Weekend Box Office (November 24 - 26, 2017)
THIS WEEKEND Pixar and Disney brought holiday cheer to the Thanksgiving holiday frame with its latest hit Coco which opened at number one with an estimated $49M in three days and $71.2M over the long five-day stretch from Wednesday to Sunday. The PG-rated film averaged a sturdy $12,295 from 3,987 locations. It was the fourth biggest opening ever over the long turkey holiday weekend.
Reviews were strong across the board and Coco earned a glowing A+ CinemaScore grade signaling a bright future ahead as the holidays get closer and closer and families continue to head out to the multiplexes for end-of-year entertainment.
The five-day opening for Coco was only 13% behind Disney's Moana which ruled this same holiday session one year ago. That film had a long holiday run finishing with $248.8M domestic and Coco has every chance of reaching past at least $200M by the end of its North American run. A true North American gross would include Mexico, and Coco is already the highest grossing film of all time in that country. Most key international markets are still to come so this animated hit is just getting its global run going.
Following an opening weekend which fell below expectations, the highly anticipated super hero epic Justice League dropped a sharp 57% in its sophomore frame to an estimated $40.7M. It was by far the largest decline for any film in the top ten this weekend and was extra troubling given that Friday was a day off. Warner Bros. has grossed $171.5M after ten days. Negative buzz and mixed reviews affected the PG-13 film from day one and there were far less takers in the second weekend, despite the extra holiday time off that people had.
Compared to other ten-day starts for recent comic book movies, Justice League is running 17% behind Wonder Woman, 19% below Thor: Ragnarok and 34% behind last year's Batman v Superman. At its current trajectory, Justice League looks to finish its domestic run in the neighborhood of $240M which would make it the lowest grossing of the five DCEU films to date ranking well behind 2013's Man of Steel which did $291M. Essentially, Batman v Superman played like the first real Justice League team-up film, and the new movie this month has played more like a sequel to a not-so-liked tentpole.
Overseas this weekend, Justice League grossed $72.2M boosting the international total to $309.8M led by China's $83.1M. The worldwide tally to date is now $481.3M. Japan had a four-day opening of $3.8M, and holdover markets dropped by a sharp 63%.
Taking third place was the Julia Roberts hit Wonder which slipped only 19% in its second weekend to an estimated $22.3M. The Lionsgate hit averaged $7,030 per theater and lifted its total to $69.4M. A final gross north of $150M seems likely as it continues to win over new audiences. The Marvel hit Thor: Ragnarok placed fourth in its fourth weekend grossing $16.8M, off only 23%. Disney's latest smash hit raised its domestic total to $277.5M while the global cume climbed to $790.1M.
A pair of star-driven films followed. Daddy's Home 2 grossed $13.3M, down only 8%, for a new total of $72.7M after its third weekend for Paramount. Fox's mystery Murder on the Orient Express did an estimated $13M, off only 6%, for a new total of $74.2M. The animated film The Star took in an estimated $6.9M slipping 30% in its second weekend giving Sony a new cume of $22M.
Denzel Washington did not attract a large crowd for his latest film Roman J. Israel, Esq. With mixed reviews it debuted to only $4.5M from 1,669 theaters for a soft $2,705 average for Sony. Rounding out the top ten was the specialty film hit Three Billboards with an estimated $4.4M, quadrupling last weekend's gross thanks to a nationwide expansion. Fox Searchlight averaged a solid $7,166 per theater and has lifted the total to $7.6M.
Debuting to sensational numbers in platform release was the acclaimed drama Call Me By Your Name which grossed $405,000 from only four theaters for an incredible $101,250 average for Sony Classics. That makes it one of the best platform debuts of recent years. The film will expand to more markets in the weeks to come.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $175.9M which was up 3% from last year when Moana opened at number one with $56.6M; and up 5% from 2015 when Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 stayed in the top spot with $52M.
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Watch the trailer for Pacific Rim Uprising.
Compared to three-day projections, Coco was on target with my $49M forecast while Roman J. Israel, Esq. debuted below my $7M prediction.
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 26, 2017 at 2:10PM ET
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