When it comes to this weekend’s box office, this picture from Twitter just about nails it:
It was Star Wars, Star Wars, and, you guessed it, more Star Wars. The Last Jedi, the sequel to the biggest film of all time, had the second biggest opening weekend of all time, opening to a stunning $220 million domestic, $450m worldwide. It made more in its first day than Blade Runner: 2049 made in its entire theatrical run and more in first 3 days than Justice League has in its first 31 days. All well-deserved for what might just be my movie of the year.
But as hard as this might be to believe, there were other movies in theaters this weekend. Some played to empty seats, others to annoyed Star Wars fans forced to settle for something when their preferred screening of Last Jedi sold out, and yet others to those select moviegoers who don’t actually like Star Wars. How did it work out for them? Well….
Fox’s Future Disney’s Ferdinand managed to siphon some of the family audience away from Last Jedi, opening to $13m, which is almost an exact repeat of what happened the last time a Fox animated movie took on Star Wars. Two years ago, it was Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip opening opposite of Force Awakens. It eked out a $14m opening on way to a $85m domestic total. Ferdinand hopes for a similar result and will likely hold steady over Christmas.
Coco’s reign as the #1 movie obviously came to an end, but it’s still in there at #3 with $10m. It now has a 26-day total of $150m, maintaining its pace to end up making around a quarter more than Tangled but a fifth less than Moana, its two closest comps.
Wonder, which cleared $100m last week, leapfrogged Justice League in the top 10 and is now up to $109m total, meaning it is now guaranteed to be LionsGate’s biggest non-La La Land/Hunger Games/Twilight release of all time. Give it another two weeks and it will have passed Now You See Me ($116m). A feel good movie which found an audience through word-of-mouth despite competition from multiple blockbusters upon a pre-Thanksgiving release, Wonder has officially become this year’s Blind Side.
Justice League’s inevitable slide down the chart finally begins. Despite all the talk of it bombing relative to expectations and budget, Justice League has held fairly consistently near the top of the chart every week since its release. Until now. It’s finally reached the point where just about everyone who is going to see it has already done so, lifting it to $219m domestic, $636m worldwide, both lows for the DC Extended Universe. Even Man of Steel, the movie that made WB so nervous they overcompensated by tossing Batman into the sequel, managed a $310 domestic gross. JL’s probably not even going to make it to $250m.
Like Bad Mom’s Christmas before it, Daddy’s Home 2 continues to perform somewhat respectably for a holiday-themed cash-grab sequel. It’s nowhere near the equal of its predecessor, but far from embarrassing. At least that would be true if Paramount hadn’t spent $69m to make the dang thing. After that, a $96m domestic/$157m worldwide total doesn’t look so hot.
Thor: Ragnarok won’t end up making as much as either Spider-Man: Homecoming or Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Marvel Studios’ other two movies this year, but it’s already set Thor franchise highs, passed Wonder Woman worldwide, left JL in its dust and will at least come far closer to Guardians 2’s worldwide total than anyone would have thought possible.
After dropping nearly 60% this weekend despite playing in over 1,000 theaters for the first time, The Disaster Artist is looking like a box office repeat of Tim Burton’s Ed Wood, a similar ode to the trials of a wannabe filmmaker whose ambitions massively outweigh his talent. That movie, sadly, bombed. Disaster’s grossed $12.9m from several weeks of limited release and now two weeks of wide release, and the big drop-off this weekend suggest a fanboy/fangirl effect. Translation: it’s just playing to people who are already familiar with The Room.
Murder on the Orient Express, which is exactly the kind of movie Fox might not be allowed to make anymore after the Disney purchase, continues to lean on the 50 and over crowd to put it right on the verge of crossing $100m domestic. It’s also made it to $200m worldwide, not bad for a film with a $55m budget.
Lady Bird is now on the tail end of its run, losing hundreds of theaters every week and doomed to drop out of the top ten very soon. However, as a micro budget indie its managed a $25.9m gross and could end up somewhere north of $30m, which is at least more than last year’s critically acclaimed November-released coming of age comedy The Edge of Seventeen can say since it topped out at $14m.
Outside of the top 10, awards contenders like I, Tonya, The Shape of Water, Wonder Wheel, Call Me By Your Name and The Darkest Hour continued on with their platform releases, and among them I, Tonya, The Shape of Water and Call Me By Your Name have consistently posted encouraging per-theater averages. The Shape of Water expands into 750+ theaters next weekend.
Whether you will have a chance to see any of them depends on how big your city is because the theaters are about to get very crowded. According to BoxOfficeMojo:
Beginning on Wednesday with Fox’s The Greatest Showman opening in 3,100 theaters and Sony will release Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle into 3,600 locations. Following that, Friday sees three new wide releases including Paramount’s release of Alexander Payne‘s Downsizing into ~2,500 theaters, Warner Bros. will release the comedy Father Figures into 2,800+ locations and Universal closes out the Pitch Perfect trilogy with Pitch Perfect 3 opening in 3,400 locations. In all we’re talking about seven new wide releases (including Shape of Water) in the span of just seven days, accounting for over 23,000 theaters.