November 18, 2018

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 11.18.2018


OPENINGS:  FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD (Warners) opened at $62.2M in the US, down 16% from the first Beasts.  In addition, it was more front-loaded, with a 16% Saturday drop compared to 12%.  Exit polls and reviews suggest that word of mouth won’t be as strong this time, so a $200M US total is likely (the original Beasts ended its US run at $234M).  The franchise earns the bulk of its revenue overseas, with 71% of the first Beasts‘ worldwide total outside the US, and that will be the case here as well.  Beasts 2 opened in virtually all major markets (Japan launches next week) with $191M, better than the $143M international start for Beasts, but that opening didn’t include China.  Notably, the sequel’s start was lower than the first’s in both the UK and China, two of the franchise’s biggest markets, but the worldwide total should still be in hailing distance of the first Beasts‘ $814M, providing plenty of profit even on $350M in production/marketing costs.

INSTANT FAMILY (Paramount) was more expensive than its moderate scale would suggest, with $100M+ in total costs, and its $14.7M start was unexciting, roughly half the opening for Daddy’s Home 2, which also opened in Mid-November at $29.7M.  Word of mouth may build business over Thanksgiving, but the box office in general typically slumps after that, and Family will probably be gone by the Christmas corridor, with a US total of perhaps $50-55M.  The Daddy’s Home franchise found most of its money in the US (international was respectively 38%/42% of the worldwide total), so Family may have a hard time reaching breakeven.

WIDOWS (Regency/20th) had a slow start at $12.3M, and will likely need strong support from critics’ awards to have any hope of earning back its $100M in costs.  Its overseas release is limited to date but not promising, with $7.3M after a $2.8M weekend in 19 territories.

A pair of awards hopefuls expanded to the low edges of wide release, neither of them impressively.  CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? (Fox Searchlight), now at 555 theatres, had a slim per-theatre weekend average of $1600.  A PRIVATE WAR (Aviron) fared even worse with an $800 average at 865.

HOLDOVERS:  THE GRINCH (Illumination/Universal) held well, down 44% in its 2nd weekend to $38.2M and on track for a $200M US total.  It should do solid business over the long Thanksgiving weekend, but will face direct challenge from Ralph Breaks The Internet.  Overseas, it’s still in gradual release, and has $25.2M after a $9.4M weekend in 23 markets.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (Regency/20th) dropped 50% in its 3rd weekend to $15.7M, and may reach $160M in the US.  It’s much bigger overseas, where it has $256.4M after a $45.5M weekend with a few territories (including Italy next week) still to come.

THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS (Disney) continued to fall quickly, down 54% in its 3rd weekend to $4.7M, and unlikely to get much past $55M in the US.  International release won’t save it from a pool of red ink, with $72.4M to date after a $6.7M weekend in 72 markets.

A STAR IS BORN (MGM/Warners) dropped 46% in its 7th weekend to $4.4M, on its way to $195M in the US.  It’s more subdued internationally, where its total to date is $154.9M after a $5.5M weekend in 64 territories, with Japan yet to open.

OVERLORD (Paramount) fell 63% from opening weekend to $3.9M, and will probably run out of gas at $25M in the US.  Things are no better overseas, where it’s at $15M after a $2.6M weekend in 52 markets.

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB (MGM/Regency/Columbia/Sony) collapsed by 68% to $2.5M from last week’s opening, and probably won’t hit $20M in the US.  It’s at a dim $13.3M overseas, after a $2.8M weekend in 52 territories.

NOBODY’S FOOL (Paramount) was dented by 66% in its 3rd weekend to $2.3M, and won’t see $35M in the US, with negligible prospects overseas.

Although VENOM (Tencent/Columbia/Sony) is wrapping up in the US, down 61% to $1.9M in its 7th weekend as it heads to $215M, it continues to bank big numbers overseas.  It’s at $570.5M outside the US, after a $55M weekend in 65 territories, $51.2M of it from China, where its total is $207.1M, the biggest superhero movie in that market ever behind only Avengers 2 and 3.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The Oscars narrative behind GREEN BOOK (DreamWorks/Participant/Universal) centers on it being a crowd-pleaser, but in its 25-theatre start, it didn’t find many crowds to please with a mediocre $12.5K average (and even that was inflated by some in-theatre Q&As).  AT ETERNITY’S GATE (CBS/Lionsgate) launched with a merely adequate $23K average at 4.  BOY ERASED (Focus/Universal) expanded to near-wide release at 409 theatres with a so-so $3100 average.  THE FRONT RUNNER (Columbia/Sony) widened to 22 theatres with a low $3300 average.  BORDER (Neon) averaged $1800 at 30.

NEXT WEEK:  Due to Thanksgiving, the wide releases open on Wednesday, including RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET (Disney), CREED II (MGM/Warners) and ROBIN HOOD (Lionsgate).  On Friday, the limited releases of THE FAVOURITE (Fox Searchlight) and SHOPLIFTERS (Magnolia) begin.  In addition, ROMA (Netflix) starts its limited pre-streaming run on Wednesday, but Netflix will continue its policy of renting out theatres for its films and keeping box office numbers to itself.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."