November 24, 2019

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 11.24.2019


OPENINGS:  After several weeks of big-studio disappointments, FROZEN 2 (Disney) performed as the blockbuster it was expected to be, with $127M in the US.  Comparisons to the first Frozen in 2013 are a bit dicey, because that opened wide on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  It earned $93.5M over the 5-day weekend, with an ultimate 4.28x multiple that brought it to $400.7M.  The sequel may be more front-loaded, but in its favor, it doesn’t face another major family product until Jumanji: The Next Level on December 13.  The original Frozen earned 69% of its worldwide total outside the US, and Frozen 2 galloped to $223.2M in 37 international markets (although that’s less than half of all markets, it includes almost all the most important, including $53M from China, with mostly lesser remaining arenas like Italy, Australia, Russia and Brazil, which accounted for around 20% of the first film’s international total).  Frozen 2 seems to be on track for a worldwide result in the same region as its predecessor’s $1.27B.

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD (Columbia/Sony) was intended as a slow-burn play that would extend through awards season and spread gradually beyond its older-viewer base, and on those terms it started well with $13.5M.  A serious drop over the Thanksgiving holiday would be cause for concern.

21 BRIDGES (H Brothers/MWM/STX) had an unassuming start with $9.3M.  Its costs were moderate, probably around $75M with worldwide marketing, but it’s likely to burn out fast in the US at $25M or so.  Overseas, 24 territories accounted for a low $2.7M.

HOLDOVERS:  FORD VS. FERRARI (20th/Disney) dropped 50% to $16M in its 2nd weekend, a bit more steep than optimal for a film with an older-skewing base audience and what was expected to be strong word of mouth.  It could reach $90M in the US, but it’s an expensive project, and so far is showing limited life overseas, with $45.8M after a $14.7M weekend in 43 markets which don’t yet include China or Japan.

MIDWAY (AGC/Bona/Lionsgate) lost 45% to $4.7M in its 3rd weekend, and should pass $50M in the US.  However, this was another costly epic, and it’s been soft overseas, with $55.8M after a $5.4M weekend in 40 territories.

PLAYING WITH FIRE (Paramount) dipped 45% to $4.6M in its 3rd weekend, on its way to $40M in the US on moderate costs.  It’s earned $5.2M in limited international release.

The older audience for THE GOOD LIAR (New Line/Warners) delivered a 40% drop to $3.4M compared to last week’s premiere, but it will still have to stretch to reach $20M in the US.  It has $5.4M overseas after a $1.1M weekend in 20 territories.

CHARLIE’S ANGELS (Perfect World/Columbia/Sony) collapsed with a 62% fall to $3.2M, unlikely to get much past a dismal $20M in the US.  Things are only slightly better overseas, where it has $29.6M after a $4.6M weekend in 30 markets.

LAST CHRISTMAS (Perfect World/Universal) won’t make it to its titular holiday, down 53% to $3M in its 3rd weekend and stumbling past $30M in the US.  It has $24M overseas after a $6.7M weekend in 26 territories.

JOKER (BRON/DC/Warners) is still in the picture, down 47% to $2.8M in its 8th weekend, as it prepares to push past $330M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $708.8M after a $7.6M weekend in all major markets except China.

LIMITED RELEASE:  DARK WATERS (Focus/Universal) opened with an OK $27.5K weekend per-theatre average at 4 NY/LA arthouses.  HONEY BOY (Amazon) expanded to 44 with a quiet $6100 average.  WAVES (A24) widened to 21 with an $8K average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The holiday line-up is joined by KNIVES OUT (Lionsgate) and QUEEN & SLIM (Universal).

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."