Most titles held over well, but the real news came from the new limited releases. The numbers for two of the three are so good that their expansions will happen sooner than later.

Pixar’s latest is still the #1 movie in North America. Despite a lack of competition, ‘Coco‘ dropped 49% over its second week, bringing in $26.1 million. The film’s 12-day domestic total is up to $108.6 million. As its international expansion continues, ‘Coco’ keeps strumming up the money overseas. To date, it has earned $171.3 million overseas, giving the $175-$200 million animated musical a $279.9 million worldwide total.

Over its third week, ‘Justice League‘ remained in second place, but Warner’s reworked-in-post-production blockbuster isn’t very healthy. With an absence of new releases, it should have fared better, but instead dropped 60% in attendance. The $16.5 million weekend brings its domestic 17-day gross to $197.3 million. While U.S. audiences may not be opting to see it, the foreign box office is still looking good. The $300 million tentpole has made $370.1 million internationally, for a $567.4 million worldwide total. If the numbers keep climbing, perhaps that petition to get Zack Snyder’s director’s cut (which is up to 150,000 signatures) will actually happen.

Wonder‘ held over superbly during its second week, but took a typical hit in its third. Dipping 45%, it still managed to gross another $12.5 million for a third-place finish. To date, the tiny movie has made $88 million domestically. With $12 million in international ticket sales, its worldwide total crossed the $100 million mark.

Thor: Ragnarok‘ pulled another $9.6 million and remained at #4. The sequel’s domestic numbers are up to $291.4 million, showing that it should cross the $300 million mark by this same time next weekend. With $525 in international sales, its global box office is up to $816.4 million.

With $7.5 million, ‘Daddy’s Home 2‘ once again rounded out the Top 5. The $69 million comedy has collected $82.8 million domestically and $34 million overseas, bringing its worldwide total to $116.8 million. No matter how well it plays over the next few weeks, the movie won’t come close to hitting the $242.8 million made by the original.

Now let’s get to the good stuff.

Although it only played on 19 screens, ‘The Disaster Artist‘ nearly cracked the Top 10. Bringing in $1.2 million, A24’s next big hit of the year landed in the #12 spot with a great per-screen average of $64,254. This Friday’s expansion will bring it to an estimated 800 screens.

From two locations, Guillermo del Toro’s ‘The Shape of Water‘ played even better. The film’s $166,800 total resulted in a stellar $83,400 per-screen average. Fox Searchlight will gradually expand the grown-up fairy tale between now and Christmas Day.

Woody Allen’s ‘Wonder Wheel‘ played well from five locations. It earned $140,555 and a per-screen average of $28,111. It’s also slated to expand over the coming weeks.

The weekend estimates for the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Dunkirk’ re-releases have yet to be announced, but the ‘Titanic‘ re-release pulled in nearly half of a million dollars this weekend. From 87 theaters, it made $415,000 and a $4,770 per-screen average, which is better than nine of those listed in the Top 10.

Top 10:

1. ‘Coco’ (Buena Vista) – $26,114,000

2. ‘Justice League’ (Warner Bros.) – $16,580,000

3. ‘Wonder’ (Lionsgate) – $12,500,000

4. ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ (Buena Vista) – $9,659,000

5. ‘Daddy’s Home 2’ (Paramount) – $7,500,000

6. ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (Fox) – $6,700,000

7. ‘Lady Bird’ (A24) – $4,543,990

8. ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ (Fox Searchlight) – $4,530,000

9. ‘The Star’ (Sony) – $4,000,000

10. ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ (STX) – $3,480,000


  1. Regarding these big blockbusters by well established directors…

    I feel like studios are often shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to edits.

    It is understandable that 3 hour cut of a movie may worry studios, and they may wish to have a shorter run time to make the film more appeal, and to get more screenings in per day per theater. The problem is, they hire these writers and directors for a reason. When the scope of their vision gets too grand for their liking, or is tonally incompatible with their marketing plan, a person not approved by the director chops up the movie.

    As a result, I know that the movie that is released in theaters is not the “complete” film. I used to wait on watching the LotR/Hobbit movies until they were released at home, knowing they’d have a longer cut than in the theaters. If I was going to watch it, why not watch the full movie?

    The situation got worse, however, with ‘Batman v Superman’. The extended cut that was for home release makes the story significantly more coherent and far more enjoyable. Warner Bros. proved to me that waiting for the extended home releases not only provided more content, but a better movie that is more in keeping with the director’s vision.

    So why the hell am I’m going to go to the movie theater and pay for a chopped up version of a movie when it’s a safe bet that a more complete version will be released on Blu-Ray, which I could buy for the cost of two movie theater tickets?

    • Regarding Justice League, the scuttlebutt is that Warner Bros. hated the initial cut Zack Snyder sent to them and don’t want to invest another dime in his “vision.” The studio was initially very excited to bring Joss Whedon in to fix the movie, but between the major cost overruns, the film’s box office underperformance, and Whedon’s personal scandal, that relationship has soured as well. I’m not sure there will be any sort of extended edition for home video.

      • It seems like the studio’s vision hasn’t really worked out. If they were to release two home cuts, they’d move units to those who enjoyed the theatrical release, as well as move units to all the fans who claim they would have been happier with Syner’s original vision. There is enough hype there about what could have been that it may be worth WB to invest the time to bring that version to Blu-Ray. It would be an effective way to get more mileage out of the single movie release.

