December 3, 2017

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 12.3.2017


HOLDOVERS:  On a weekend without new wide releases, COCO (Pixar/Disney) had no trouble holding its crown with $26.1M.  Its 49% drop from Thanksgiving weekend was better than other Disney animations in that slot (50% for Moana, 56% for Tangled, 53% for Frozen), and it should be on track for $225M+ in the US.  Coco is also galloping overseas, where it had a $69M weekend in only 33 territories (including China) for $171.3M to date.

JUSTICE LEAGUE (RatPac/DC/Warners) fell 60% from Thanksgiving weekend to $16.6M, the same percentage post-holiday drop as last year’s Fantastic Beasts, but with a lower number.  It seems to be heading for $250M in the US, which would look a lot better if it hadn’t cost $450M to produce and market.  Overseas, it’s at $370.1M after a $35.7M weekend in all major markets.  The best Justice League can realistically hope for is $700M worldwide, which would barely pass Man Of Steel‘s $668M to make it the second-lowest title in this version of the DC universe (yet the most expensive), and would make it only #10 of the 17 Marvel installments.  Even if it manages to turn a small profit, this is a wretched result for a critical studio property.

WONDER (Participant/Walden/Lionsgate) dipped 45% to $12.5M, and should end up with a lovely $110M in the US on moderate costs.  It’s less impressive overseas, where it’s at $12.2M after a $7.8M weekend in 46 markets.

THOR: RAGNAROK (Marvel/Disney) is tailing off, but declined just 43% in its 5th weekend to $9.7M, on its way to $310M in the US, with the possibility of slipping past Iron Man 3 ($312.4M) and Iron Man ($318.4M) for 8th place domestically in Marvel-land.  Overseas, it’s at $525M after a $6.5M weekend, and it should end up as the #7 Marvel title worldwide, just below Guardians of the Galaxy 2‘s $863.6M.  That would also be 30% higher than the worldwide total for Thor: The Dark World.

DADDY’S HOME 2 (Paramount) dropped 43% to $9.3M, on target for $100M in the US.  It’s in 49 territories overseas, where it has a $34M total after a $15.6M weekend.  It seems likely to end up significantly below the first Daddy’s Home both domestically ($150.4M) and overseas ($92.4M).

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (20th) may  not quite reach $100M in the US, as it fell 49% to $6.7M.  However, it’s hitting a chord overseas, where it’s at $152.7M after a $23.1M weekend in 68 territories, with a few still to open.  $300M worldwide would be a very tidy total for a film with about $150M in costs.

A pair of awards contenders expanded to similar results.  LADY BIRD (A24) is now in 1194 theatres, where it earned $4.5M, similar to Wild‘s $4.1M at 1061.  3 BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (Fox Searchlight) was also at $4.5M, but its per-theatre number was slightly lower because it expanded to 1430.  Depending on how they fare in awards season, both films seem capable of reaching $35M+ in the US.

THE STAR (Affirm/Sony) held well, with a 42% weekend drop, but its $4M weekend still has it pointing at $35M in the US.

A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS (H Brothers/STX) had a great hold with a mere 29% drop to $3.5M, although even if it reaches $75M in the US, that will be down nearly 35% from the first Bad Moms.  It’s at $40M overseas after a $3.8M weekend.

ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ (Columbia/Sony) is in desperate needs of awards help, as it fell 57% to $1.9M, and may not even reach $15M in the US.

THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS (Bleecker Street) dipped just 36%, but that still put its weekend under $900K, and it will struggle to reach $5M in the US.

It’s not at all clear why MARSHALL (Open Road), in its 8th week of release, suddenly jumped to 651 theatres.  But with an awful $400 per -theatre weekend average, it didn’t accomplish whatever it was meant to do.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE DISASTER ARTIST (A24) had a terrific start with a $64K weekend per-theatre average in 19 theatres, a much wider run than most awards hopefuls attempt in their opening weekend.  The only negative was that it fell 20% on Saturday, suggesting that it may be front-loaded with fans of cult movies and curiosity seekers.  THE SHAPE OF WATER (Fox Searchlight) went in a much more narrow direction, starting in just 2 NY theatres (which were loaded with in-person Q&As) for a $83K average.  WONDER WHEEL (Amazon) was relatively subdued with a $28K average at 5, and that included a sold-out Cinerama Dome screening with the entire cast.  CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (Sony Classics) stayed at 4 theatres and slipped just 32% for a $70K average.  DARKEST HOUR (Focus/Universal) also held at 4, but it dropped 38% for a $27K average.  NOVITIATE (Sony Classics) had a woeful expansion to 163 theatres for a painful $300 average.  THELMA (The Orchard) wasn’t much better, expanding to 36 with a $900 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The wide release drought continues, with the only arrival JUST GETTING STARTED (Broad Green), which will attempt to steal some ticket sales in the final days before The Last Jedi sets the box office on fire.  The big limited release is I, TONYA (Neon), and The Shape of Water will expand to LA, where it will also cram the weekend with Q&As.


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."