November 11, 2017

SHOWBUZZDAILY Early Friday Box Office: “Thor: Ragnorak” Keeps Lead, “Murder” Solid, “Daddy’s Home 2″” OK


MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (20th) had a surprising amount of marketing muscle behind it, and at least in the short term it seems to be paying off.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, opening day was $10.6M (including $1.6M from Thursday night), and considering that Murder is aimed at an older audience that doesn’t necessarily rush out on opening night, the weekend could get as high as $30M.  The Friday number is only 20% below Gone Girl, another fall thriller catering to a more mature crowd, which legged it out to $167.8M.  With about $150M in production/marketing costs and a fair amount of potential overseas appeal, Murder could be a profitable ride.

DADDY’S HOME 2 (Paramount) was also at $10.6M on Friday (including $1.5M from Thursday night), but the number is more potentially problematic for the comedy.  It was down 32% from the $15.7M opening day for the first Daddy’s Home, which reached a huge 5.8x multiple because it played through Christmas week.  Home 2 isn’t going to have that advantage, and it also wasn’t cheap, with something like $175M in production/marketing costs, plus its family audience will have Justice League and Coco opening in the next 2 weeks.

THOR: RAGNAROK (Marvel/Disney) dropped 60% from last Friday to $18.5M, which was a bit heavier than expected, considering the excellent reviews and seemingly strong word of mouth.  By comparison, Dr Strange dropped 54% on its 2nd Friday.  (The result was still better than Thor: The Dark World, which fell 67% on its parallel day.)  The weekend may be $55M, which would put Ragnarok on track for $315-325M in the US, above the previous Thors but below Guardians of the Galaxy level.

The story of the weekend may be the hold for A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS (H Brothers/STX), which like its predecessor is defying awful reviews and retaining a loyal audience.  Friday was down just 25% from last week to $4.1M (a bit less impressive because that was Day 3 of release after a Wednesday opening, but still), while the first Bad Moms dropped 53% on its 2d Friday.  Moms Xmas could have a $13M weekend, and it has no major comedy competition ahead for weeks to come.

JIGSAW (Lionsgate) dropped 43% from last Friday to $1.2M for a $4M weekend.  It’s still heading for $40M or so in the US, below all but 1 of its Saw forebears.  BOO 2! A MADEA HALLOWEEN (Lionsgate) lost 45% to $660K, for a $2M weekend.  It probably won’t reach $50M in the US, at the bottom of the Madea pile.

Neither of the quasi-wide releases held well.  LET THERE BE LIGHT (Atlas) increased its theatre count by 15%, but still dropped 30% from last Friday to $350K, and will probably average a blah $1500 per-theatre for the weekend.  LBJ (Electric) fell 51% from last Friday to $165K, and may not even average $1000 for the weekend.

LADY BIRD (A24) expanded well to 37 theatres, where it may average as much as $30K for the weekend.  That’s a bit better than Moonlight, which averaged $24K at 36.  LAST FLAG FLYING (Amazon/Lionsgate), however, is already fading after an expansion to 32 theatres, where it may average a dim $3500 per theatre.

3 BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (Fox Searchlight) is off to a strong start, with a weekend average at 4 NY?LA theatres that may reach $85K, just below last week’s Lady Bird tally of $91K.

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."