        • I don’t believe Snyder’s cut was anywhere near completed. It’s not a simple matter of just cutting out Whedon’s scenes and putting Snyder’s back in. To finish that version of the movie, the studio would have to invest a lot into completing unfinished VFX and post-production. If more reshoots are also needed, forget it. There’s no way the cast is coming back for that.

          • Ah, I had no real clue how far they got into this version; I thought most of the reshoots were done to include material, not in lieu of unfinished scenes.

            Still, take a look at what was done with ‘Alien 3: Assembly Cut’. It was not approved by David Fincher, but was an attempt to present something closer to his vision than the theatrical release. There were many shots used that were not of the same finished quality as the theatrical release, but it still presented an alternative/better version of the movie for home release. It wouldn’t hold up as a stand alone release, but it’s a fantastic addition to the theatrical Blu-ray release.

          • William Henley

            The question may be how much was changed by Whedon. If Snyder had a workprint done before Whedon took over, the amount of extra VFX needed that wasn’t in the final cut may not be that extensive. And if Snyder had a workprint that he liked, then you won’t have to deal with reshoots.

            As for LOTR / Hobbit, Jackson was always working on 3 movies simultaniously and went in knowing he was going to be shooting extra material for home release. They were not deleted scenes or altered scenes that were added in later, so shooting, reshoots, and vfx all were done at the same time as the theatrical releases. All of these things combined greatly reduced cost and time.

            Truthfully, I can only think of a handful of movies that have “extended” editions or directors cuts on home video – most are released with theatrical cuts, with deleted scenes thrown in as extras. Batman v Superman, LOTR, and the Hobbit, while not the only movies with extended cuts, are the exceptions, not the rule.

            Usually if I am going to the theater, it is because I just want to get out. My movie going experience has gone way down since i got a projector, however, that is also the same time I started working on my Masters, and most of the good movies get released as I am finishing up research papers and studying for midterms or finals. However, there are still a few movies I want to see on the big screen – it may be a couple of weeks before I see them, though. For example, Blade Runner hit right around midterms for me, then I had a couple of other things pop up, so as badly as I wanted to see it, it was out of the theater before my schedule cleared up. Star Wars. I have Christmas parties going on that weekend, so it will be Christmas before I see it, so I will go with my dad and brother (we have done that for the last two movies – its becoming a Christmas tradition). Passangers was in the theater so briefly, and the physical media release was so close to the theatrical date, it was in the stores before I realized I had missed it at the theater.

            I started chasing a rabbit. Point is, I usually don’t feel ripped off seeing a movie at the theater. As for LOTR and The Hobbit, the extended editions usually did not come out until a year later.

          • William Henley – You bring up a good point about Jackson filming all the content at once, yet also having in mind that he’d be doing a theatrical cut that would not contain everything. As such, he knew what core content was necessary to have the story make sense.

            With something like BvS:DoJ, someone else chopped it down, while Synder didn’t shoot it with the intent of elements going on the cutting room floor (until home release), so the theatrical cut ends up not being as coherent as the director’s cut.

      • Also…in terms of box office numbers, just the combination of the buzz about this not being the director’s vision, and how common it is for movies to have “director’s cuts” upon home release, it would be fair for a film goer to assume the home release of Justice League will offer more/different/better content on Blu-Ray without any actual announcement (justifying them skipping the theatrical release).

      • Bolo

        I didn’t follow the stories surrounding this movie too close, but I thought Snyder was doing the reshoots but then exited to deal with his daughter’s suicide. Was that a cover story to save Snyder face while they replaced him with Whedon?

        • From what I understand, Snyder turned in a preliminary rough cut in unfinished condition. The studio hated it and hired Joss Whedon to do rewrites and lighten the tone of the script, necessitating reshoots. Had Snyder stayed on, he would have directed those reshoots. However, when he stepped away due to a family tragedy, the studio expanded Whedon’s role to direct the reshoots and reshape the entire movie to be more like The Avengers.

          Reportedly, those reshoots turned out to be extensive, pushing the project way over budget. Zack Snyder remains the only credited director mostly as a face-saving measure, both for Snyder himself and for the studio, which didn’t want to acknowledge all the turmoil behind the scenes of its hugely expensive tentpole production.

  2. I’m not sure I agree that the foreign box office numbers are still good for Justice League. Yes, it’s the second higest grossing DCEU-movie so far, and that may very well hold. But it’s $117M behind BvS, a movie it surely was expected to outgross.

    If you look at the performance in their third week, JL is actually the poorest performer, taking in $59M, compared to $65M for BvS, $66M for WW, $69M for Suicide Squad, and $84M for MoS. If it manages to follow BvS’ performance for the remainder of its run, it’ll end up at around $425M, just a hair above Suicide Squads $420M. BvS did nosedive after its second week, though, so JL may very well do better than it next week.

    At best, I think JL will gross another $80M internationally, bringing the total foreign Box office to around $450M. Not a total disaster, perhaps. But, certainly it has to be lower than expected. The first Avengers did $900M internationally, and in my opinion, that exactly the movie JL should compare itself with. Grossing slightly more than a third of The Avengers domestically, and slightly less than half internationally, can’t be acceptable for Warner.

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