Weekend Box Office (November 9 - 11, 2018)
THIS WEEKEND Eighteen years ago, Jim Carrey and Universal used mid-November to launch their live-action family film How the Grinch Stole Christmas to a stunning $55.1M debut and now the studio hopes to reach similar numbers with its animated comedy The Grinch with Benedict Cumberbatch taking on the lead role, though in voice format. The timing is good for yuletide-themed pics for kids as they have a month and a half of playtime before going bust on December 26.
While reviews are not exceptional, they are decent enough not to repel parents. Moviegoers will be drawn in by the familiar brand and by the promise of family fun. The marketing hype has been on high and has effectively excited the target crowd. Word of mouth needs to be good given the tentpole choices hitting theaters soon from the popular Harry Potter and Disney brands. Heading into over 4,000 theaters, The Grinch might collect roughly $52M this weekend.
The WWII movie genre takes a zombie turn in the new action frightfest Overlord which has been promoting producer J.J. Abrams in hopes of catching the attention of fans. The R-rated film has earned solid reviews and will target a more male audience and those seeking gore and violence. Not much starpower here, but visuals in the trailer should spark interest for the target audience. With nothing else like it in the marketplace, and many people seeing trailers and standees for it over the past month with recent successful scary films, a good turnout may result. Paramount goes into about 2,850 locations including IMAX screens and may gross about $14M this weekend.
Sony presents a new installment from the Dragon Tattoo franchise with The Girl in the Spider's Web which offers a new director and star for the series. Led by Claire Foy, the R-rated thriller is hoping for appeal with adult women with its tough-as-nails vigilante hacker character dishing out punishment to bad men. While the film has a slick look and decent reviews, consumer demand for a new installment in this series is not too high. Europe should see more success than America for this global picture which hopes to get fans excited for more films. Opening in about 2,400 theaters, The Girl in the Spider's Web may collect around $11M.
Freddie Mercury conquered the U.S. charts last weekend with the strong launch for the music pic Bohemian Rhapsody. Audiences are liking the film so a 45% decline may be in the works for the second round giving Fox about $28M for the frame pushing the cume to a stellar $97M with more to go.
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LAST YEAR Cruising to the top again with ease was Thor: Ragnarok with a muscular $57.1M in its second weekend as it crashed through the double century mark. Opening behind and very close to each other were the comedy sequel Daddy's Home 2 with $29.7M and Murder on the Orient Express with $28.7M. Final grosses reached $104M for Paramount and $102.8M for Fox. Holdovers rounded out the top five with $11.5M for A Bad Moms Christmas and $3.4M for Jigsaw.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: November 8, 2018 at 2:40PM ET
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