Weekend Box Office: Thanksgiving Stuffing

The long holiday weekend bore box office gifts for several holdover movies, but only one of the new releases found success. One saw so-so returns, one flopped, and one really flopped.

Could Disney possibly perform any better this year? To think that ‘Rogue One’ hasn’t even opened yet… sheesh. Disney Animation struggled for several years, but the studio found its way back on top over the last few. Its latest keeps the trend moving upward. ‘Moana‘ grossed $55.5 million over the three-day weekend. Including the Wednesday and Thursday five-day numbers, the film’s total to date is $81.1 million, which is actually surprisingly close to that of 2013’s ‘Frozen’ ($93.6 million). This weekend’s opening only included several overseas territories. The movie will open in the majority of international markets this coming weekend. Currently, it has a worldwide total of $97.4 million.

Over its second week, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them‘ only fell 39% in attendance. The three-day weekend resulted in a second place finish of $45.1 million, which brings the $180 million film’s ten-day total up to $156.2 million. Internationally, the ‘Harry Potter’ spinoff is also performing very well. It earned $317.5 million overseas, which brings its worldwide draw up to $473.7 million.

Now four weeks into its theatrical run, Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange‘ held over exceptionally well in third place. By slipping just 25% in attendance, it drew another $13.3 million, which was more than enough to push its domestic total over the $200 million mark ($205 million, to be precise). Foreign markets are lapping up the comic book movie just as much as domestic moviegoers. Its international total is up to $410.9 million, for a worldwide total of $615.9 million.

Despite Robert Zemeckis’ last two films being quite good, they’ve struggled at the box office. Last year’s ‘The Walk‘ was a disappointment, and ‘Allied‘ appears to be headed in that same direction. The Brad Pitt/Marion Cotillard World War II drama opened in fourth (but could easily swap places with ‘Doctor Strange’ for the #3 spot when the weekend actuals are announced later today) with $13 million. With a Wednesday debut, the five-day weekend shows it up $5 million from the three-day weekend numbers, placing its domestic total at $18 million. If the war movie plays anything like ‘Hacksaw Ridge’, then we may see it hold over well in the coming weeks, but that may not be much help for the pricy $85 million film. Internationally, it kicked off in two dozen markets (only a few of which were big), resulting in $9.3 million. The worldwide opening tallies just $27.4 million.

Paramount’s science fiction film ‘Arrival‘ rounded out the Top 5 with a very strong third week. Even after adding 107 screens in North America, it only dropped 7% in attendance. I knew the numbers would be high when I caught a 6:45 PM showing on Saturday night and watched it nearly sell out. ‘Arrival’ made another $11.2 million this weekend, bringing its domestic 17-day total up to $62.3 million. Overseas, it has $30.9 million to date, placing the worldwide total at $93.2 million. That’s not too shabby (that’s a scientific term) for a $47 million film.

That leaves us with two more wide releases to discuss.

In 2003, the original ‘Bad Santa‘ opened in the #5 spot with $12.2 million and ultimately bowed with $60 million in North American returns. ‘Bad Santa 2‘ is way off from that trajectory. The sequel just opened in eighth place with a $6.1 million three-day weekend. The Wednesday opening helped, giving it a five-day debut of $9 million. Even so, the sequel comes with a $26 million price tag. Unless its impending international release draws more moviegoers than showed up domestically, this will be the last time that ‘Bad Santa’ comes to town.

Billy Bob and company certainly must be glum over that outcome, but at least they’re not as broken as Warren Beatty and his team. This weekend, ‘Rules Don’t Apply‘ saw the worst wide release opening of 2016. Landing outside the Top 10, the directionless dramedy grossed just $1.5 million from 2,382 screens. That equates to a per-screen average of just $661. Over the five-day weekend, it made $2.1 million. Considering its $25 million budget, this can only be chalked up as major flop. Unless its impending international release miraculously blows up (which, after seeing the film, I simply don’t believe is possible), Fox will take a big loss with this one.

Top 10:

1. ‘Moana’ (Buena Vista) – $55,523,000

2. ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ (Warner Bros.) – $45,100,000

3. ‘Doctor Strange’ (Buena Vista) – $13,369,000

4. ‘Allied’ (Paramount) – $13,000,000

5. ‘Arrival’ (Paramount) – $11,250,000

6. ‘Trolls’ (Fox) – $10,340,000

7. ‘Almost Christmas’ (Universal) – $7,610,000

8. ‘Bad Santa 2’ (Broad Green) – $6,106,658

9. ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ (Lionsgate) – $5,450,000

10. ‘The Edge of Seventeen’ (STX) – $2,960,000

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