November 4, 2017

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Thor: Ragnarok” Thunders, “A Bad Moms Xmas” Fizzles, “LBJ” MIA


Those waiting for Marvel to stumble will have to go on waiting.  Based on preliminary numbers at Deadline, THOR: RAGNAROK (Marvel/Disney) had a $46M opening day (including $14.5M from Thursday night), the highest for any Marvel Universe title released outside the May-July corridor.  Opening day was up 44% from the start of Thor:  The Dark World, and was also up 41% from last November’s Doctor Strange.  The weekend could be as high as $120M, and Ragnarok‘s US total should be $300+ considering the likely strong word of mouth.  The only obstacle in its path is the arrival of Justice League as direct competition in 2 weeks.  This is all on top of the $164.5M Ragnarok has already earned overseas, with its first fully worldwide weekend still to come.

Not all franchises are created equal, of course, and A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS (STX) is off to an unexciting start.  It took in $4.5M on Wed-Thurs, and another $5.5M on Friday, which should make for a $17M 3-day weekend and $21.5M over 5 days, less than the $23.8M that the first Bad Moms made in 3 days.  That film had a terrific 4.8x multiple of its opening weekend by the time it was done, but Moms Christmas is unlikely to do the same, especially with Daddy’s Home 2 aiming at the comedy audience next week.  A $65M US total might turn a profit, but the prospects of a 3rd installment are uncertain at best.

LBJ (Electric) had a quasi-wide opening at 659 theatres, but it was going to need great reviews to have any impact, and it didn’t get them.  Opening day was $350K, and the weekend per-theatre average may not top $1500.

JIGSAW (Lionsgate) inevitably collapsed post-Halloween, down 71% from last Friday to $2M for a $6M weekend and a US total that should end up around $40M, behind all the Saw titles except Saw VI.

BOO 2! A MADEA HALLOWEEN (Lionsgate) fell 53% Friday-to-Friday to $1.2M, for a $4M weekend and $50M US total, which will put it near the bottom of the Madea franchise.  HAPPY DEATH DAY (Blumhouse/Universal) dropped 45% from last Friday to $800K, heading for a $2.8M weekend and $55-60M in the US.

GEOSTORM (Skydance/RatPac/Warners) is making its money in China, but it’s almost done here, down 48% from last Friday to $800K, for a $2.8M weekend and a US total that may not reach $35M.  BLADE RUNNER 2049 (Alcon/Sony/Warners) is also running on fumes, down 45% from last Friday to $600K, heading for a $2M weekend and $90M in the US.

Last week’s non-horror openings didn’t hold well.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE (DreamWorks/Reliance/Universal) sank 55% to $700K, and may get to $2.5M for the weekend and a $12.5M US total.  SUBURBICON (Black Bear/Paramount) was worse, down 63% to $400K for a $1.4M weekend and a US total that won’t see $10M.

The Christian title LET THERE BE LIGHT (Atlas) nearly doubled its theatre count to 600, so although the Friday number was fairly steady at $500K, a $1.5M weekend will give it a mediocre $2500 average.

The limited opening of the weekend was awards hopeful LADY BIRD (A24), which may average $75K for the weekend at 4 NY/LA arthouses.  LAST FLAG FLYING (Amazon/Lionsgate) was far behind, with perhaps a $10K weekend average at 4.


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."